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As NATO marks 75 years, a revitalized Alliance faces an array of new challenges

As NATO marks its 75th anniversary on Thursday, the Alliance is seeing renewed dynamism, particularly with the recent accessions of Finland and Sweden. But the organization also faces multiple challenges, from the war in Ukraine to the possible return to power of Donald Trump in the United States. According to military historian Guillaume Lasconjarias, the transatlantic alliance finds itself in a state of “paradox” between a renewed sense of purpose and a wealth of new challenges.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrates its 75th anniversary on Thursday at a time when Europe and the Alliance itself are facing a host of new threats. The occasion also marks 25 years since the accession of Poland, the Czech Republic (Czechia) and Hungary, as well as 20 years since the three Baltic states joined alongside Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria.

The 32-nation Alliance has seen significant expansion since its founding 12 members first joined forces on April 4, 1949, in the turbulent years following World War II. But it also now finds itself facing key new challenges, notably war returning to the European continent with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the attendant difficulties of marshalling support for Kyiv from all NATO members.


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