And as long as there is no solidarity or political will among all the member states to establish a substantial new strategy that goes beyond painless closing statements at summits that pay diplomatic lip service but add little in terms of content, NATO’s ability to act militarily will remain compromised. And the more it loses its ability to act collectively, the more we will see individual NATO member states seeking out “coalitions of the willing,” if those alignments better serve their own strategic interests. The result is the loss of one of NATO’s key assets, the integration of the security policies of its 28 member states.

In the face of this lack of will on the part of the Europeans, the United States’ readiness to rapidly and constantly support the pursuit of European interests out of solidarity to the alliance will also diminish, as is currently illustrated in the case of Libya. The consequence of this is that NATO may transform into a forum for nonbinding trans-Atlantic political discourse. With solidarity fading away within the military alliance, the Europeans would be relegated to ensuring their security on their own in the future.