A Guide to the Issues
by Brian J. Collins
February 2011, 178pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35491-5
$38, £29, 33€, A52
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35492-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is an alliance of 28 countries from North America and Europe committed to fulfilling the goals of a treaty signed on April 4, 1949. NATO’s fundamental role is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means. What, exactly, does that commitment mean in today’s world?

This superb introduction to NATO is written for the national security novice, yet is full of insights for the more seasoned hand interested in how and why NATO reached its current state.

In the more than half-century since NATO was founded, there has been endless debate about its purpose, about whether it is meeting that purpose, and about the strategies it employs to that end. Speculation has also been rife about the organization’s “imminent demise.” Those questions and more are the subject of NATO: A Guide to the Issues.

Covering the organization from its founding in 1949 through the present, the guide examines aspects of NATO that have undergone tremendous change over the years, including its purpose, military mission, geographic concept of operations, and membership. At the same time, it explores key aspects of NATO’s organization that have remained constant. These include the ability of members to participate in operations as much or as little as they desire, decision-making by consensus, and a general belief that people from different countries working together on a daily basis promotes cooperation, understanding, and friendship.


  • Illustrations
  • Maps
  • A chronology
Brian J. Collins is an Air Force officer currently on the faculty of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University. He has served in a variety of flying and staff jobs, worked on NATO and European issues at the Joint Staff, was the director of flight testing during NATO AWACS modernization, and was an advisor on Soviet/Russian and East European issues at SHAPE in the early 1990s. Collins holds a PhD from Georgetown University and recently published Behind the Cyberspace Veil: The Hidden Evolution of the Air Force Officer Corps.


"Collins has produced a superb analytical presentation of NATO’s evolution through its six Strategic Concepts and the basic outline of the seventh which is currently being completed. Based on his experience as an alliance planner, staff officer, aviator, and professor, he has distilled the critical elements of how this remarkable institution has adjusted to numerous political and military challenges over sixty years. His book is essential for an understanding of today’s NATO." —Samuel F. Wells, Jr., Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center

Praeger Security International

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


• Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.