On 70th Anniversary of NATO, Key Member States Question Its Relevancy and Efficacy

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: 70 years after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed, its member states are unsure of its continued efficacy, according to a recent poll.

Some states are more convinced of NATO's relevance than others.

Respondents in the United States were neatly split on whether NATO was less relevant (36%) or more relevant (39%) than it was 70 years ago. The same goes for Germany (40% saying less relevant, 38% more) and the United Kingdom (36% saying less relevant, 42% saying more). More than half of respondents in France and Turkey, meanwhile, said the alliance was less relevant than at the moment of its formation.

CKI

Most member states think it's good to have the United States as an ally in the event of an attack

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the United Kingdom and France, and more than half of respondents in Germany are glad to have the United States as an ally, while slim minorities in each nation thinks allying with the United States is bad.

However, the same member states are not as thrilled by the prospect of defending the United States

More than half of respondents in Germany and Turkey think it is bad that they may have to defend the United States in the event of an attack. Respondents in France and the United Kingdom were more split on the question, with just over 30% saying it would be bad, and over 40% saying good, in both instances.

Quote: "William Ruger, Vice President of Research and Policy at the Charles Koch Institute, said, 'While they are happy to have the U.S. come to their defense, a striking number of respondents thought it would be bad to be asked to assist the U.S. if it were attacked.'"

Most member states feel NATO has a negligible impact on safety -- with some exceptions.

With the exception of the United Kingdom, less than half of respondents from all member states think NATO makes their country safer, while slim minorities in each country think NATO makes them less safe.

Notably, 27% of respondents in Turkey think the alliance imperils safety, a likely result of the fact that 61% of respondents in Turkey think U.S intervention in the Middle East has destabilized the region. They aren't alone on that point: more than 40 percent of respondents in the United Kingdom and Germany think that military intervention in Afghanistan was unsuccessful, as did more than 30% of respondents in the United States and France.

Read the full study here