This article explores the evolution of NATO as a security community in three phases. It argues that during the Cold War and immediate Post- Cold War era, the Alliance had a focused grand strategy. In the third phase which starts after September 11th, the Alliance’s grand strategy is in flux, while it is engaged in various missions that are a mixture of borderless collective defence, humanitarian intervention, and the safeguarding of trade routes and resources. The place of Turkey as a predominantly ‘functional’ ally in the first two phases and then as a ‘strategic partner’ in the last phase is examined and followed by the likely points of continuing cooperation with NATO and likely divergence of interests in the long term.

Key Words

NATO, Collective Defence, Collective Security, Security Community, Turkey, Missile Defence.


When Turkey joined NATO sixty years ago, NATO was a different kind of an Alliance than the one it has evolved into today, and Turkey was a far more different country, compared to the regionally proactive player it has become today.