War, as Clausewitz reminds, is the most uncertain of human political and social activities. It also imposes burdens. In an alliance among states for the promotion of collective defense or security, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), burdens have to be shared. This study looks at the experience of the United States and other member states of NATO in four situations of multinational military intervention - Lebanon, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans, and South Asia - and considers the implications of nuclear arms reductions and nonproliferation for the US and NATO. Each case study represents an important period in the distribution of power, interest, and values, amounting to more than a sequential consideration of incidents of military intervention and/or conflict prevention. These politico-military challenges include a major coalition war, a traditional peacekeeping operation, an exercise in peace enforcement, and a conflict that combines counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism with stability and security operations.
'This comprehensive study by Steve Cimbala and Peter Forster demonstrates why NATO's burden sharing debates are important for the future of the alliance. Moreover, now that the age of American hegemony has ended, the outcome of these debates will have a direct impact on U.S. national interests. A must-read for those concerned with the future of the transatlantic relationship.' Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former Assistant Secretary of Defense 'At a time when burden and responsibility sharing debates amongst NATO allies have reached a new level of intensity in Afghanistan, the authors provide cogent and insightful analysis of how such debates have played out in critical areas of the world since the late Cold War years. An invaluable book for security policy analysts and political and military practitioners alike.' Martin A. Smith, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, UK 'This extraordinarily perceptive book is an essential guide for policy makers and citizens wishing to understand the role of NATO in meeting the challenges of the complex security era that is upon us. The product of mature reflection by leading scholars, it is a thoughtful and forward-looking analysis that shows both the problems and potential of our most important alliance in the years ahead.' John Allen Williams, Loyola University Chicago, USA; Chair and President, Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society