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A winter 2021 course that explores the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 1949-present

October 28, 2020

Pew Research Center surveys indicate that European opinions of the United States have dropped to the lowest levels in modern times. There is widespread incredulity in Europe at how Trump has managed the COVID-19 epidemic, cheered on by un-masked men, sometimes armed with assault weapons originally designed for the NATO armies. In turn cheered on by Trump, some of these armed private militias are now aiming  their assault weapons at elected governors of the states of the American federal union – governors denounced by the President of the United States for their evidence-based public health policies to deal with COVID -19.

The present domestic crisis of American citizenship sheds a new light on NATO, the longest-lasting and most powerful military alliance in human history. Jackson School Associate Professor Christopher Jones examines this history during the Cold War and the post Cold War period in JSIS A 416 516 being offered in winter 2021. The format is the use of case studies to examine various crises faced by NATO since 1949. One of these cases is that of the Helsinki Accords of 1975, which united the NATO allies around the concept of universal “human rights”. Could it be that a Trumpist rejection of the Helsinki definition of human rights will be the catalyst for the disintegration of NATO and perhaps even the American federal union? The other case studies of JSIS A 416 516 include the most recent NATO crises – that of NATO policy in Afghanistan and of NATO policy toward Ukraine.