ISBN: 978-1-80429-237-2

Paal Sigurd Hilde

Norwegian Defence University College

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Grey Anderson’s ‘reader surveys … the balance sheet of NATO-ization from the end of the Cold War to the Russian invasion of Ukraine’ (p. 19). In addition to the introduction and conclusion, the volume has five parts for a total of 22 chapters. All of these (as well as the conclusion) are reprints, or adaptations of texts previously published. Their origin gives an indication of the book’s normative inclination: Nine were first published by New Left Review – either in the journal or its blog, Sidecar. Anderson makes his own perspective clear in the introduction, for instance here: ‘In Part II, Gowan, Tariq Ali, Alan J. Kuperman, and Régis Debray assay different episodes in NATO’s transformation from a ’defensive’ alliance into a roving, interventionist cartel …’ (p. 19). While most authors are academics, including well-known figures such as John Lewis Gaddis and John Mearsheimer, some are journalists or unknown. The book does not include biographies, which is unusual and a noticeable deficit. Two chapters have no author: Chapter 3 has excerpts from a leaked 1992 U.S. ‘Defense Planning Guidance’ and chapter 13 the leaked transcript of a 2014, private conservation between US officials Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt. Overall, thus, the anthology is a mixed bag. While some chapters are academically interesting, other are less so – also because the normative aspect is so strong that it distorts any analysis. Tariq Ali’s critique of NATO’s operations in Afghanistan is, for example, insightful in many ways, but draws conclusions based on spurious empirical claims. Academically, it is hard to recommend the book to anyone but those specifically interested in a collection of critical perspectives on NATO.