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July 14, 2023

NATO Vilnius Summit could have been historic. Instead, it mostly kicked the can down the road.

By John R. Deni US Army War College

John R. Deni argues that at the NATO Summit, “there was little significant movement on several key issues, leaving much on the table for the alliance’s 75th birthday summit next year in Washington, DC.” 

With the Vilnius Summit concluded, NATO observers can take a breath — and take a step back to see what was really accomplished at the meeting, which brought the leaders of the member nations together to plot out the future of the alliance. In this new op-ed, NATO scholar John Deni argues that despite some modest movements, the Summit failed to deliver a historic moment for the alliance. 

Not every NATO summit can be an historical landmark. Some are naturally more important than others — London in 1990, Madrid in 1997, or Wales in 2014 stand out in particular. Nonetheless, the Vilnius meeting, billed as potentially a historic event, ended with the alliance essentially marking time. 

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Photo from NATO