The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed due to the rising Soviet power in the aftermath of World War II. Many expected that NATO would be disbanded, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but this did not happen. NATO believed that she was indispensable for security in Europe, even after the end of the USSR. After the Cold War, NATO’s raison d’être was expressed in the three core tasks of collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security. The enlargement of NATO in the former Soviet Union brought about a hegemonic power-struggle between the U.S.-led NATO and Russia over the post-Soviet states. The study, therefore, investigated the link between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and management of the Ukrainian crisis. It adopted the realist paradigm as its analytical framework, while time-series design and the qualitative method of data collection, defined the methodological approach used in the study. A thematic approach was adopted in the review of literature. The study contended that Russia’s regional interests in post-Soviet states account for her opposition to Western hegemony in the area; and that Russia’s invasion in Ukraine territory endangered the foundations of a post-Cold War order in Europe. It also established the link between the application of non-coercive method by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Ukrainian crisis and the preservation of the United States government vital national interest. Among other things, the study recommended that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should discontinue its provocative enlargements in post-Soviet states.
1.1 Background of the Study
After the two world wars, untold havocs were caused in the continent of Europe; and
leaders from Europe and the USA made effort to seek for collective defense organization, in
order to address one fundamental necessity: guaranteeing peace within Europe through the
prevention of future armed conflict. Thereafter, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) was established on 4th April 1949. And, by mid-1948, there was unanimity of
agreement among Western European governments that to deal effectively with the Soviet
threat, active engagement of the United States is required. Eventually, Washington was
persuaded to support the idea of a transatlantic military alliance, and they agreed.
Negotiations began on 6th July 1948, and on April 4th April 1949, NATO came into
existence. With this development, twelve states became founding members of the alliance –
Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Iceland,
Italy, Norway, Portugal and the United States (Thruelsen, 2009).
Since the end of the Cold War, several events ushered in a dramatic change to the
security landscape of Europe. The unification of Germany, the end of the Warsaw Pact, the
spread of democracy in Eastern Europe and the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union were
indeed signs that the Alliance no longer faced conventional adversaries, and many observers
were hopeful that the North Atlantic area had entered an unprecedented era of peace. Even
though the Alliance was no longer confronted by the threats of the Cold War, it was evident
that certain areas of Europe had, in fact, become increasingly volatile. Examples were the
regional conflicts that erupted in the Balkans. This led to the undeniable realization that
NATO still has security challenges. NATO was faced with the challenges of conflict resolution and crisis management in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Kosovo and Yugoslavia and
the fight against terrorism (Thruelsen, 2009).