In this piece we focus on how the United States exercises its power over Europe — and why.
Firstly, it is often asserted that Nato is a purely defensive alliance.
Certainly, the original Washington Treaty which established Nato in 1949 was framed as a mutual defence pact with the emphasis on defence, security and protection.
Yet the reality of recent practice is different.
Over the past two decades an enlarged Nato has fought wars against a range of adversaries on three continents. None of these was in response to any threat to its members in Europe or North America.