As NATO enlargement has become the highest U.S. foreign policy priority, fundamental issues have emerged about the role of this political-military institution and its impact on the future of European security. Tracing NATO's formative years, its Cold War development, and its post Cold War evolution, this book provides students and scholars alike with a detailed understanding of the relationship between a formal international institution and national security. Drawing on his policy experience in Brussels and Washington, the author provides unique insights into contemporary policy challenges, including NATO's outreach to the East and its Partnership for Peace, peacekeeping and the future of the Balkans, enlargement and the role of Russia in Europe, NATO's internal military adaptation, and the future of the transatlantic relationship. Kay argues that although NATO has evolved to some degree, it remains an institution dependent upon the United States with uncertain long-term prospects for playing a constructive role in Europe. Indeed, the author shows that if not implemented carefully, NATO enlargement may actually decrease rather than increase stability in the region. With its provocative challenges both to realist and institutionalist assumptions about NATO's capacity to adapt in the post-Cold War world, this book provides an invaluable perspective on Europe's future security."