What Next

NATO, Back From the Brink

A brief history of an alliance that, mere years ago, was on the ropes.


Episode Notes

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is having a moment. The alliance dates back to the early years of the Cold War, and ever since, it has seesawed in and out of favor with Western leaders. But now, as Russia continues to wage its attack on Ukraine, NATO has assumed some of its old relevance.

Guest: Mary Elise Sarotte, professor of historical studies at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. She’s also a research associate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. Her most recent book is Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, Anna Rubanova, and Laura Spencer.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.