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Four ways the West can rebuild a crumbling international order

As NATO gets a strategic overhaul, Western allies must rebuild an international order that protects and promotes prosperity and security in the 21st century.

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After eight months of reflection, the senior Group of Experts appointed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and led by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, issues its report today.

On this basis, the secretary general will prepare a new Strategic Concept for Allies to approve at a summit in Lisbon this November. But if this in-depth NATO process has revealed anything, it is that the challenges our societies must tackle today are far greater than what NATO itself can handle.

The Albright-led group has done excellent work on a new NATO concept. But we need more than that: We need to rebuild an international order that protects and promotes democratic values in the 21st century world, updating the order that emerged after World War II.

NATO was founded in 1949 as part of a broad slate of institutions designed to bring order to the post-war world. The leaders of Europe and America exhibited extraordinary vision, creating the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Universal Declaration on Human Rights, International Court of Justice, European Coal and Steel Community (which grew into the European Union), and more. NATO was the security arm of a larger international order that protected and expanded the space for democratic values and security in the post-war world.

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