From Truman to Trump, Why Kansas City Matters to NATO
Last week in Washington, D.C., representatives from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 29 member states marked the 70th anniversary of the transatlantic alliance. They celebrated the stability it has fostered and the shared democratic values so important to its membership. It was a time to reflect on NATO’s successes, but also its future and the new questions that animate debate on both sides of the Atlantic.
All this might seem quite removed from Kansas City and its environs, but to conclude so would be to ignore history. Winston Churchill gave his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri, presaging the descent of the United States and Europe into Cold War. The Kansas City suburb of Independence was home to Harry Truman, and just a two-hour drive away is the boyhood home of Dwight D. Eisenhower in Abilene, Kansas. These leaders understood the dangers facing the transatlantic democracies and the need to exercise allied leadership in their defense. NATO today stands among their greatest accomplishments.