The alliance is more than a military pact. Its members should rebuild trust in the face of threats from Russia and China

The Nato treaty was signed in Washington 70 years ago this week, but British fingerprints are all over it. Having been instrumental in the creation of the transatlantic alliance, Britain now needs to be producing the ideas and energy to keep it relevant to threats undreamed of by its founding fathers.

Prominent among those founders was Ernest Bevin, foreign secretary in the Attlee government and one of the great strategists of the post-war years. Like Churchill, Bevin was quick to see that the threat to western Europe would not come from a revival of German militarism, but from an expansionist Soviet Union. The main risk in the late 1940s was that Moscow-supporting communists would come to power through the ballot box, at a time when their support was running at 25% in Italy and 20% in France.

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Read More Nato is a precious asset at 70. Europe and the US should remember this | Peter Ricketts

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