It has worked for nearly seven decades.
"By embedding almost all of Europe in a unified security architecture, powers that warred for centuries like France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have no incentive to fight one another," Evan Gottesman said, recalling the famous formula that gave birth to NATO: "keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down."
The US journal calls for a balanced approach to post-Soviet states in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus, who want to join the bloc. The strategy entails embracing them as partners but not taking them in, for they will be what Gottesman referred to as "a liability for the alliance."
"The United States should be equally clear that while it supports international norms on territorial integrity and national sovereignty, full alliance membership for these countries is not currently conducive to regional stability. This message is critical to NATO's long-term viability," the analyst said.
"Within a generation or two, Europe could be home to an array of hostile alliances, as exist in other regions like the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and in Europe itself at other points in history," the National Interest observed.
A greater level of hostility and mounting tensions might well result in a conflict which could shake the whole world.