Almost three-quarters of all defense spending occurs within NATO countries, meaning the alliance is largely the only military show in town.
After a hiatus of fifty years, France had finally allowed the US to build a small, largely symbolic, NATO base.
If NATO is responsible for the bulk of the world's military spending and NATO no longer has the stomach for full-on war with modern states, then large-scale war seems less likely.
If NATO didn't exist today, no one would propose creating it.
Some have questioned whether Friedman's thesis is 100 percent true, mentioning NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia as a potential exception.