Over these years, Nato has attempted to reinvent itself in many ways: first as the guarantor of the newly independent former Soviet satellites and republics; then as the enforcer – eventually – of new nation states in the Balkans; and finally, since 2001, as a go-anywhere military alliance, classically in Afghanistan. Yet Nato's deployment in each of these roles took place at least as much for political as for military reasons. The truth is that Nato is now more obviously something that to some extent it has always been – an international auxiliary military force of the United States.Not one mention of the obvious reason for the continued use value of NATO which is explicitly discussed by it and its supporters , though seldom emphasised in "public diplomacy" as being the main reason for the potential expansion East into Georgia or Ukraine or the continued occupation of Afghanistan-energy.
The NATO website makes this clear or "transparent".
NATO leaders recognize that the disruption of the flow of vital resources could affect Alliance security interests. At the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, the Allies noted a report on “NATO’s Role in Energy Security,” which identifies guiding principles and outlines options and recommendations for further activities. These were reiterated at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit in April 2009.Just to help Mr Kettle a little, here's some recent news,