When then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill laid out the contours and stakes of the first Cold War at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, he didn’t just talk about Europe. What people remember, of course, is this famous line: “From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” But later on in the speech, Churchill also warned of the coming “shadow” of tyranny “alike in the West and in the East.”
The nascent Cold War, in other words, was already going global—even as it was being defined for the first time. That Cold War may have ended three decades ago, but another, very different sort of cold war is beginning. And this one is also about to go global. NATO’s leaders are convening this week with an eye on the Indo-Pacific, and they are preparing to confront China as well as Russia.