NATO was created in the last century to confront the former Soviet Union after World War Two. Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel says the alliance now has a new role in the global war on terrorism.
Hagel spoke Friday at a U.S. sponsored NATO seminar held in Brussels, Belgium.
Hagel says the alliance of 26 nations can help bring stability to the Middle East in five key areas. They are in Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Mediterranean, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He says NATO should work on drawing Turkey closer, especially as it begins membership talks next year. NATO must also deepen its partnership with other Mediterranean countries.
Hagel says NATO should plan to assume responsibility for all military and reconstruction operations in Afghanistan, as well as a section of Iraq.
Finally, Hagel says, NATO should plan for a role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.