When President Biden and his aides planned the 75th anniversary of NATO, which opens on Tuesday evening in Washington, it was intended to create an aura of confidence.

The message to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and other potential adversaries would be that a larger, more powerful group of Western allies had emerged, after more than two years of war in Ukraine, more dedicated than ever to pushing back on aggression.

But as 38 world leaders began arriving here on Monday, that…


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