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Abstract: This paper uses NATO enlargement to examine the processes through which political subjects are made. Starting from the observation that the world's most powerful military alliance is increasingly framed not in terms of military defence, but in terms of democracy, freedom, and “European values”, the paper analyzes how this process works, and with what effects. It shows how NATO is, on the one hand, being made so common-sense as to be boring—below political debate—while, on the other, being made existential and essential—above debate. The effect is a kind of banal militarism: an unremarkable assumption that the military apparatus is ethically grounded and capable for achieving peace. By showing how this assumption is produced and maintained, the paper highlights a key mechanism in the militarization of political life.