By Richard Kreitner, The Nation, September 8, 2014
The October 20, 1997, issue of The Nation contained a ten-page cover story titled “The Case Against NATO Enlargement,” by Sherle R. Schwenninger, then of the World Policy Institute and now director of the New America Foundation’s Economic Growth Program and American Strategy Program.
Schwenninger argued that the expansion of NATO to the east, as planned by the Clinton administration, would render impossible a lasting peace between Russia and the West. “Rather than establishing the foundation for a mutually agreed-upon security order,” he warned, “ NATO expansion opens the door for future geopolitical rivalry by in effect legitimizing Moscow’s efforts to create its own alliance.”
NATO expansion does little or nothing to insure the cooperation or constraint from Russia that will be necessary to solve these conflicts. Indeed, it provides the opposite incentive: for Russia to compete in those areas not formally part of NATO and to exclude NATO from any involvement in areas of vital Russian interest. Russian nationalists could reasonably ask: Since the NATO-Russia agreement gives Moscow little or no say in its own area of interest, why should Moscow allow the United States to have a say in areas bordering Russia and in its sphere of influence?…
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