“20 Years of NATO Enlargement”
This CFR Backgrounder surveys Russia's military buildup and the potential consequences for Eurasian security and politics. Asmus bears witness to the politics behind alliance enlargement after the fall of the Soviet Union.
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Charles A. Robert D. The common denominator of all the new security problems in Europe is that they all lie beyond NATO's current borders. Richard Lugar , U. Warren Christopher , U. The reality is that we have gone out of our way to reach out to Russia, and to reassure Russia. In the s, we established a special forum for NATO allies to consult with Russia and conduct joint actions. We made unilateral commitments not to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of the new members, not to permanently station substantial combat forces further east, and not to build NATO infrastructure beyond what might be required for reinforcement.
Our forces worked shoulder to shoulder in implementing peace agreements in the former Yugoslavia. And we worked hard to engage Russia in dialogue and cooperation on issues of common concern, such as counter-terrorism and counter-piracy — with some considerable success.
And large parts of Central and Eastern Europe have seen unprecedented economic development and cross-border trade and investment, from which Russia has also benefitted. In the face of this challenge, it is now more important than ever to uphold the principle that every nation is free to choose its own fate.
We must stick to our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace. And we must keep our NATO door open to help to make that vision a reality. Ultimately, the future of Russia is in their hands. Such a policy would be based on the rational calculation that a pluralistic and decentralized Russian state is more likely to curtail its multi-pronged attacks on the West and even become a genuine partner for NATO.
This alleged U.
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Such imaginative scenarios give Moscow pretexts to intensify its crackdown on domestic resistance depicted as U. It also indicates that the Kremlin is increasingly fearful of an internal crisis and even public revolts. It fails to effectively challenge the narrative that NATO is planning the violent overthrow of the Putin regime and fails to explain the real reasons for NATO expansion and the positive impact of a U.
The United States needs a comprehensive strategy toward Russia, including options on how to handle various scenarios of internal instability that could have serious external reverberations.