Trump Shouldn’t Accept Georgia into NATO

    Daniel L. Davis

    Security, Eurasia

    U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

    It should be a concern to every American that foreign-policy leaders openly advocate extending NATO membership to volatile nations on Russia’s border.

    Members of America’s foreign policy establishment are encouraging the White House to adopt more confrontational policies towards Moscow. One policy suggestion that would increase confrontation would be to include more countries on Russia’s border in America’s security alliance known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Doing this would turn Russia into an enemy. Such as decision would be myopic, short-sighted, and ultimately harmful to American interests.

    In a National Journal article, James Kirchik dismissed the argument that many in both Washington and Moscow believe NATO expansion contributed to the deterioration in relations between both countries. Kirchik referred to that belief as “the false claim that Western leaders” in the early 1990s “promised their Soviet counterparts that NATO would refrain from incorporating new members.”

    Instead, Kirchik claims, what “provoked the deterioration in relations between Russia and the West” was nothing the West did with NATO expansion and other security disputes, but “Russian revanchism and revisionism.” Moscow’s actions and subsequent deterioration in relations with Washington, in other words, are wholly Russia’s fault.

    In a Defense One article earlier this week, the Heritage Foundation’s Luke Coffey wrote, “U.S. and European policymakers say one of the biggest concerns about admitting Georgia to the alliance is Russia’s occupation of the country’s Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia. If Georgia joined NATO, the theory goes, the treaty’s Article 5 mutual security guarantee,” he continued, “would immediately require members to go to war against Russia.”

    It should be a concern to every American that foreign policy leaders openly advocate extending NATO membership to volatile nations on Russia’s border, knowing that doing so might suck the United States into an unnecessary and destructive war with another nuclear power.

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