The bitter conflict in Ukraine drags on. Russia continues to destabilize Kiev and NATO remains divided on how to respond.
Washington has taken the lead against Moscow even though America has little at stake in Russia’s misbehavior. In fact, the crisis has generated a spate of U.S. proposals to take military action and expand NATO.
For instance, Sen. John McCain urged adding Ukraine to the “transatlantic” alliance. Former UN ambassador John Bolton suggested including Georgia and Ukraine. Other proposed candidates for the alliance include Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Sweden.
Efforts to expand NATO are strikingly misguided. The end of the Cold War eliminated the reason for creating the alliance.
However, alliance advocates acted like nothing had changed and proposed new justifications for the old organization. Member governments eventually turned NATO into a mechanism to integrate Central and Eastern European states.
NATO has turned into a dole for indolent rich countries. After Moscow’s collapse the Europeans steadily reduced their military outlays.
Now the Ukraine crisis has reminded everyone that the alliance might be called upon to confront nuclear-armed Russia. Several of the newest members are screaming for America to “reassure” them by establishing bases and deploying troops.
This ludicrous situation demonstrates the folly of NATO expansion. The U.S. should not compound its earlier mistake by bringing in additional members with even less strategic value.
The list of potential members suggests strategic madness in Washington. For instance, tiny Balkan states Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro never have mattered for U.S. security.