The American InterestrnNATO Expansion:rnHarmful and DangerousrnAfter President Bush’s meeting withrnRussian President Vladimir Putin in Italyrnin )ul’, it is almost certain that a newrnround of NATO expansion will be announeedrnat the forthcoming summit inrnP rague, rega rdless of Moscow’s misgrrnings. ‘Phe alliance will include Slovenia,rnSloakia, the three Baltic republics, andrnpossibU’ Rumania and Bulgaria. Thernconsec[uences of this new round of NATOrnexpansion are likely to be detrimentalrnto America’s national interests, but thernlack of an- serious debate on this issuernconfirms that, in our virtual democracy,rnriie magnitude of a decision is in inversernproportion to the attention it receives inrnthe media.rnNATO expansion strengthens the unhoK’alliancernof one-world multilateralistsrnand neoconservative global interventionistsrnwho run the show in Washington andrnwho now sec the North Atiantic TreatyrnOrganization as a permanent tool for thernexecution of their policies.rnBefore the fall of communism, America’srnleading role NATO was not incompatiblernvvitii a foreign policy based on arnpragmatically defined national interestrnand true to the spirit of the republic.rnNATO came into being as an implicitiyrntemporary arrangement to prevent Stalin’srninvasion of Western Europe. It wasrnAmerica’s response to a dramatic momentrnin European histor)’ when, had itrnbeen left to its own devices, the Old Continentrnmight have succumbed to totalitarianrnmight. Its creators never thought thernU.S. role to be permanent: PresidentrnEisenhower told Congress that Americanrntroops woidd irot be needed along thernIron Curtain for more than ten years, b}’rnwhich time the Europeans would be ablernto defend themselves.rnOne decade turned into four, but withrnthe disintegration of the Soviet Unionrnand the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact,rnthe stated rationale for NATO’s existencernfinalK’ disappeared. Instead of proclaimingrnvictorv’ and closing up shop, however,rnthe riding duopoly in Washington has,rnover the past decade, invented a newrnnussion for NA’PO: that of promoter ofrndcmocrac’, protector of human rights.rnby Srdja Trifkovicrnand guardian against instabilit)’. It was onrnthose grounds, rather than in response tornan’ supposed threat, that tiie Clinton administrationrnpushed for the admission ofrnPoland, Bohemia, and Hungary fourrnyears ago. In former Secretary of StaternMadeleine Albright’s words, this expandedrn”the area in Europe where wars simplyrndo not happen.” It is important tornnote that, under the new doctrine, NAI’O’srnsphere of operations is no longerrnlimited, and its “mandate” is entirely sclfgencratcd.rnIts war against Yugoslavia inrnthe spring of 1999 marked a decisive shiftrnin NATO’s mutation from a defensive alliancerninto a supranational securit)- forcernbased on the doctrine of “humanitarianrnintervention.” The trust)’ keeper of tiierngate had become a roaming vigilante.rnIn world affairs, this remarkable processrnhas mirrored the longer (and, byrnnow, almost completed) domestic evolutionrnof the federal government into arnleviathan unbound by constitutional restraints.rnThe lack of debate about NATO’srnexpansion is not surprising, consideringrnthe dominant duopoly’s identit}’ ofrnbasic assumptions and its domestic consensus.rnExpansion was advocated in thernRepublican “Contract With America”rnand eagerly embraced by President Clintonrnin 1996. It suited both the globalistrn”left” and the hegemonist “right” for differentrnreasons but with the same result:rnGeorge Washington’s warning againstrnentangling alliances will now be violatedrnin perpctuit)-. Reinvention of NATO asrnan organization based on the ideolog)’ ofrnneoimperial interventionism proves yetrnagain that foreign policy is an extensionrnof domestic politics.rnNA’I’O expansion is bad for Americarnbecause it perpetuates an inherentiy adversarialrnrelationship between Washingtonrnand Moscow. Forget the NATOcrats’rnsoothing rhetoric. To appreciaternthe effect of enlargement on Russia’s politicalrnestablishment, just imagine the reactionrnin the United States if China werernto sign a pact with Mexico, Cuba, andrnthe republics of Central America tornequip and train their armies and to guaranteernthe inviolabilit)’ of the Rio Grandernfrontier.rnThe first victims of NATO expansionrnwere the West’s own friends in Moscow.rnA few years ago, Alexei Arbatov, the formerrndeputy chairman of the DefensernCommittee of the Russian Parliament,rncomplained thatrnmany of those who have been tr’-rning to persuade the United Statesrnnot to expand NAl’O are the peoplernwho have staked their careers —rnand probably more than that—onrnRussia’s close and fair cooperationrnwith the United States.rnI hose people have been disillusionedrnand discredited, and the realists are backrnin charge in Moscow. Their strategicrnthinking unabashedly relies on a possiblernfirst use of nuclear weapons. This threatrnto American security cannot be offset byrnany conjectural benefit of extending paxrnAmericana to the suburbs of St. Petersburg.rnThe only rational reason for arncoiurtr)’ to enter into an alliance is to enhancernits own securit}’. Even in its weakenedrnstate, Russia remains a nuclear power,rnand NATO enlargement means thatrnits missiles will remain targeted on Americanrncities. Wiile this may be of no consequencernto the denizens of Riga or Vilnius,rnit should focus the minds in NewrnYork, Seattle, or Omaha. By extendingrnits protectorate in Eastern Europe, thernUnited States is acting irrationally, becausernit is diminishing its own security.rnThere is airother geopolitical price tornpay for rubbing Russia’s nose in defeat.rnRussia will remain an adversary at a timernwhen its economic and demographicrnweakness may result in a violent Asiaticrnscramble for the natural resources and increasinglyrndepopulated territories east ofrnthe Urals and along Russia’s southernrnrim. By extending its cordon sanitairernaround Russia, the United States indirectlyrnencourages the belief that the bearrnmay soon be up for grabs. A coherent,rnlong-term policy based on America’s nationalrnirrterest woidd dictate a very differentrnstrateg)’: As we enter the century thatrnis certain to see a renewed assault of militantrnIslam on an enfeebled Europe, Russiarnshould be helped along the road to recoven,-rnso that it can fulfill its role of thernnew antemurale christiensitatis.rnMaturit)’ and a healthy disdain for passionaternattachments are needed here, butrnwe find neither in Washington. NATOrnexpansion pleases some Eastern Euro-rnOCTOBER 2001/45rnrnrn