pean ethnic lobbies that never see the forestrnfor the trees, but it will jeopardize Europe’srnchances of long-term siuvival.rnThe United States should understandrnwhy some former Soviet satellites have arnvested geopolitical interest and an evenrnmore acute psychological need to treatrnRussia as the enemy, but it should neverrnallow itself to be seduced by their obsessions.rnTake Czech President VaclavrnHavel, who recently ascribed the Russians’rnopposition to NATO enlargementrnto their cultural inferiority:rnDistrust of oneself and uncertaintyrnabout one’s own identity necessarilyrngenerate a distrust of others, imputationrnof evil intentions to thernrest of the world and, eventually, anrnaggressiveness that may result inrnthe invasion of other people’s territories,rnor at the least in forcingrnone’s own domination upon thosernwho do not desire it.rnIt is all neurosis, you see; the experiencesrnof 1812 and 1941 have nothing to do with it.rnThe quote above describes the neoconservativcrnmindset to a tee, but Havelrnand his less eloquent Eastern colleaguesrnwouldn’t know it. They all proclaimrntheir undying devotion to the ideologicalrnassumptions of the new NATO, but theirrnreal agenda is twofold: to have a Westernrn(read: American) security guaranteernagainst Russia, and to strengthen theirrnown position vis a vis those neighbors —rnmostly Russians—with whom they havernan ongoing or potential dispute. NATOrnmembership may even embolden somernto revive territorial or ethnic claims thatrnwould otherwise have remained dormant.rnA former Hungarian defense official,rnZoltan Pecze, was frank:rnIt is in the interests of the ethnicrnHungarians living beyond our bordersrn. .. NATO membership doesrnnot mean giving up our nationalrninterests. On the contrary: it meansrnan opportunity to assert our nationalrninterest.rnThe experience of Turkey shows that thernalliance has no means to stop one of itsrnmembers from aggressive intent or adventurousrnconduct.rnFuture new members know—and relishrn—what Western NATO apologists sornuneonvincingly deny: that extendingrnNATO into Eastern Europe is a realrnthreat to Russia, and that it recreates therndivision of the continent that was supposedrnto be lifted a decade ago. Theirrnfears of Russia may be based on somernreal experiences of yesteryear. Instead ofrnpandering to their insecurity, the UnitedrnStates should encourage them to comprehendrnwhat a few farsighted “real”rnWesterners already see: that we bothrnneed an economically revitalized Russiarnwith strong ties to Europe and a strategicrnunderstanding between Moscow andrnWashington based on our underlyingrncommon interest in keeping Islamic maraudersrnat bay. A litmus test of future NATOrnmembers’ preparedness for thern”Western” club should be their readinessrnto follow, in relation to Russia, the Franco-rnGerman post-1945 model of overcomingrnancient grievances.rnArticle V of the NATO Charter cleariyrnstates that an attack on one member staternis an attack on all. The United States willrnsupposedly provide protective cover to arnhost of new clients right in Russia’srngeopolitical backyard, in an area that hadrnnever been deemed vital to this country’srninterests. But once included, those flatlandsrnwill become a permanent fixture ofrnour foreign-policy establishment’s mindset.rnI’he United States will assume thernFor the latest news and commentary, visitrnChroniclesrnat www.chroniclesmagazine.orgrnnominal responsibility for open-endedrnmaintenance of a host of disputed frontiersrnthat were often drawn arbitrarily byrncommunists, with little regard for ethnicityrnor history. At no visible benefit to itself,rnAmerica will underwrite the freezingrnin time of a post-Soviet outcome that isrnneither inherently stable nor necessarilyrn”just” or “democratic.”rnThat Washington and Jefferson wouldrnbe horrified is obvious; even Mctternichrnwould frown, because the policy is simplyrnillogical. It means two things: Eitherrnthe United States is serious that it wouldrnrisk a thermonuclear war for the sake of,rnsay, Estonia’s border with Russia (whichrnis insane), or it is not serious, which isrnboth frivolous and dangerous. PresidentrnClinton naturally leaned to the latter option.rnHe asserted that Article V “does notrndefine what actions constitute ‘an attack’rnor prejudge what Alliance decisionsrnmight then be made in such circumstances.”rnHe claimed the right of thernUnited States “to exercise individual andrncollective judgment over this question.”rnThis classic fudge cannot be the basis ofrnserious policy. This is an echo of previousrnWestern experiments with security guaranteesrnin the region—of Czechoslovakia’srncarve-up in October 1938, or Poland’s destructionrnin September 1939—which providesrna warning that promises nonchalantlyrngiven today may turn into smolderingrncities tomorrow. Over seven decades later,rnthe lesson of Locarno for the Bush administrationrnis clear: Security guaranteesrnthat are not based on the provider’s completernresolve to fight a full-blown war tornfulfill them are worse than no guaranteesrnat all. They are certain to be challenged.rnAmerica’s curious lead in NATO expansionrnmay jeopardize its relations withrnsome of its old allies in Western Europe. Arnfew wise Frenchmen already suspect thatrnthe latter-day, U.S.-led Drang nach Ostenrnis a poisoned chalice that the Germans willrnaccept to their peril. From a neoconsen’ative,rnglobal-hegcmonist point of view, therernis no better way to ensure American dominancernin Europe in perpetiiity tlian by preventingrnthe long-overdue Russo-Germanrnrapprochement. This historic step remainsrnthe last unfulfilled prerequisite for a longrnperiod of stable peace throughout the OldrnContinent. NATO expansion will artificiallyrnpostpone it in favor of a psychotic imperialrnUtopia made in Washington that isrnutterly divorced fi’om tiie interests, politicalrntiaditions, and natural inclinations of thernAmerican people.rn46/CHRONICLESrnrnrn