Not Whether but When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO

Not Whether but When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO

Not Whether but When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO

Not Whether but When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO

Synopsis

James M. Goldgeier is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he serves as acting director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

Excerpt

It is now ten years since the Berlin wall fell, bringing to an end the postwar division of Europe. After successfully defending the West for forty years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization faced a daunting task after the dramatic events of 1989-91: how to reach out to former members of the Warsaw Treaty Organization and help them integrate into the prosperous and peaceful Western order. Among the most important and controversial of these post-cold war NATO initiatives was the decision to offer Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic full membership in the alliance. Supporters of this policy decision believed that they were erasing the line drawn in Europe in 1945 by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and bringing these new market democracies into their rightful place in the West. Opponents meanwhile believed that the greatest post-cold war effort--turning Russia from enemy to partner--would be undermined beyond repair and that an effective military alliance would become unwieldy.

While proponents and opponents have written forcefully for and against enlargement since deliberations began in earnest in 1993-94, we have little information on how the Clinton administration actually developed the policy. In this book, James M. Goldgeier analyzes the process by which NATO enlargement became American policy. This account increases our understanding of the inner workings of the foreign policy bureaucracy, the influence of domestic politics, and the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government. In addition, revealing the obstacles that NATO faced in carrying out . . .

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