Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO

Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO

Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO

Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO

Synopsis

Gardner explores the global ramifications of the NATO-Russian relationship. He argues that NATO enlargement into Central Europe risks the overextension of NATO's political consensus and could provoke Russia and other states that do not expect to become "full" members of the alliance. He concludes by proposing an alternative system of security for the region.

Excerpt

Dangerous Crossroads was written to further explicate some key points made in my first book, Surviving the Millennium. The fundamental concern of this work is to question whether the United States, Europe, and Russia will ultimately be able to formulate a truly inclusive and comprehensive system of European security.

The book argues that once NATO enlarges to include Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, it will soon find itself torn between two conflicting imperatives. NATO will need to work with Russia, Ukraine (and other non-NATO states) to forge a comprehensive system of regional security on the one hand, but concurrently integrate its new members into its exclusive military command on the other--with a predilection to invest far greater resources into the latter. Moreover, the effort to doncentrate NATO's formidable power into Central Europe risks the overextension of NATO capabilities; the United States may well lose sufficient flexibility to deal effectively with potential crises arising in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, or East Asia. (At the same time, should Russia become a real threat, then NATO may find itself precariously overexposed by its own forward deployment.)

Although NATO and Russia have promised to maintain mutual transparency in creating and implementing defense policy and military doctrines in the historic May 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act (the final outcome of the proposed NATO-Russia Charter), Russia may increasingly feel itself alienated from issues that affect its perceived "vital" security interests. As the integration into NATO's military command structure is, by necessity, an exclusive process, it may prove increasingly difficult for NATO and Russia to agree to conjoint power sharing arrangements, going beyond mere consultations, for the entire region. Accordingly, NATO-Russian relations could enter a highly . . .

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