Reaching Out to the Russians
“NATO’s Final Frontier” by Charles A. Kupchan, in Foreign Affairs, May–June 2010.
Lord Hastings Ismay, the first secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, reportedly once said that the organization’s purpose was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” But times have changed. Today, NATO is making a strategic mistake by not integrating Russia into the alliance, argues Charles A. Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University.
Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has embraced the countries of Central and Eastern Europe but has “treated Russia as an outsider.” The West needs to be sure it has Russia squarely on its side, Kupchan asserts, particularly as it attempts to tackle global concerns such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, cybersecurity, and international crime. Moreover, Russia’s help will be crucial in negotiations with Iran and North Korea; Moscow also has considerable sway with Beijing.
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