Has NATO been productive in its post-war years?
If NATO Expansion Was a Mistake, Why Hasn’t Putin Invaded?
The 20th anniversary of a landmark U.S. foreign policy initiative has slipped by virtually unnoticed. In 1999, NATO began its post-Cold War expansion into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, taking on three new members: Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Last month, the alliance rather quietly marked that event — as well as the 70th anniversary of its founding — at a meeting of foreign ministers in Washington, rather than a heads-of-state gathering that the occasion seemed to merit.
This was no accident, given the near-certainty that President Donald Trump would have spoiled any NATO summit he attended. It was also a pity, because NATO expansion ranks as one of the great U.S. foreign policy successes of the post-Cold War era.
[...] But NATO wrapped its security blanket around the former Warsaw Pact nations, committing them to accepting their existing frontiers, giving them the protection that allowed them to forego nuclear weapons, and creating the climate of reassurance in which democratic and economic reforms could occur. A reinvigorated NATO even provided stability beyond its own boundaries, intervening to stop ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia.