Friday, October 06, 2006


this post reminded me of something that has been bugging me for years.

after the cold war was russia ever invited to join NATO? i don't think they were, so the question is why not?

NATO was formed to counter the soviet union. in that sense it was an overtly anti-russian alliance. since the soviet union dissolved and the cold war ended, however, some former soviet republics have been put on a track to NATO membership and three (lithuania, latvia and estonia) are already members of the alliance. meanwhile NATO has rebranded itself as a regional security alliance, and not an anti-russian group.

and yet, it seems like NATO membership, or at least partnership, is left as a possibility for just about anybody in the former soviet block except russia. indeed, the reason that eastern block countries like latvia were clamoring for NATO membership was to guard against another russian occupation. in other words, the reason many eastern european countries want to be in NATO is precisely because they still see it as an anti-russian group, despite all the "regional security" talk.

so what is NATO? is it anti-russian? and if it's not, why didn't we offer russia NATO membership in the 1990s like we did to so many of its neighbors?