What are the reasons for the US steadfast adherence to NATO and its eastward expansion even after the end of the Cold War? 30 years ago there was an unwritten agreement that NATO would “not move one inch eastward” and yet it has done so country by country until all of Russia’s neighbors except Ukraine and Belarus now belong to NATO. This has been called one of the greatest mistakes since the end of the Cold War. In 1997 George F. Kennan warned that —“expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post-Cold War era. Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion;… to restore the atmosphere of the Cold War to East-West relations.”
Recently Russia offered a draft treaty to demilitarize Eastern Europe, but the US won’t even talk about it. Biden called for diplomacy but won’t even consider a pledge to never bring Ukraine into NATO. In other words, the US wants negotiations only on its own terms. Ironically, Donald Trump has been the only president who has tried to down play NATO.
NATO has been a useful arm of US imperialism, not only in the north Atlantic region, but in the north Africa and the Middle East as well.
Harry Targ discusses why the US is so committed to NATO. Harry Targ is a retired Political Scientist at Purdue University. Among other books, he has published Challenging Late Capitalism, Neo-Liberal Globalization and Militarism: Building a Progressive Majority.