Extending the Western Alliance to East Central Europe

A New Strategy for NATO

by Zalmay Khalilzad

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In this issue paper, Khalilzad argues that NATO must be extended to the nations of East Central Europe to prevent instability in that region. Such extension would have the added benefit of reinvigorating NATO, which otherwise risks dissolution due to economic friction among its members. He recommends that NATO provide full membership to East Central European nations once each state has a stable democratic polity and market economy. In the interim, NATO should enhance ties with these states by, for example, conducting military exercises with them. He also urges operationalizing NATO's peacekeeping role by prepositioning equipment in East Central Europe, establishing a peacekeeping training and support center there, and conducting peacekeeping and humanitarian relief exercises with the militaries of those countries.

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