NATO at the Crossroads

Reexamining America's Role in Europe

by Benjamin Schwarz

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Current debate suggests that NATO must extend eastwards or risk falling apart; this issue paper suggests that the dissolution of NATO should not be immediately assumed to be bad for the United States. For example, if the volatile Eurasian countries join NATO, the United States risks involvement in border wars in which it has no national interest. The author suggests that the United States consider whether the Eurasian states should be allowed to work out their own security system. The result would probably be security and economic competitions, multipolarity, and regional power balances, i.e., the normal pattern of international relations. The effects on those states could be turbulent, potentially violent. But the effects on the United States are not clear and should be examined closely.

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