In This Review

Enlarging NATO: The Russia Factor

Enlarging NATO: The Russia Factor
By Richard L. Kugler
287 pp, Rand, 1996

Of the great, even historic, decisions in recent international affairs, the decision to expand NATO is almost surely the one least debated or discussed in the broader American polity. Among a narrow range of foreign policy specialists, however, it has been hotly contested. In this argument, Richard Kugler takes the side of those in favor, which, as a student of Russian affairs, makes him rather unusual. Here he sets out to show how NATO can be enlarged as the core of a sounder European security architecture without evoking surly alienation in Russia. If the West wishes to have its cake and eat it too -- that is, to solve the east-central European security problem while preserving healthy relations with Russia -- Kugler contends that merely expanding NATO will not be enough. The West must know where it means to go after bringing in the initial Visegrad group of states and, in particular, how it intends to deal with the problem of Ukrainian security and the character of relations in the remainder of the post-Soviet space. He assumes a Russia that has a hard-nosed and rather churlish notion of its national interests and that could be pushed in the wrong direction, toward an aggressive, heavy-handed approach to neighbors. As important, however, he also assumes that this is not yet where Russian policy is headed.