Monday, December 1, 2008

NATO Expansion Engines Cool

Despite Mr. Bush's hopes for continued efforts to include Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, such an expansion is quite unlikely. It seems the Russian maneuver in Georgia has done exactly what was intended.

The Ukrainian people are now strongly against joining NATO in polls--it seems as if Russia made it clear that messing with them was a bad idea. Even Yushchenko has decided that his NATO hopes are over, and he should warm up to the Russians.

The Europeans are also rather unenthusiastic about rushing the Ukrainians and Georgians into NATO--the French and Germans in particular are still against the notion, and the Brits have lost any excitement they may have had. It looks like the Membership Action Plans are not going to happen in the near future--meaning the Russians are not going to be relegated to nothingness in the next few decades.

And that means that the Russians have won their immediate objective. They're going to be taken seriously. The EU members of NATO are in favor of reopening security ties with Russia--and Medvedev is offering about as peaceful an olive branch as Russia can offer to Obama.

It's possible the Russians will muscle their way back into the fold. Whether that's good for NATO or not is yet to be determined.