I get why from Poland, Ukraine, and Georiga’s perspective they would want to Join NATO. Can I say that the Cubans in the 1960’s had similar reasons for wanting to have defense pact with the USSR. They had repeadly throughout their history in Cuba faced the US government getting involved in their affairs, and the Bay of Pigs had also just happened. This didn’t stop the Cuban Missle Crisis from happening.
From the little I know about Russian history, the Russians feel as strongly if not more strongly "about their “near abroad” than we did about Cuba. Russia has no natural defense boundries between them and the rest of Eastern Europe, and they have faced repeated invasions through that area,. That’s why throughout Russia’s history,they have always found it so vital, to either control or have friendly governments in those countries. For them, it was a matter of upmost national security.
Please understand, that the Soviet Union freely left those areas, of their own accord. But they did so, getting a promise from George H. Bush, that Nato wouldn’t expand further. That was the only promise they wanted from the United States. That the Unitd States would respect Russia’s security interests, and the US had the power to keep that promise because we can veto anyone joining NATO.
So the Russians currently feel betrayed, and they are darn worried when they see the US interferring in countries around them. The Russians are paranoid about these kind of things, and that’s one of the reasons they are cracking down on certain political grouops. ( They fear they might be tools of America)
A paranoid Russia isn’t going to become more free or democratic.
My concern, is that Russia is that Russia is not going to take Ukraine/Georgia in NATO lying down. Let me put it to you this way, 50 years from now, we might look back and say that let to the start of World War III. And I think that if this happens, what will happen is Russia will literally go for broke because they are extremely reliant on Nuclear weapons. Strategically, Russia’s only option there is to go for broke, and attack the United States without warning, trying to do the upmost damage possible.
What real benefit does the United States get from Georgia, Ukraine being in NATO anyways. And the fact is that the majority of Ukranians don’t even want to Join NATO. Because the Urkanians aren’t stupid, and probably realize that Russias’ reaction “won’t be pretty.”
I don’t believe the Russians want war with us. They did their best to avoid it during the cold war, and now there is no “ideological reason for it.” But if the Russians feel threatened enough, they will do something. The worst thing you can possible to do is provoke a wild animal. Hit them with enough sticks over and over and that animal will attack.