NATO expansion and provoking Russia

As many know there was a NATO meeting summit, and they decided not to expand NATO into Ukraine and Georgia (for now, but will in the future)

I’m really concerned about NATO expansion. While I’m not an expert, I have studied some Russian history, and so I know that the Russians are paraniod about their borders. They keep on telling us that they will regard it as a direct threat, but I don’t think people are taking Russia seriously.

The whole thing upsets me because I believe that it was the NATO expansions and the color revolutions etc, that are really hurting Russias’ push to democracy. Because if Russiasn feel threatened well.

I’m just very concerned. I don’t understand why we feel the need to make our relationship worse with Russia, when I think the relationship is capable of being better. Thankfully countries like Germany had the smarts to say no to expanding NATO.

theaustralian.news.com.au…-26040,00.html

I don’t know much about the situation. How does it look from Ukraine or Georgia’s perspective? Would being in NATO help them?

Russia is hurting russia’s push to democracy, not NATO expansion. If Russia don’t like the expansion, let them reinstitute the WARSAW PACT…oh, yeah, that’s right, NO ONE WANTS THE WARSAW PACT.

US Foriegn Policy and NATO policy CAN NOT be dictated by the whims of a former KGB head. Russia isn’t paranoid…PUTIN is parandoid.

Not really, except to poke Russia in the eye. Given how paranoid the Russians are, not a good idea.

Why is there still a NATO, anyway? The reason for NATO was the threat from the USSR.
Now, looking at the world from Moscow you see that your former glory has gone down the drain; you’re rebounding economically but you still have huge problems even there. Militarily your former Warsaw Pact countries have joined NATO and George Bush wants to sign up the last buffers, Georgia & Ukraine.
What the hell are the Russians supposed to think?

What would we think if some foreign power got most of South America to sign onto an alliance and was getting Mexico and Canada to join? Sure they* say* they want peace – maybe they even mean it. But the military has to worry about capabilities.

I don’t really know much NATO expansion and whether or not it is a good thing. But this statement is particularly troublesome. Russia’s ailing experiment with democracy isn’t failing because NATO is expanding. It is failing because of the Russian people’s choice in leadership. That of course, only touches the surface. As anyone who has taken a course in democracy or comparative politics will know, the development of liberal democracy is a difficult feat that requires several criteria and a lot of development and widespread support from the citizenry, among other things. The expansion of NATO is not, by itself, anywhere near sufficient to cause democracy to fail in Russia.

The Russians are supposed to think that many of the countries which they formerly controlled by force don’t want it to happen again and they are trying to join NATO, which is a mutual defense pact, to make sure it doesn’t. Putin and the ruling class in Russia are bent out of shape about this as well as the stationing of anti-missile defenses in their former slave states. Even though the defenses are for protection from attack by middle eastern countries right now, they could also be used against Russia should it try to regain control of these states sometime in the future. The mere fact that Putin is upset should tell you something about his future plans.

Sorry to disappoint you, but the evil George Bush and the evil United States do not control NATO. Every member has an equal vote on whether to accept new members and Bush’s wishes on two countries were just denied. NATO is not a “foreign power,” but, as previously stated, a mutual defense organization. A country has to want to become a part of it and the other countries have to accept it as a member, neither process being controlled by the United States.

I think there are already one or more organizations of countries in the western hemisphere besides the OAS, and they’ve caused such an uproar here that I don’t even know what they are. I also think that Chavez is trying to organize one with the stated purpose of destroying the US, and that would be a different story and certainly cause for concern. NATO has no such intentions regarding Russia of which I am aware.

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.

Russia is a nation that is just full of natural resources. I’ll bet that lots of these “international” corporations would just love to get their hands on that wealth. The current government of Russia expelled a good number of criminal oligarch resource grabbers. Yeah, that’s right, when the Communist government fell, the nations very valuable natural resources mysteriously fell into the hands of a small, elate, group of titans. They quickly became billionaires, by plundering the nation’s wealth. (One of these plunderers was Michael Khodorkovsky. The New York Times was just heartbroken when he was forced to give that plundered wealth back to Russia) President Putin is extremely popular with the Russian people. Under his rule, there finally is some prosperity for the general population. The situation in that nation improved dramatically since that drunken crook, Boris Yeltsin, left office and those oligarch criminals fled the scene. I would bet that their situation with freedom and human rights is better in Russia than in those countries that NATO controls.
What benefits some is usually at the expense of others. The news media in this nation is clearly on the side of those who want to plunder Russia. The news media in this country also, very actively, bashes the Catholic Church and its priests. Why do you folks believe what the news media tells you about Russia, while doubting what this same media says about the Church?

That’s it too. I know enough about Russian history, to know that Putin is probably one of the best “rulers” leaders they ever had. Now, that’s kind of damning him with faint praise, because Russia has had terrible, terrible leaders. But thinks in Russia are a million times better than they were under Yeltsin, USSR, or Tsarric times. And Russians also have more freedom than they once did. The author of Gulag Archipalgo recently in an interview a year ago defended Putin. He said basically what I said. No Russia isn’t a democracy, it’s just starting to become one. But that Putin in many ways literally saved Russia. This doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about for example the fact that there was no real opposition election, in this cycle. But I’m okay with the concept of giving Russia time.

The Russians are far more attached to the old republics than we are to Cuba. The “gathering of Russia” has medieval roots far deeper than Manifest Destiny.

And it makes sense, geopolitically. The Central Asian Republics are naturally and economically attuned to Russia. Making them part of NATO causes a huge problem for Russians, for which it’s something between Puerto Rico and Alabama for them.

We can probably get away with it, but there will be a cost.

I forgot to put my news link LOL

But as for Russia being far more attached than the we are to Cuba that’s true. I’m not sure if the Russians really miss trying to keep those areas in check. But one of the problems is there are big Russian minorities in some of those particular states.

For example in Georgia, there are areas that want to break off, and join Russia. (So if we make Georgia part of Nato (eek)

Ukraine is almost evenly divided between Russians and Ukranians. And some countries like Estonia, aren’t treating their Russian minorities well.

And if not war, what it could cost us, is really a potential ally. Russia shares a long border with China, and has reasons to be concerned about China’s growing power, and their borders.

Russia is also concerned about Islamic extremism too. For of all these things, I think that Russians would happily work with the United States even allign with us, potentially…But they aren’t going to do this, if they see our Military alliance encroaching on their borders. I feel like the USA is cutting of their nose to spite their face.

I am not aware of any credible plans to make the Central Asian Republics part of NATO, although they may have ties to other European organizations like OSCE.

I agree - most are not taking Russia seriously, nor should they - the Baltic states were in a similar situation, and Russia somehow survived their admission to NATO without feeling the need for armed conflict.

[quote=bekalc]The whole thing upsets me because I believe that it was the NATO expansions and the color revolutions etc, that are really hurting Russias’ push to democracy. Because if Russiasn feel threatened well.
[/quote]

As others have said, it has been Russian leadership and weak institutions that have hurt the Russian push to democracy. Both of those under Yeltsin allowed for massive corruption that left Russians disillusioned with democracy. Both of those under Putin led the rule of law and free elections to be largely scrapped, with the approval of the populace due to their prior experience. I think external events have little to do with this trend, and the actors in this play will find events to exploit regardless of what happens with NATO.

[quote=bekalc]Thankfully countries like Germany had the smarts to say no to expanding NATO.
[/quote]

Countries like Germany had the smarts because it would hurt their own relations with Russia. This is why I oppose membership for Ukraine, and to a lesser extent Georgia, Moldova, etc. The more states that are in NATO, the more its unwieldy consensus-driven decisionmaking will be held hostage to the interests of a single otherwise insignificant country. The more countries that are members, the more opportunities Russia, or China, or whoever have to pressure a country to influence NATO in its decisions. This is especially true in countries like Ukraine that have strong ties to Russia and are ambivalent toward NATO.

I agree - most are not taking Russia seriously, nor should they - the Baltic states were in a similar situation, and Russia somehow survived their admission to NATO without feeling the need for armed conflict.

Russia wasn’t in the place to handle armed conflict back then… It doesn’t mean though that they won’t prepare themselves to eventually respond.

That’s right. Last time America attacked Canada, we came in and burned down your White House.

Don’t mess with us, eh. :mad:

:stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

Me neither, although Russia may find that they are increasingly attuned to China, which is much closer to them than is the West.

As for NATO expansion, I am glad that France and Germany blocked Bush’s attempt to expand into Ukraine and Georgia. Our president has shown himself to be reckless on too many occasions.

Funny how many people these days accuse Russia of backsliding into “authoritarianism”. Well here is a good test to see who is truly authoritarian… During the Russian election last month and the months before it, there were about 5 political parties, each one was equally shown on the ballot and each was given equal times in debates. Now in the USA in the next few months, anybody wanna name even one 3rd party which will get equal time on either TV or on the ballots?

See what I mean?

I’m not sure I see what you mean, because I’m not convinced your information is reliable. According to the observer mission to Russia of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,

Equal access of the candidates to the media and the public sphere in general has not improved, putting into question the fairness of the election.

Part of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and Bush 41, with the Soviets, on their draw back out of Germany and the Baltic nations, was that we would not expand NATO.

Keep in mind that NATO is a military alliance. So, having nations along the Russian border becoming part of NATO, would be akin to the Russians establishing a military alliance with Mexico, and planting missiles along the Mexican border. Remember the Cuban missile crises?

This administration is merely showing the Russians as well as the world, that we can not be trusted. We will go back on our word just as easily as the Soviet Union or Red China have done. So, when it comes to their foreign policy, the only interest is self-interest.

Also, consider if you would be willing to have your daughter or son killed in a war, defending the Ukraine? Thats what military alliances eventually result in.

Jim

The “Observer mission” in question was from the EU, which itself has a habit of forcing member nations to keep re-voting for a certain issue until that issue is voted in a way in which they are satisfied…

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