|About the Book|
Throughout the Cold War, the NATO allies and the Soviet Union faced each other as adversaries, constantly preparing for and investing enormous resources against the real possibility of a major armed conflict in Europe and the North Atlantic region.MoreThroughout the Cold War, the NATO allies and the Soviet Union faced each other as adversaries, constantly preparing for and investing enormous resources against the real possibility of a major armed conflict in Europe and the North Atlantic region. Thankfully, the end of the Cold War changed all that. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union almost 15 years ago, NATO subsequently opened its doors to any member of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact willing to join the alliance and able to meet its entry criteria. Since that time, 10 countries-all former Soviet satellites- have joined NATOs ranks through two rounds of expansion. During this time, and despite palpable Russian discomfort with the prospect of the alliance drawing ever closer to its borders, NATO-Russian relations have been marked by unprecedented and increasing cooperation in a number of different fields and venues. There is, however, a good chance the alliance may undertake yet another round of expansion in the future, to include the possibility of offering membership to countries that share significant borders as well as long-standing historic and cultural ties with Russia. In addition, an increasingly self-confident Russia is now attempting to exert greater political and economic influence in the Eurasian region and to once again be seen as a world power. How can NATO effectively deal with these dynamics and continue to work cooperatively with Russia? In this paper, Lt Col Gordy Hendrickson offers some answers. He examines the recent history of the relationship and the Russian perspectives on that history and addresses many of the potentially contentious issues still facing NATO and Russia. He then outlines a useful framework for interaction between the two sides-a framework which can form the foundation for concrete actions and programs to continue down the path of mutual cooperation. Colonel Hendrickson concludes by proposing several practical steps the alliance can take to continue to effectively work with Russia and keep the relationship moving forward.