Damon Wilson is more enthusiastic about NATO expansion than Romney seems to be:
The goal should be for this summit to advance, not set back, the candidacies of Macedonia, Montenegro, Georgia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
First, the aspirants have earned it. Each has demonstrated it is able to contribute to security by providing forces to Afghanistan, developing needed capabilities and following NATO’s “smart defense” model of cooperating with neighbors on joint defense projects.
None of these aspirants would contribute much to allied security, some of them would be security liabilities, and all four are still falling far short of the political standards that NATO expects of its members. Bosnia is a dysfunctional international ward. It can scarcely govern itself, so what possible value does it add to the alliance? Macedonia is classed as a “partly free” country according to Freedom House, which is the same classification Bosnia and Georgia receive. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index for 2011, Macedonia and Montenegro are near the bottom of the “flawed democracy” category (Montenegro dropped six spots in the rankings from the previous year), and Bosnia and Georgia remain in the “hybrid regime” category. All four states’ limited political reforms have stagnated or eroded in recent years. No doubt all of them have been eager to demonstrate their usefulness by sending their soldiers to serve on a mission that long ago ceased to make sense as a NATO operation, but that is no reason to press ahead with the bad idea of bringing them closer to being alliance members. It’s particularly unfair to keep stringing the Georgians along with promises of an eventual membership that is not going to happen.