There is no better way for NATO to move forward than by extending full membership invitations to Albania, Croatia and Macedonia and by beginning the process to bring Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance in the future through membership action plans (MAPs). ~Donald Rumsfeld
I can think of at least five better ways NATO could move forward: 1) NATO could reduce its membership to those countries that are actually capable of consistently fielding overseas deployments of some meaningful size for joint NATO missions; 2) It could disband entirely as an outdated relic of the Cold War; 3) It could return to being a defensive alliance for the sake of collective European security, rather than a club for Washington-approved regimes (WARs); 4) It could spent its time building up the military capabilities of existing members before extending useless defense promises to countries we have no intention of defending against attack; 5) It could disband entirely as an outdated relic of the Cold War. Guess which one I prefer?
We all understand, or at least I hope we understand, that NATO expansion is simply a boondoggle. No one has any intention of going to war for the territorial integrity of Georgia, especially when its territorial integrity is already compromised and serves as a perfect flashpoint between the major powers, and there is nothing more foolish than to make defense pledges that you don’t have any interest or desire to keep. The only people who benefit from this arrangement are defense contractors, who do good business selling new member states weapons they don’t need to defend against threats that don’t exist, and NATO bureaucrats who need to keep justifying their existence to their home governments. Unlike the last two rounds of expansion, which have sailed through without much debate at all, this round must be stopped dead in its tracks. Bringing in the Baltics last time was bad enough, but Ukraine and Georgia are simply out of the question. The other three serve no purpose in the alliance and would create any number of unnecessary complications for it, as Albania and Croatia have ties that are too close to Bosnia and Kosovo while Macedonia is internally unstable and its membership in NATO would be an affront to Greece, one of the earliest members of the alliance.
Rumsfeld’s proposal is the worst NATO-related idea since Giuliani talked about bringing in Japan. It is such a bad idea that he must obscure the reality about these countries, particularly Ukraine and Georgia:
With respect to Georgia and Ukraine, both nations are democratic, politically mature, relatively stable and committed to the international community after the Orange and Rose revolutions in 2003 and 2004.
If you believe that, he also has a bridge to sell you at a very reasonable price.