‘Case of the Week’ 4: Freeze NATO Expansion

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1AC: Freeze NATO Expansion

By Alex Macdonald

With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact, NATO was left devoid of its original purpose. Instead of peacefully dissolving, NATO has chosen to continue existence. Unfortunately, this decision has lead to the retention of a Cold War mindset in NATO policy-making which is damaging and could potentially destroy our vitally important relations with Russia. For this reason we stand Resolved: that the United States federal government should significantly reform its policy toward Russia.

Let’s start with some important…

Definitions

Significantly: “by a large amount, or in a way that is easily noticeable” (Macmillan Dictionary, accessed June 2010, http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/significantly)

Toward: “in the direction of” (Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 2010, http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/towards?view=uk)

Now let’s look at current state of NATO and US policy and how it is unnecessary, in…

Inherency

1. NATO policy is expansion

NATO website, Accessed July 2010, “NATO enlargement”, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49212.htm

NATO’s “open door policy” is based upon Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, which states that membership is open to any “European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”. The enlargement of the Alliance is an ongoing and dynamic process.  Since the Alliance was created in 1949, its membership has grown from the 12 founding members to today’s 28 members through six rounds of enlargement in 1952, 1955, 1982, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

2. US policy is expansion

Voice of America (Prominent news source), January 29, 2010, “Clinton Calls Russia Partner While Defending NATO Enlargement”, http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Clinton-in-Paris-for-European-Security-Speech-83022107.html

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday defended the process of NATO expansion while saying former Cold War rival Moscow is no longer an adversary but a partner.

3. Russia is no threat to NATO countries

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

This is a country strong enough to pummel weak neighbors like Georgia, but one that shouldn’t worry Europe, which spends roughly four times more. Balance of power theory tells us that if Russia grows more threatening, the members of the European Union-now collectively richer than the U.S.-will respond by investing more on defense than their current average of 2 percent of gdp, and by further integrating their military capacity.

This archaic policy unnecessarily endangers the US be bringing about the following…

Harms

1. Unnecessary tension

A) Expansion enflames Russian militarism and damages relations

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansion”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf [brackets added]

But he [Obama] ought to reconsider nato expansion more generally. No less a Russia expert than George F. Kennan warned in 1997 that it would constitute the “most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era,” because it would inflame Russian militarism, stifle democracy, and generally “impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”

B) Threat to Russian security

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saw things differently. In August, as The New York Times reported, Putin made his case plainly: Russia viewed “the appearance of a powerful military bloc” on its borders “as a direct threat” to its security. “The claim that this process is not directed against Russia will not suffice,” Mr. Putin said. “National security is not based on promises.”

2. Unnecessary Risk

A) US obligated to defend NATO members

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

As noted, the United States is obligated to defend any NATO member that is the victim of aggression.

B) Could be drawn into wars where we have no interest

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas Congressman, presidential candidate), April 2008, “No More NATO Members”, http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul474.html

This NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts as unrelated to our national interest as the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. The idea that American troops might be forced to fight and die to prevent a small section of Georgia from seceding is absurd and disturbing.

C) Expansion = harder to defend countries

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

Expansion of NATO eastward, however, is something else altogether. The farther east one goes, the greater the potential Russian military threat and the harder the NATO conventional defense. As already noted, with regard to the Baltic states, it is difficult to imagine how NATO could mount an effective conventional defense at all.

D) Impact: Risk of nuclear war dramatically increased

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

The extent of the U.S. obligation to defend its NATO allies should not be underestimated. If they are attacked, we must defend them, or we will be dishonored. And if we cannot defend them by conventional means, we shall have to initiate nuclear war. That is what NATO means. That is why we refused Soviet entreaties during the 1980s to adopt a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons. We did not want to initiate nuclear war, and we deployed large conventional forces in Europe to forestall the possibility that we would have to initiate nuclear war. But we never disavowed the option. The U.S. obligation under NATO involves the initiation of nuclear war if there is no other way to defend a NATO member under attack. It should go without saying–but it nevertheless needs to be said, since advocates of NATO enlargement seem determined to ignore the point–that this is not a commitment to be extended lightly.

3. Economic catastrophe

Ivan Eland (Ph.D. in Public Policy, senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute), May 25, 2010, “Why NATO Expansion Is a Mistake”, http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/052510a.html

Albright’s report again illustrates how irresponsible it has been to induct into NATO so many new countries so close to Russia. She and her panel seem to be backhandedly opening a vast sinkhole of new spending on actually defending these nations – at a time when budget deficits are out of control in many NATO countries (including the U.S.) and could bankrupt some of them (Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy). Yet, even in the unlikely event that more American and allied money is spent to defend all of these added countries, Frederick the Great’s maxim still holds: To defend everything is to defend nothing.

Taking these risks and submitting ourselves to these destructive problems is wholly unnecessary, for which reason we propose the…

Plan

Agency: Congress, the president, and any necessary federal agencies

Mandate 1: US policy will be to permanently freeze NATO expansion

Mandate 2: Mandate 1 will only be reversed should Russia begin to pose a significant military threat to current NATO members

Enforcement: US federal government

Timeline: Immediately

Now let’s look at why this plan works under…

Solvency

1. Relations depend on ending expansion

Roger McDermott (Senior Fellow on Eurasian Military Affairs for the Jamestown Foundation), February 2010, Jamestown Foundation, “New Russian Military Doctrine Opposes NATO Enlargement”, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=36023&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=4835e7096f

President Barack Obama’s “reset” policy vis-Russia faces longer-term challenges, particularly in relation to the issue of NATO enlargement. The new Russian military doctrine defining NATO enlargement as the main external military danger confronting the country is unsurprising; it confirms the anti-NATO trend in Russian security documents that has developed since 1993. Advocates of the reset must now hope that the doctrine turns out to be a PR exercise, rather than reflecting dogma: otherwise future NATO-Russia relations will depend on the willingness of the Alliance to abandon its enlargement commitment given to Georgia and Ukraine in Bucharest in April 2008.

2. NATO uses consensus for decision making, meaning any member can veto

Congressional Research Service, May 2003, “NATO’s Decision-Making Procedure”, http://www.fas.org/man/crs/RS21510.pdf

“The NAC [The North Atlantic Council, the senior governing body of NATO,] achieves consensus through a process in which no government states its objection. A formal vote in which governments state their position is not taken. During the Kosovo conflict, for example, it was clear to all governments that Greece was immensely uncomfortable with a decision to go to war. NATO does not require a government to vote in favor of a conflict, but rather to object explicitly if it opposes such a decision. Athens chose not to object, knowing its allies wished to take military action against Serbia. In contrast to NATO, the EU seeks unanimity on key issues. Unanimity characterizes EU decision-making when, for example, new members are invited to join, or revisions to the Union’s governing treaties must be adopted.”

Despite the fact that the Cold War is over and Russia has been eager for cooperation and friendship, current US policy is pushing NATO’s membership aggressively closer toward Russia’s borders. The next countries on NATO’s shortlist (Ukraine Georgia, etc) are directly on Russia’s borders. The US has always asserted its superiority over its American neighbors through the Monroe Doctrine and other policies. There is no reason to look on an otherwise friendly Russia’s attempted border-sphere of influence as an act aggression toward NATO members. Expansion is a foolish and unnecessary policy based on groundless and disproven fears and thus should stopped. I’m now ready for cross-examination…

Backup: NATO Expansion

INHERENCY

Russia considers NATO expansion a national threat

Reuters, February 5, 2010, “Russia names NATO expansion as national threat”, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6144LA20100205

President Dmitry Medvedev approved Friday a new military doctrine identifying NATO expansion as a national threat and reaffirming Russia’s right to use nuclear weapons if the country’s existence is threatened.

Broken promises

Ivan Eland (Ph.D. in Public Policy, senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute), December 1, 2008, The Independent Institute, “Heed Russia’s Warnings About Further NATO Expansion”, http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2382

After promising Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that if Germany were reunited within NATO, the alliance would not expand, the United States then broke this promise and attempted to grab all the territory in Europe that it could before the Russian bear once again became strong. That has not happened and the humiliated and angry Russian public is pressing Russia’s leaders to take a strong position vis-the United States.

NATO outdated

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas Congressman, presidential candidate), April 2008, “No More NATO Members”, http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul474.html

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution calling for the further expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia. NATO is an organization whose purpose ended with the end of its Warsaw Pact adversary. When NATO struggled to define its future after the Cold War, it settled on attacking a sovereign state, Yugoslavia, which had neither invaded nor threatened any NATO member state.

NATO policy is expansion

NATO website, Accessed July 2010, “NATO enlargement”, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49212.htm

NATO’s “open door policy” is based upon Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, which states that membership is open to any “European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”. The enlargement of the Alliance is an ongoing and dynamic process.  Since the Alliance was created in 1949, its membership has grown from the 12 founding members to today’s 28 members through six rounds of enlargement in 1952, 1955, 1982, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

US policy is expansion

Voice of America (Prominent news source), January 29, 2010, “Clinton Calls Russia Partner While Defending NATO Enlargement”, http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Clinton-in-Paris-for-European-Security-Speech-83022107.html

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday defended the process of NATO expansion while saying former Cold War rival Moscow is no longer an adversary but a partner.

Obama supports expansion

New Europe (European weekly magazine), March 30, 2009, “Obama wants NATO expansion and closer Russian ties”, http://www.neurope.eu/articles/93756.php

US President Barack Obama said he backs the expansion of NATO to European countries aspiring to join the alliance but pledged to work towards reinvigorating US-Russian relations, a difficult combination since Russia opposes NATO bringing in those countries and has sounded ominous warnings if any attempt is made.

Congress pushes for expansion

Congressional Research Service, April 14, 2009, “NATO Enlargement: Albania, Croatia, and Possible Future Candidatesëþ_”, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34701.pdf

The Senate has assented to all five rounds of NATO enlargement. Congress has played a particularly active role in shaping the alliance’s eastward expansion since the end of the Cold War. In the NATO Participation Act of 1994 (title II of P.L. 103-447), Congress for the first time authorized the president both to assist designated former Soviet Bloc countries to become full NATO members and to provide excess defense articles, international military education and training, and foreign military financing assistance to these countries. In subsequent legislation in 1996, 1998, and 2002, Congress further encouraged and endorsed NATO’s eastward enlargement, while outlining the conditions under which such enlargement should take place.

US advocates Georgia and Ukraine membership

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

The United States has consistently advocated nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine. In spring 2008 the George W. Bush administration pushed for Membership Action Plans-the path to membership, for both nations. Our core nato allies, with Germany and France leading the way, blocked the effort, a move that in retrospect might have prevented August’s dustup between Russia and Georgia from escalating into a nuclear standoff. Russia’s move into Georgia provoked an outpouring of American outrage. Then-candidate Barack Obama came out in favor of nato accession for both nations, along with the bulk of the American foreign policy establishment. Obama’s support was based on the idea that bringing Georgia into nato “in no way threatens the legitimate defense interests of Georgia’s neighbors.”

SIGNIFICANCE: COST

Economic catastrophe

Ivan Eland (Ph.D. in Public Policy, senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute), May 25, 2010, “Why NATO Expansion Is a Mistake”, http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/052510a.html

Albright’s report again illustrates how irresponsible it has been to induct into NATO so many new countries so close to Russia. She and her panel seem to be backhandedly opening a vast sinkhole of new spending on actually defending these nations – at a time when budget deficits are out of control in many NATO countries (including the U.S.) and could bankrupt some of them (Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy). Yet, even in the unlikely event that more American and allied money is spent to defend all of these added countries, Frederick the Great’s maxim still holds: To defend everything is to defend nothing.

NATO = European welfare at American expense

Prof. Melvyn B. Krauss (PhD in economics, professor emeritus of economics at New York University), 1998, Hoover Digest, “NATO Expansion? It’s Just Welfare for Europe”, No 3, http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7296

Advocates of expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization argued that inviting the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance would enhance the collective security of Western democracies. But Americans have every right to be wary of the collective security concept. The history of NATO has been one of Americans doing the securing and Europeans doing the collecting. In the post-World War II period, for example, the Western Europeans constructed the most elaborate welfare states known to man with the resources they would otherwise have had to spend on their own defense had the United States not done the defense spending for them.

Expansion = more US costs

Prof. Melvyn B. Krauss (PhD in economics, professor emeritus of economics at New York University), 1998, Hoover Digest, “NATO Expansion? It’s Just Welfare for Europe”, No 3, http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7296

Like the alliance itself, NATO expansion also involves implicit income transfer from the United States to Europe. Securing Eastern Europe is essentially (though not exclusively) a European problem. But the Western Europeans would be able to transfer a disproportionate share of the cost to the United States by making the protection of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland a NATO responsibility. Ironically, the Europeans have an enthusiastic ally in Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Secretary Albright is eager to create the impression of U.S. activity and leadership in world affairs-which she mistakenly associates with supporting NATO expansion. Western Europeans are always willing to follow Washington’s lead when Uncle Sam pays their defense bills. Not only does NATO expansion involve implicit income transfer from the United States to Western Europe, but it takes the heat off the Western Europeans for delaying the Eastern European countries’ membership in the European Union. The West, after all, is under a strong moral obligation to do something for the Eastern European countries. Excluding them from the EU has increased pressure for NATO expansion.

Expansion – no justification, only liability

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

Fearing that the Soviet Union-by conquest or revolution-could seize enough of Europe’s industrial might to threaten the U.S., Americans sent aid via the Marshall Plan and troops via nato. U.S. intervention restored the balance of power, serving its own interests. No similar rationale justifies defending Georgia and Ukraine. In fact, allying with these countries simply creates defense liabilities for nato members. Alliances are not free. Credible defense commitments require spending and troops, particularly to defend long borders like Ukraine’s. With much of nato’s manpower tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan, new commitments may require new recruits, an expensive proposition in an era when the cost of military manpower is quickly appreciating.

A/T ‘ Won’t anger Russia‘: Precedent – If Russia tolerates it will cost US even more

Prof. Melvyn B. Krauss (PhD in economics, professor emeritus of economics at New York University), 1998, Hoover Digest, “NATO Expansion? It’s Just Welfare for Europe”, No 3, http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7296

Finally, there is the issue of NATO expansion and Russia. The conventional argument against NATO expansion is that it will offend Russia, encourage its darker elements, and generally damage U.S.-Russian relations. The correct argument is that NATO expansion will lead to needless transfers of wealth to Russia to compensate for the supposed damage it inflicts on our former enemy. Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s “toleration” of NATO expansion has led Washington to reciprocate not only by sending him billions of dollars in aid but also by being tolerant of Yeltsin’s intolerable interventions in places like Iraq. The Clinton administration has been altogether too solicitous of Yeltsin and his problems. NATO expansion must be considered-and should be rejected-on its own merits, not on whether it offends Russia and its current leaders.

SIGNIFICANCE: EXPANSION UNECESSARY

Expansion = imprudent alliances

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

These are precisely the sorts of allies a prudent superpower would avoid. They offer few benefits, and come carrying pre-existing territorial conflicts with a stronger neighbor. Ukraine appears to be living up to its reputation for political instability, dangerously verging on the precipice of collapse in the wake of the global financial meltdown. Moreover, a recent poll indicated that 63 percent of Ukrainians do not even want nato membership. Georgia currently has Russian troops on its territory and is run by a leader with a demonstrated capacity for recklessness. nato backing will only encourage him.

A/T “We need to secure Georgian pipeline:’ Russia can’t afford to cut it off

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

The benefits of expanding nato to Ukraine and Georgia are uncertain. Some argue that nato needs to defend Georgia’s gas and oil pipelines. The fear is that the more supply Russia controls, the more it can coerce Europeans by threatening to shut off their power. This analysis ignores the simple fact that energy suppliers also depend on consumers. The oil and gas sector accounted for about two-thirds of Russia’s export revenues in 2007, according to the World Bank. That makes it hard to shut off supply, or credibly threaten to do so. Supply threats are more likely drive buyers to invest in new energy sources like liquefied natural gas than to curry Russian favor.

A/T ‘Helps arms industry:’ Burden on US taxpayers

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas Congressman, presidential candidate), April 2008, “No More NATO Members”, http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul474.html

NATO expansion only benefits the US military industrial complex, which stands to profit from expanded arms sales to new NATO members. The “modernization” of former Soviet militaries in Ukraine and Georgia will mean tens of millions in sales to US and European military contractors. The US taxpayer will be left holding the bill, as the US government will subsidize most of the transactions. Providing US military guarantees to Ukraine and Georgia can only further strain our military.

SIGNIFICANCE: DAMAGED RELATIONS

Expansion = worst policy: enflames Russian militarism and damages relations

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

But he [Obama] ought to reconsider nato expansion more generally. No less a Russia expert than George F. Kennan warned in 1997 that it would constitute the “most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era,” because it would inflame Russian militarism, stifle democracy, and generally “impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”

Expansion = threat to Russia

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saw things differently. In August, as The New York Times reported, Putin made his case plainly: Russia viewed “the appearance of a powerful military bloc” on its borders “as a direct threat” to its security. “The claim that this process is not directed against Russia will not suffice,” Mr. Putin said. “National security is not based on promises.”

Russia not a threat

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

The story U.S. analysts tell to justify another round of NATO expansion is that Russia-fueled by energy wealth and Vladimir Putin-has reinvigorated its economy, cast off any pretenses of democracy and repaired its military. According to this scenario, Moscow is now poised to overrun its democratic neighbors and reclaim the Soviet empire, all the while gathering energy supplies to use to blackmail Western clients. Hitler and Stalin taught us that aggressors must be stopped early, so it follows that we must now contain Russia by extending security guarantees to its neighbors. This narrative is devoid of strategic logic. Leaving aside nuclear weapons, which deterrence renders unusable, Russia is not a great power, and is incapable of threatening Western Europe, let alone the United States. The World Bank predicts that Russia’s economy will shrink by 4.5 percent this year, and its unemployment will hit 12 percent. Even close to the height of oil prices, Russia possessed a gdp only roughly equivalent to that of Italy and Portugal combined. Its stock market is down by more than half since this time last year. Its defense spending totals about $70 billion annually (less than what the U.S. spends on defense research and investment alone), for what remains a second-rate military.

Russia lacks Soviet ambitions

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

This is a country strong enough to pummel weak neighbors like Georgia, but one that shouldn’t worry Europe, which spends roughly four times more. Balance of power theory tells us that if Russia grows more threatening, the members of the European Union-now collectively richer than the U.S.-will respond by investing more on defense than their current average of 2 percent of gdp, and by further integrating their military capacity.

A/T ‘Russia will become a threat’: Balence of power solves future threat

Justin Logan (Master of International relations, associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) and Benjamin H. Friedman (Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research fellow at the Cato Institute), April 2009, Cato Institute, “Hitting the ‘stop’ button on NATO expansionssibl”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/friedman_logan_hittingstopbuttononnatoexpansion.pdf

This is a country strong enough to pummel weak neighbors like Georgia, but one that shouldn’t worry Europe, which spends roughly four times more. Balance of power theory tells us that if Russia grows more threatening, the members of the European Union-now collectively richer than the U.S.-will respond by investing more on defense than their current average of 2 percent of gdp, and by further integrating their military capacity.

A/T ‘NATO’s new purpose:’ Still against Russia

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

That, of course, is the nub of the argument. Despite all the rhetoric about the end of the Cold War, a new NATO, and so forth, the fundamental purpose of NATO is to provide an American security guarantee to countries that are afraid of Russia. To be sure, those fears are not baseless. We cannot know how the political and economic turbulence in Russia will turn out, and certainly some statements by Russian leaders provide cause for concern.

SIGNIFICANCE: DEFENSE REQUIRED

Frontline: Expansion = Increased nuclear threat

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

Thus, the paradox of NATO expansion is that those countries most likely to enter NATO in a first round of enlargement–the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland–are the least threatened because they are farthest away from Russia. Their entry, however, is likely to increase the threat to the most vulnerable countries. Moreover, their entry is also likely to increase the Russian nuclear threat to them. So long as they are not NATO members, they are not likely to be targets of Russian nuclear forces. But if Russia makes good on threats to increase reliance on nuclear weapons in response to NATO expansion, it is likely that the new members of NATO will be on the target list. And the United States cannot protect them against nuclear attack.

Link 1: US obligated to defend NATO members

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

As noted, the United States is obligated to defend any NATO member that is the victim of aggression.

Link 2: Could get US in wars where we have no interest

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas Congressman, presidential candidate), April 2008, “No More NATO Members”, http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul474.html

This NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts as unrelated to our national interest as the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. The idea that American troops might be forced to fight and die to prevent a small section of Georgia from seceding is absurd and disturbing.

Alternate Link 2: Expansion forces Russia to respond

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

If NATO expands to the east, Russia will probably respond by putting pressure on its closest neighbors. In December 1994, a Russian scholar at Moscow’s USA and Canada Institute warned that “Russia may meet NATO’s advance eastward with its own advance westward.” Warnings like that, it must be stressed, come from Russians who want to prevent a confrontation and who are telling Americans what the reaction is likely to be in their country. “In these conditions, quite moderate politicians will favor a remilitarization of the country,” argues Dmitri Trenin, a Russian foreign policy specialist at the Moscow office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The formation of a military and political alliance within the [Commonwealth of Independent States] . . . will become a priority trend of post-Soviet integration.”

Link 3: Expansion = harder to defend

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

Expansion of NATO eastward, however, is something else altogether. The farther east one goes, the greater the potential Russian military threat and the harder the NATO conventional defense. As already noted, with regard to the Baltic states, it is difficult to imagine how NATO could mount an effective conventional defense at all.

Brink 1: Defense of countries bordering Russia leads to Nuclear war

Ivan Eland (Ph.D. in Public Policy, senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute), May 25, 2010, “Why NATO Expansion Is a Mistake”, http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/052510a.html

Getting into a war with a nuclear-armed Russia over countries that were not regarded as vital to U.S. interests after World War II – when the United States wisely let the Soviet Union, which had just been devastated by a Nazi invasion, have a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe as a buffer – l.does not make the U.S. taxpayer more secure, especially when Russia is a mere shadow of the Soviet Union. But proximity does matter, as U.S. impotence during the recent Russo-Georgian War in 2008 showed. Similarly, an effective American conventional defense of allied countries like the Baltics against locally superior Russian forces would be difficult. Defense of the Baltics, non-strategic for U.S. security, could quickly escalate to a nuclear exchange, which might very well threaten the U.S. homeland. How all of this makes the American taxpayer more secure is doubtful.

Brink 2: If harder to protect conventionally, nuclear war more likely

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

The extent of the U.S. obligation to defend its NATO allies should not be underestimated. If they are attacked, we must defend them, or we will be dishonored. And if we cannot defend them by conventional means, we shall have to initiate nuclear war. That is what NATO means. That is why we refused Soviet entreaties during the 1980s to adopt a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons. We did not want to initiate nuclear war, and we deployed large conventional forces in Europe to forestall the possibility that we would have to initiate nuclear war. But we never disavowed the option. The U.S. obligation under NATO involves the initiation of nuclear war if there is no other way to defend a NATO member under attack. It should go without saying–but it nevertheless needs to be said, since advocates of NATO enlargement seem determined to ignore the point–that this is not a commitment to be extended lightly.

SIGNIFICANCE: PUSHES RUSSIA TOWARD CHINA

Expansion pushes Russia toward China

Stanley Kober (PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, research fellow at the Cato Institute), 1997, “Cato Handbook for Congress, 105th Congress”, http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-43.html

Over the last few years, Russia’s relations with China have been growing warmer. Although no one should desire hostility between two major powers, the basis of their rapprochement seems to be their mutual resentment of U.S. policy. NATO expansion is evidently one of the reasons Moscow is drawing closer to Beijing. ”

SOLVENCY

Relations depend on ending expansion

Roger McDermott (Senior Fellow on Eurasian Military Affairs for the Jamestown Foundation), February 2010, Jamestown Foundation, “New Russian Military Doctrine Opposes NATO Enlargement”, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=36023&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=4835e7096f

President Barack Obama’s “reset” policy vis-Russia faces longer-term challenges, particularly in relation to the issue of NATO enlargement. The new Russian military doctrine defining NATO enlargement as the main external military danger confronting the country is unsurprising; it confirms the anti-NATO trend in Russian security documents that has developed since 1993. Advocates of the reset must now hope that the doctrine turns out to be a PR exercise, rather than reflecting dogma: otherwise future NATO-Russia relations will depend on the willingness of the Alliance to abandon its enlargement commitment given to Georgia and Ukraine in Bucharest in April 2008.

US critical vote in NATO

Ivo H. Daalder (PhD in political science, former senior fellow at Brookings, former asociate professor of Public Affars at University of Maryland, currently US Ambasssodor to NATO), February 15, 1999, “The Future of NATO Enlargement”, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/reports/1999/04_nato_daalder/reportch3.pdf (page 55-56)

As always, the critical vote on NATO matters belonged to the United States, which took its time to decide what it wanted (reflecting in part continuing, deep divisions within the Administration about both the wisdom and the extent of the enlargement process).

NATO uses consensus  for decision making, meaning any member can veto

Congressional Research Service, May 2003, “NATO’s Decision-Making Procedure”, http://www.fas.org/man/crs/RS21510.pdf

The NAC achieves consensus through a process in which no government states its objection. A formal vote in which governments state their position is not taken. During the Kosovo conflict, for example, it was clear to all governments that Greece was immensely uncomfortable with a decision to go to war. NATO does not require a government to vote in favor of a conflict, but rather to object explicitly if it opposes such a decision. Athens chose not to object, knowing its allies wished to take military action against Serbia. In contrast to NATO, the EU seeks unanimity on key issues. Unanimity characterizes EU decision-making when, for example, new members are invited to join, or revisions to the Union’s governing treaties must be adopted.

SQ = consensus process

Agim Selami (Management Coordinator at Analytica, a Macedonian public policy think tank), March 2009, EnlargeEU Newsletter, “Possib;le reform in NATO – “Consensus minus one”?”, http://www.analyticamk.org/newsletters/march2009/Newsletter_MARCH_2009.pdf

In light of these events the Canadian Defense Minister Peter McCay recently came up with a proposal to revisit the consensus process in NATO, namely to adopt a “consensus minus one” formula when admitting new members into the Alliance. This means that at least two countries would have to object the accession of a new member which would result in avoiding blockades motivated by (unreasonable) bilateral disputes, especially disputes that have no prospects in being resolved swiftly.

Precedence: Greece vetoed Macedonia’s invitation

Agim Selami (Management Coordinator at Analytica, a Macedonian public policy think tank), March 2009, EnlargeEU Newsletter, “Possible reform in NATO – “Consensus minus one”?”, http://www.analyticamk.org/newsletters/march2009/Newsletter_MARCH_2009.pdf

Due to Greece’s veto Macedonia was not invited to join NATO at the Alliance’s Summit in Bucharest despite its success to meet all of the necessary membership criteria. Citing the principle of solidarity and consensus, the allies gave in to the Greek pressure and postponed the invitation to Macedonia.

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2 Responses to ‘Case of the Week’ 4: Freeze NATO Expansion

  1. Anna says:

    How is this topical?

    • cogdebate says:

      NATO basically exists to oppose Russia – or used to, anyway – so expansion is a policy towards Russia, so the argument goes.

      This case appears in several other sourcebooks, some of which have more complex topicality analyzes. It’s debatable, but (IMHO) winnable if you’re good.

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