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Where Does NATO Enlargement End?
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After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the breakup of the USSR began. But the dissolution did not stop with the 14 Soviet “republics” declaring their independence of Moscow.

Decomposition had only just begun.

Transnistria broke away from Moldova. South Ossetia and Abkhazia seceded from Georgia. Chechnya broke free of Russia but was restored to Moscow’s control after two savage wars. Crimea and the Donbass were severed from Ukraine.

Besides these post-Cold War amputations, assisted by Russia, what do Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have in common?

All seek admission to NATO, and with it Article 5 war guarantees that oblige the United States to wage war against Russia to restore their sovereignty and territorial integrity if attacked.

It is easy to understand why these nations would want the U.S. obligated to fight on their behalf. What is not understandable is why the U.S. would issue such war guarantees. Why would we commit to risk war with a nuclear-armed Russia on behalf of nations no one has ever regarded as vital interests of the United States of America?

Consider how many nations have been admitted to NATO, and thus received U.S. war guarantees, after 1991.

There are 14: Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

These 14 newest members of NATO represent an expansion of U.S. war commitments riskier in ways than the original creation of NATO, when we were obligated to defend 10 nations of Western Europe.

Today, we defend 29 nations, stretching far into Eastern Europe.

Still, further NATO expansion may be in the cards.

As mentioned, Georgia and Ukraine are looking to join NATO and have the U.S. thereby obligated to fight Russia in their defense. Two other nations, Sweden and Finland, are talking of abandoning their traditional neutrality for NATO membership and U.S. war guarantees.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is also a candidate member of NATO. Its capital is Sarajevo, where an assassin’s bullet fired in 1914 killed the Austrian archduke, an incident that led directly to the First World War.

Mikhail Gorbachev, at the end of the Cold War, reportedly told U.S. Secretary of State James Baker that Russia would agree to unification of East and West Germany if the U.S. would guarantee that NATO would not be moved further east.

Baker is said to have told Gorbachev, “Not one inch.”

Whatever the truth, can we not understand why a Russian nationalist like Vladimir Putin would feel his country was being corralled and imperiled, if a NATO alliance created to contain Russia had lately added 14 members, most of which were former allies or republics of the USSR?

As The New York Times editorialized on Monday:

“Mr. Putin’s concerns cannot be entirely dismissed. Were Ukraine to join NATO, the alliance would then have a 1,200-mile land border with Russia, a situation no major power would abide, no matter how loudly the Atlantic alliance claims to be purely defensive.”

Here is the precise language of Article 5.


“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them … shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them … will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith … such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

Apparently, “the North Atlantic area” now extends to the eastern Baltic and the Balkans. If Ukraine and Georgia are admitted to NATO, the North Atlantic area would include the Caucasus, and five of six nations on the Black Sea. Only Russia would be outside NATO.

Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “NATO never promised not to admit new members; it could not and would not.”

But this is nonsense. There is no requirement that the U.S. admit to NATO any or all nations that apply for admission.

For whatever reasons we choose, we can veto any applicant. And avoiding war with Russia might constitute one of those reasons.

With NATO’s continuous post-Cold War expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, America has to ask: If the risk of war with Russia grows with each new member on its borders admitted to NATO, why are we doing this? Is there no red line of Putin’s Russia we will not cross?

Do we believe Putin will indefinitely accept the encirclement and containment of his country by nations united in an alliance created to keep Russia surrounded?

Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan disagreed often but did agree on this: U.S.-NATO war guarantees stopped at the Elbe. Beyond the river in Germany, we battled the USSR with weapons of diplomacy, politics and economics, not weapons of war.

How would we have reacted if, after losing the Cold War, we were treated to Russian warships on Lake Ontario and Moscow giving Canada war guarantees?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, NATO, Russia, Ukraine 
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  1. Where does it end? The Moon, Mars… Jupiter and Saturn’s moons? Maybe?

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  2. Where Does NATO Enlargement End?

    Measure the penis size of World Jewry.

  3. “Why are we doing this?” you ask.

    Because Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, etc generate more than 80% of their revenue from weapons systems, and employ a large number of smart lobbyists in Washington.

  4. Where Does NATO Enlargement End?

    That will never end because wanting a bigger one is human nature:

  5. Notice the bold font

    All seek admission to NATO, and with it Article 5 war guarantees that oblige the United States to wage war against Russia to restore their sovereignty and territorial integrity if attacked.

    used here to pre-sell the narrative of Washington’s dutiful entry into another war? “We” always honor guarantees and fulfill “our” obligations!

    Here are (i) the quoted paragraph of Article 5 with the words truncated by Mr. Buchanan’s ellipses reinserted and (ii) that Article’s second paragraph that he omits entirely:

    [i] The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

    [ii] Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

    If yours becomes America’s next Gold Star Family, don’t forget to thank Mr. Buchanan for his Exceptional! service as the Right jamb of Uncle Sam’s Overton window.

    • Replies: @Exile
  6. It ends when Russia becomes an American colony, broken into smaller “democratic” entities that will allow Wall Street access at the price it wants to pay to all that natural gas, oil, gold, platinum, and timber. It’s always about the Benjamins, baby.

    • Agree: Curmudgeon
  7. Nuclear war is the answer to the question, if the warnings of history are ignored.

    • Agree: Harold Smith
  8. Today, we defend 29 nations, stretching far into Eastern Europe.

    Defend them against what?

    Even if Eastern Europe was threatened by Russia (it is not) treaty obligations would mean nothing in Imperial Washington.

    • Agree: Max Maxwell
  9. Anyone who believes US will defend Ukraine and Georgia against Russia under any circumstances is insane; the US purpose for NATO expansion is to embarrass and humiliate Russia; not for the defense of NATO members Poland and Baltic states. The US has withdrawn all its heavy mechanized divisions from Europe; it clearly has no intention of defending the NATO members admitted after 1999. Biden and top US officials know Ukraine and Georgia will never be admitted to NATO but for political reasons cannot admit this publicly. The clause in Article V ”Such actions it deems necessary” is important. Kiev is crazy if it thinks US would defend it. Quite likely the US would defend Ukraine even if it was in NATO; US bureaucrats would pontificate in Brussels and US would do nothing. The reason US is expanding NATO is to surround Russia; it has no intention of fighting Russia; Kiev and Tbilisi need to stop believing in fantasies about joining NATO and come up with the best compromise with Moscow they can achieve; they will always be on Russia’s border and will always be more important to Russia than to America!

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  10. NATO is a cold war relic. China is the #1 menace, next to Israel’s U.S. Congress.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  11. Exile says:
    @Greta Handel

    Buchanan is citing this in a cautionary sense – that words matter and we’ve committed to “unwise words.” If you’ve ever read any of his books this is pretty obvious. Listen to his audiobook narrations e.g. “State of Emergency” – he’s clearly saying “these treaties are bad, foolish and wrong.”

    Pat misfires fairly often due to residual partisanship and conservatism (e.g. worrying about China too much) but he’s not shilling for interventionists and globohomo.

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  12. Exile says:

    The half of the American public that supposedly supports brinksmanship in Ukraine needs to explain why Russia isn’t putting troops in Tijuana and doing “right of navigation” exercises in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s making no demands for a defense pact between Russia, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela.

    Our Zionist colonial elites’ hollowing and selling of America has done more to erode US security interests than any foreign nation ever has. They will do anything to shift blame and avoid that conversation.

    ZOG is already eyeing the old “Pale of Settlement” as New Zion when the American project fails. Why not kill two goys with one stone and “lets you and him fight” over their new homeland?

    • Agree: Max Maxwell
  13. MarkinLA says:

    Well maybe if Reagan hadn’t filled the government with neocon filth we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  14. Hitmarck says:

    Should have kept the GDR.
    Would be of great use today, we could send them all the communism lovers.

  15. Waiting for solid ground,
    Bear hones its claws to shred the Beast.
    Its will finally found,
    Makes short work of the spongy feast.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
  16. @Exile

    You’ve not refuted my comment — proven by his own words — that Mr. Buchanan has misrepresented Article 5 as a “guarantee” and “obligation” of the USA to wage war.

    Neither the books he wrote years ago nor what he said as a political candidate before that change the fact that he’s now a gatekeeper.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  17. Where Does NATO Enlargement End?

    It ends in WW3, which will probably be a nuclear war. Those who claim that this reckless, expansionist militarism is all about “money” either can’t see or simply refuse to see the Satanic nature of the evil that rules the corrupt West.

    • Agree: SeekerofthePresence
    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  18. SafeNow says:

    At 1:27:20, Fred Astaire explains how the nuclear war started. “On the Beach” 1959. Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Anthony Perkins, Fred Astaire. When this premiered, world leaders attended special showings. Current leaders should view it. Give it a try, friends, if you’ve never seen it. It is free on YouTube. It is about a post-nuclear-war world, in microcosm, in Australia and on a submarine. Hard to watch, but excellent.

    • Agree: follyofwar
    • Thanks: SeekerofthePresence
  19. Yee says:

    “Where Does NATO Enlargement End?”

    It will not as long as the US want to control West Europe… If West Europe become an independent power to the US, it’d be the end of world hegemony.

    So, Europe must be under threat of some nation, and Russia is right for that role. If Russia is reluctant to play the role? Plenty of ways to force them to.

  20. Altai says:

    The conflict with Russia is entirely unnecessary. Both the Russians and Westerners expected Russia to be accepted as an ally and integrated into the Western alliance system or at least not treated as an adversary.

    But a combination of ethnic spite on the part of the people in the state department and then Russia intervening in Syria has made them a full designated enemy.

    Which is crazy geopolitically as this means you push Russia and China into more and more security cooperation like the sale and R&D of weapons, particularly asymmetric weapons like hypersonic missiles. Creating a self-sufficient economic and military structure that you can’t control.

    Russia and China should be feuding with each other and Russia seeking security cooperation with the West. Half of Russian Siberia is under long-term threat of Chinese annexation or influencing.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  21. TGD says:

    The US Congress fully supports the US military establishment. The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act passed the US House by a vote of 363 to 70 and the US Senate by a vote of 89 to 10. The bill provides about $770 billion for “defense,” $25 billion more than the Biden regime requested.

    So long as the US electorate keeps voting for the “duopoly,” you can expect more wars. It’s what we do.

    • Agree: Max Maxwell
  22. SafeNow says:

    Moldova?? I manage to be pretty well-informed, but I confess that the last and only time I heard about Moldova was when that Moldovan dancer distracted her boyfriend, the captain, and the Costa Concordia sank. Maybe this is a metaphor for the whole stupid situation.

  23. Renoman says:

    Nato needs to die, it’s nothing but a money printing machine for the MIC. No one wants or respects the USA any more and since there are nukes all around the great war machine is irrelevant. Europe is nearly gone thanks to their immigration policy and extensive lumbering greedy government, leave them to sort out their own chit.

    • Agree: Max Maxwell
  24. Walker88 says:

    It would be helpful if Americans understood geography. American troops stationed in Ukraine would be about 300 miles from Russian cities like Moscow and Volgograd. Russia has traditionally been able to enjoy the sense that any invader would have to travel much greater distances to get anywhere near cities like this.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  25. Offer NATO membership to Russia, then continue to sign up subscribers all the way to the China Sea. An alliance that protects everyone, protects no one.

  26. @Greta Handel

    While you are correct about the text, it is the practice that is relevant. There was no attack or threat on any NATO country when the NATO unilaterally bombed Yugoslavia, which was not a NATO member. Crimea and Donbass exercised “the principles of democracy”, but they don’t count, nor did the US staged coup in 2014.
    The purpose of the Treaty outlined in the Preamble is defensive.

    The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments.
    They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area.
    They are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security. They therefore agree to this North Atlantic Treaty :

    The UN did not authorize the bombing of Yugoslavia, nor did it authorize the bombing of planes on the ground in Libya. They are threatening Russia over non-members.
    In practice, NATO does what they US wants it to do, and the UN stands back and pretends everything is OK.

    Article 1

    The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

    Yes Buchanan is technically wrong, but the US never abide to any treaty it signs, it just say, “so stop me”.

  27. Exile says:

    Americans haven’t lived with that kind of danger since the 19th century, well beyond living memory. It makes us dull and soft.

    That said, how hard is it to connect these dots:

    1. What American “regime change” just did to Iraq and Afghanistan;

    2. What Americans did to Russia in the 1990’s;

    3. What America and NATO say about Russia today; and

    4. Having tens of thousands of US/NATO troops with a few hours drive (or a few minutes launch) of your border?

    Bonus factoid – the loud, obnoxious presence of so many (((Ukrainians))) inside the Defense Department and other critical jobs – paraded in public during the Russiagate nonsense.

  28. @Walker88

    It is highly improbable US/NATO troops would invade Russia; Russian infantry is no joke and history shows what happened to Hitler’s Wehrmacht; I understand Russian historical fears of invasions from the west and it is stupid for USA to do it.

  29. raga10 says:

    With all the hysteria here one would think that Ukraine was about to join NATO tomorrow. The fact is, Ukraine hasn’t even *begun* the formal application process, let alone been accepted. Reality is that even if they did, it would be many, many years before they would fulfill the entry requirements.

    Add to that the fact that most NATO member countries are not at all keen for Ukraine to join. NATO has not been exactly rushing the process, if anything they’ve dragging their feet – not that you’d learn that from Russian propaganda.

    Where does NATO enlargement end? What enlargement? Ukraine and Georgia “aspire” to join, some countries have some internal discussions about it but nothing more than that. The only country that is currently taking any actual active steps along the application process is Bosnia and Hercegovina – a country that lies a long way from any Russian border and is definitely none of Russia’s business.

    The real question is, why is Russian propaganda so keen to present this whole lot of nothing as some sort of existential threat?

    • Replies: @siberiancat
  30. @Max Maxwell

    NATO should have stayed out of the Baltics also… This is just more fuel to that fire.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  31. @Harold Smith

    But “the love of money is the root of all type of evil”… So it fits neatly.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  32. @Altai

    Your last paragraph is neocon fantasy… Maybe you confuse China with the Mongol Khans… In any event their empire is over… Nobody wants to take Siberia.

  33. @raga10

    The entry requirements are BS. They are brought up only when NATO does not want an applicant. For example, Russia talked about becoming a NATO member in the early 90ies, and Putin publicly talked about this in 2000.

    If Bulgaria could have been admitted into NATO without a delay, so can be Ukraine.

    • Replies: @raga10
  34. If the Russians have their way…and we all hope they will….NATO will end as a filthy fucking dingleberry-up Joe Biden’s ass…..

  35. @Showmethereal

    The prime NATO mission after Yeltsin’s world-ending treachery was to reward those fascists who had fought for ‘Western Civilization’ so, if not bravely, then vigorously, in murdering civilians, mostly Jews, Russians and Poles, for the Nazi Reich. So the fascist vermin from emigre’ infestations in the Anglosphere were transported back to Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine and the Baltics. It took some time to fully neo-Nazify Ukraine, until the putsch of 2014, but the Baltics were back in the fold by the 90s. As Lithuania, perhaps the most enthusiastic Jew-killers during WW2, show, with their sad picking of a fight with China, at the USA’s direction, these Balt fascists are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  36. @Walker88

    MORE to the point-five minutes missile flight.

  37. Do you really think the dis-United States still has the exceptional power to pull off another Wall Street coup of Russia? Per today’s latest from Pepe Escobar (After Kazakhstan, the Color Revolution Era is Over), the CIA and their NGOs just had their asses handed to them by Putin’s peacekeeping forces.

    The biggest problem with the Beltway psychotics who control both parties is that they still think this fracturing empire is entitled to set the international “rules-based order.” Tony Blinken tried that line on Chinese diplomats, who promptly laughed in his face. These idiots are living in a time warp, not in today’s reality.

    Instead of looking for more monsters to conquer overseas, the braindead Biden Regime better look inward to try to prevent the brewing civil war, which they alone are stoking with their pro-illegal alien, pro-POC, anti-Heritage American policies.

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  38. @follyofwar

    I meant to address my comment to Observator (comment #6).

  39. raga10 says:

    The entry requirements are BS. They are brought up only when NATO does not want an applicant.

    Well, that agrees with what I’m saying, because entry requirements are brought up in case of Ukraine, and I maintain that NATO doesn’t actually want Ukraine as a member.

    It’s rather rich for the author to say that US should boycott Ukraine’s entry… US is the only NATO member that might want Ukraine in NATO in the first place – they don’t need to boycott anything, just stop pushing for it and it will never happen. Nobody on European side of NATO truly seeks armed confrontation with Russia.

    I agree, BTW, that NATO should just accept Russia as a member… maybe that would shut them up, at least for a while. Throughout most of their history what Russians wanted above everything else is to feel accepted as Europeans.

  40. Sean says:

    Article 5 war guarantees that oblige the United States to wage war against Russia to restore their sovereignty and territorial integrity if attacked.

    It is left up to each Nato member to decide whether the Nato member in a war had started it, so no country has a guarantee of assistance.

  41. anonymous[795] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sick of Orcs

    You are saying China is a greater threat to the US than the Israel Lobby?

    What about the combined camp of Israel Lobby + Jewish led woke culture?

  42. rgl says:

    “When Will NATO Expansion Stop?”

    When Russia, the US, and the EU are smoking, radioactive craters, NATO will finally cease to exist. Along with the rest of us.

  43. @mulga mumblebrain

    Well yeah NATO obviously wanted to surround Kaliningrad … The idea that NATO has been passive (not even counting Yugoslavia and Iraq etc) toward Russia is complete folly.

  44. On Nato’s dismissal of Russia’s security concerns:

    Ready yourself, drunken whore of Babylon;
    Judgment is coming, the wrath of Apollyon.

  45. Athena says:

    US-UK-Germany (AngloZionists) lunatics:

    ‘The West’s ruling “elites” truly *are* stupid!

    ”While the leaders of the (already dead) Empire are consulting meteorologists (or even astrologists?), they are completely missing the basic reality of modern warfare. These seem to be especially unaware of three basic facts:

    Modern warfare is primarily conducted with long range, standoff, weapons and this makes maneuver by fire far more important than maneuver by forces.
    Modern warfare places a huge importance on integrated air defenses working together under automated battle management systems. Modern air defense missiles can shoot down targets several hundred of kilometers away. No western air defense system can stop hypersonic weapons.
    Modern warfare is primarily non-linear, that is to say that it is more like soccer than like US football: each player (say a battalion tactical group) “follows/opposes” another player rather than trying to hold a line and defend territory.
    Those who think that Putin is preparing a WWII style attack simply don’t understand modern warfare at all.”

  46. Athena says:

    MI6 and friends of the Royal Chatham House liars and manipulators:

    ”Myth 03: ‘Russia was promised that NATO would not enlarge’”


    ”Contrary to the betrayal narrative cultivated by Russia today, the USSR was never offered a formal guarantee on the limits of NATO expansion post-1990. Moscow merely distorts history to help preserve an anti-Western consensus at home.”

    ”What is the myth?”

    ”This particular myth argues that the West deceived Russia by reneging on its promises at the end of the Cold War not to enlarge NATO – that it chose to pass up the opportunity to integrate Russia into a new European security framework and instead encouraged Moscow back on to a path of confrontation with the US and its allies. This narrative of Western deceit towards Russia confuses the debate in NATO countries. It plays into Moscow’s hands in terms of Russian efforts to persuade public opinion in key NATO member states that Russia is the victim of unfair treatment.”

    ”Who advocates or subscribes to it?”

    ”The French president, Emmanuel Macron, stated during a discussion with President Vladimir Putin at the 2018 St Petersburg International Economic Forum:

    I think that the mistake that was made in the last 20 years was that we in NATO failed to fully comply with all the obligations we had taken on, and this caused certain fears, quite reasonable ones. And we did not have the trust that Russia rightfully expected.31”

    ”The US scholar Michael Mandelbaum argued in 2016 that:

    The expansion of NATO over their objections taught Russians two lessons that it was not remotely in the American interest for them to learn: that American promises were not to be trusted; and that the West would take advantage of a weak and accommodating Russia.32”

    ”Referring to the original decision to enlarge NATO, the prominent German journalist and author, Gabriele Krone-Schmalz, claimed in 2015 that failing ‘to treat Russia as a fully fledged partner’ had hindered ‘normalization processes’ in the country.”

    ”In 2014 a US academic, John Mearsheimer, traced Russia’s aggression in Ukraine back to the Clinton administration’s drive to enlarge NATO. Mearsheimer repeated the argument of opponents of the policy at the time: there was no need to contain ‘a declining great power with an aging population and a one-dimensional economy’.33 The inference is that NATO countries unnecessarily provoked Moscow and that it would otherwise have behaved benignly towards its neighbours.”

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