I was there: NATO and the origins of the Ukraine crisis, responsiblestatecraft.org

Jack F. Matlock, career diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991.

[…] Was this crisis predictable?

Absolutely. NATO expansion was the most profound strategic blunder made since the end of the Cold War. In 1997, when the question of adding more NATO members arose, I was asked to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In my introductory remarks, I made the following statement:

“I consider the administration’s recommendation to take new members into NATO at this time misguided. If it should be approved by the United States Senate, it may well go down in history as the most profound strategic blunder made since the end of the Cold War. Far from improving the security of the United States, its Allies, and the nations that wish to enter the Alliance, it could well encourage a chain of events that could produce the most serious security threat to this nation since the Soviet Union collapsed.” Indeed, our nuclear arsenals were capable of ending the possibility of civilization on Earth.

But that was not the only reason I cited for including rather than excluding Russia from European security. As I explained to the SFRC: “The plan to increase the membership of NATO fails to take account of the real international situation following the end of the Cold War, and proceeds in accord with a logic that made sense only during the Cold War. The division of Europe ended before there was any thought of taking new members into NATO. No one is threatening to re-divide Europe. It is therefore absurd to claim, as some have, that it is necessary to take new members into NATO to avoid a future division of Europe; if NATO is to be the principal instrument for unifying the continent, then logically the only way it can do so is by expanding to include all European countries. But that does not appear to be the aim of the administration, and even if it is, the way to reach it is not by admitting new members piecemeal.”Läs artikel