The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S.-Russia Diplomacy,

[…] The real reason that Clinton went for it was domestic politics. I testified in Congress against NATO expansion, saying that it would be a great mistake, and that if it continued, that certainly it would have to stop before it reached countries like Ukraine and Georgia, that this would be unacceptable to any Russian government, and that furthermore, that the expansion of NATO would undermine any chance for the development of democracy in Russia. And George Kennan had also said it was the greatest geopolitical mistake of that decade. And I think he was right. But why, when I came out of that testimony, a couple of people who were observing said, ”Jack, why are you fighting against this?” And I said, ”Because I think it’s a bad idea.” They said, ”Look, Clinton wants to get reelected. He needs Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois; they all have a very strong East European…”

Many of these had become Reagan Democrats on East[1]West issues. They’re insisting that the Ukraine [NATO] expand to include Poland and eventually Ukraine. So, Clinton needs those to get reelected. But the fact is that, I think, the concluding issue there was domestic politics, and really not an understanding of, you might say, how best to handle the international relations. At that time, I would say further on this matter of NATO expansion, that I think that the Clinton administration was quite disingenuous. Clinton personally told Yeltsin that the Partnership for Peace would be a substitute for NATO expansion, and Yeltsin said, ”That’s great. That’s a brilliant idea.” Läs artikel