Friday, June 30, 2017

A Proposal to Fix Relations with Russia: Russia in NATO

Much has been made of Trump and Russia.  Did the Russians sabotage the 2016 elections?  Do they have a disgusting tape of Trump with Russian women?  Did Trump commit an impeachable offense in firing FBI director James Comey?  Are Trump's Tweets an asinine Tweets merely a distraction from the real issues we face.  I don't know the answers to these questions (except possibly the last one) but this is clear: NATO expansion right up to Russia's borders in unacceptable for them.

Right at the end of the Soviet Union, George H.W Bush made a promise to Mikhail Gorbachev that in return for allowing Germany to reunite and the USSR to break up, NATO would not expand eastward towards Russia's borders.  This promise, which was never made in writing, was later broken by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama by including Poland and 13 other former subservient Soviet States.  

Russia, with it's long history of invasions (from the Mongols to Hitler), and suspicions of foreign intervention is now taking steps to reassert it's position in the region.  This is done through it's annexing of the Crimean Peninsula from the Ukraine, it's intervention in the war in Syria on the side of longtime ally Bashar Assad, granting Edward Snowden asylum, and possibly it's collusion with Donald Trump.  

My take on this is, why take on a new cold war with Russia with so many other problems in the world, namely climate change, terrorism, human trafficking, and others.  Is there a way to have a new detente` (the deescalation of the cold war in the 1970s) with Russia?  One proposal I and others have would be to allow Russia to join NATO for global security.  The west would not like it because it would give them a veto over NATO actions.

Allowing Russia to join NATO would give them a say in how NATO works.  This would allay their fears of western intentions.  Most conflicts arise when nations feel that their status in the world is threatened.  Germany, Japan, and Italy pursued WWII because they felt that they were shunned after WWI.  We worked with the Russians to defeat the Germans and their allies in WWII, we need to work with them to solve the world's problems now.

I don't know how the Russians would respond to an offer of NATO membership.  This Idea is not originally mine.  Putin jokes about it in the clip above but doesn't believe it would ever happen.  The nature of the discussions in the western media have been one sided and I haven't seen Oliver Stone's interviews with Putin.  I believe it is a proposal worth exploring in the west.  This site does get traffic from Russia.  Will this post bring in more traffic from here or the west?

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