News Release

How NATO Inflames Relations with Russia

Newsweek reports Monday morning: “NATO Puts Forces on Standby, Deploys Ships and Fighter Jets Near Russia.”

DAVID GIBBS, dgibbs@email.arizona.edu
Gibbs is professor of history at the University of Arizona and has written extensively on NATO.

He said today: “Coming so soon after their 20-year war in Afghanistan, U.S. officials should not be looking for new foreign interventions in the Ukraine — which risks even worse outcomes than the ‘War on Terror’ produced.”

He has argued regarding NATO: “it is worth recalling how much the alliance has weakened world security since the end of the Cold War, by inflaming relations with Russia. It is often forgotten that the cause of the current conflict arose from a 1990 U.S. promise that NATO would never be expanded into the former communist states of Eastern Europe. Not ‘one inch to the East,’ Russian leaders were promised by the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, James Baker. Despite this promise, NATO soon expanded into Eastern Europe, eventually placing the alliance up against Russia’s borders. The present-day U.S.-Russian conflict is the direct result of this expansion.”

Gibbs is author of the book First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, published by Vanderbilt University Press.