News Release

NATO “Increased Rather than Decreased Instability”


The State Department says the U.S. government is “proud to host the next NATO Summit, July 9-11, 2024, where we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the most successful and enduring alliance in history. … NATO maintains the stability, peace, and security that enable our economies to grow and our societies to flourish.”

Gibbs is professor of history at the University of Arizona and has written extensively about NATO.

He said today: “NATO was originally created to defend Europe from the Soviet Union. But instead of declaring victory when the USSR collapsed in 1991, it expanded over the next three decades. It did so in violation of a promise, made by both U.S. and European officials, that NATO would not expand eastward. This relentless expansion increased rather than decreased regional instability, helping ensure the rise of militarists like Vladimir Putin. There is no doubt that NATO expansion played a significant role in producing the horrific war that has been taking place in Ukraine.”

Gibbs added: “It is evident that neither Joseph Biden nor Donald Trump have any solution to the terrible war in Ukraine, now in its third year. Neither candidate presented anything like a credible strategy for bringing the war to an end, in terms of either a military or a political resolution. During the Cold War, American presidents were not ashamed to negotiate with the Soviet Union and at least consider compromise settlements of conflicts. Even Ronald Reagan was willing to do this. Whoever wins the presidency in November should take note of this history and begin direct talks with the Russian government. We do not have to like or trust Putin, but we have no choice but to negotiate with him.”

Gibbs is author of the book First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. His latest book is Revolt of the Rich: How the Politics of the 1970s Widened America’s Class Divide. See his recent essay “Oil and the Energy Crisis of the 1970s: A Reanalysis.”