Political scientist Andrew A. Michta wrote in his article published April 6, 2015 by The American Interest, Censor.NET reports.
The article reads: "During a recent policy conference in Europe attended by political and military participants from across NATO, speaker after speaker bemoaned decisions made in the 1990s and 2000s to bring post-Soviet states into the Transatlantic alliance. The tone of these remarks was "we couldn't say no, but the world would now be better off if we had." These expressions were also laced with remarks about Russia's historical interest in Eastern Europe and its feelings of exclusion. The implication was that the "collective West" was the principal culprit in pushing the European constellation to the edge of the Ukrainian black hole. There was nary a voice to be heard suggesting that perhaps we are now drifting toward the abyss not because we allowed new democratic states into the alliance, but because Putin's Planet Russia suddenly lurched back into an expansionary orbit.
"These days, you don't have to worry about finding an accompaniment if you're signing this basic tune. This is especially true in Europe, where buyer's remorse has replaced the original talk of a Europe whole and free. With the emergence of new fault lines in need of defense and reinforcement, and an escalating war in Ukraine, the mutuality of security obligation inherent in NATO membership is in full view, and the era of free political rhetoric reminiscent of the early decades is over.
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"NATO is struggling today not because the alliance has deficits when it comes to ready-made forces, airlift capability, and the like; these can all be remedied in short order given a modicum of political will in Europe's capitals. The alliance, rather, is fragmented politically along the most fundamental lines of what constitutes its area of common responsibility. I am not speaking here of solidarity or common defense; the agreement on these topics is unequivocal. Rather, what is now in contention is how important the countries brought in after the Cold War are to their older western European allies. The dirty secret has been the enduring divisions within Europe as to who is really qualified to enter into the rarefied club of "true Europe"-that is, how much has really changed (or not) despite all of the real political and economic progress the post-Soviet democracies have made since the fall of the Iron Curtain.This isn't about the Rumsfeldian Old Europe/New Europe dichotomy; rather,Europe today is once again fragmenting along cultural and historical divides, with "real Europe" ending on the Oder River, "semi-real Europe" extending from there to the Bug River and the Baltic periphery in the northeast (also including the Croatian-Bosnian border in the South), and "non-Europe" extending from Ukraine to the East and South," Andrew Michta wrote.