Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NATO to Expand

The 20th NATO summit is being held in Romania. The meeting has the potential of advancing the Western alliance and/or appease the Russian anti-Western juggernaut.

What's Almost Certain
Albania and Croatia, once seen as the backwaters of the Communist world, have made remarkable improvements from their Maoist and post-Communist fascist recent histories. Political reforms have taken place with liberal democracies now flourishing. Both countries have troops in Afghanistan and Albania has soldiers in Iraq. These countries will probably be given invitations to join NATO without any objections.

What's Somewhat Likely
Macedonia has also made improvements with their politics and military. Its military is in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The one thing in its way of becoming a NATO member its name. The region of Macedonia has Greek roots and the Greeks have not appreciated earlier efforts of the Republic of Macedonia claiming parts of Greece. Greece and Macedonia are negotiating a compromise like using Macedonia in internal affairs and Upper Macedonia for international affairs, but only time will tale if ongoing talks will prevent Greece

May Not Happen But Should
The main drama at the summit will be whether or not Georgia and Ukraine will be given NATO Membership Action Plans (MAP). MAPs are outlines to reform the politics of a country to a Western liberal democracy and streamline the military to make it like other NATO forces. MAPs are a key requirement in joining NATO.

Ukraine and Georgia see their future in the West. Russia; however, wants these two countries back in its orbit. Russia has interfered with Ukraine elections in the past and is currently reinforcing pro-Russian separatists in Georgia.

Some European NATO members are warry of offending Russia. Others wonder if Georgia has liberalized its democracy. Both countries need improvement and NATO MAPs will spur the last needed changes.

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