REPORT: The Russian-American ‘Reset’, NATO Expansion, and the Making of the Ukrainian Crisis

Russian & Eurasian Politics

photo NATO US

by Gordon M. Hahn

An emerging myth–one being put forward by both present and former U.S. government officials, the DC think tank community, and the media–is that NATO expansion had nothing to do with the making of the Ukrainian crisis and civil war. Nothing could be further from the truth. A main pillar of that argument is that NATO expansion was off the agenda for the entirety of the Barack Obama administration. This is as far from the truth as the general proposition on causality. In fact, throughout the Barack Obama administration both the administration and the NATO apparatus were hard at work behind the scenes to bring both Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, using the West’s entire institutional infrastructure to ready those countries for NATO membership. Let’s take a look at the facts in some detail.

NATO’s Stealth Expansion

Thus, Obama administration officials, such as US ambassador to Russia…

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