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NATO Membership Should Not Have Been Dangled for Ukraine and Georgia | by Martin Longman - Apr 11, 2022 |

Robert Draper of The New York Times recounts part of an interview he conducted recently with Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. The following section pertains to briefing a Hill provided to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney before the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in February 2008. It's of historical interest because the subject was the advisability of offering NATO membership to former Soviet Socialist Republicans Georgia and Ukraine. Hill thought it was far from a good idea. Bush and Cheney did not heed her advice, although sensible European resistance to the idea forced an unfortunate compromise that the world is still paying for.

Cheney took umbrage at Hill's assessment. "So, you're telling me you're opposed to freedom and democracy," she says he snapped. According to Hill, he abruptly gathered his materials and walked out of the Oval Office.

"He's just yanking your chain," she remembers Bush telling her. "Go on with what you were saying." But the president seemed confident that he could win over the other NATO leaders, saying, "I like it when diplomacy is tough." Ignoring the advice of Hill and the U.S. intelligence community, Bush announced in Bucharest that "NATO should welcome Georgia and Ukraine into the Membership Action Plan."

Hill's prediction came true: Several other leaders at the summit objected to Bush's recommendation. NATO ultimately issued a compromise declaration that would prove unsatisfying to nearly everyone, stating that the two countries "will become members" without specifying how and when they would do so -- and still in defiance of Putin's wishes. (They still have not become members.)

This mainly is water under the bridge at this point, but it shows how one lazy decision made against the advice of an in-house expert can reverberate for decades and cost countless lives.

Last sentence is complete nonsense as the expansion of NATO was set policy by the White House under Bill Clinton as far back as 1995. Imperialism with a deadly outcome ...

Assistent to VP Cheney on Eastern Europe was Victoria Nuland.

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 18th, 2022 at 06:38:39 PM EST

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