New Cold War
Created on July 10 and accredited on October 12, 2012, the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence (ENSEC COE) currently operates as a widely recognized international military organization with the aim of providing qualified and appropriate expert advice on questions related to operational energy security.
The general mission of Nato was officially changed to a mandate to protect "crucial infrastructure" of the global energy system, sea lanes and pipelines, giving it a global area of operations. Furthermore, under a crucial western revision of the now widely heralded doctrine of "responsibility to protect", sharply different from the official UN version, Nato may now also serve as an intervention force under US command.
BMD systems encircle Russia and China
Let's be clear about what is at stake here: NATO missiles on the adjacent Ukraine border aimed directly at Russia would make that country extremely vulnerable to Western goals and destabilization efforts while threatening Russia's only water access to its naval fleet in Crimean peninsula, the Balkans, the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East.
The United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia's orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU's expansion eastward and the West's backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine -- beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 -- were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion.
George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev sign arms reduction treaty, 1991
The first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. This had been agreed in the Two Plus Four Treaty earlier in the year. To secure Soviet approval of a united Germany remaining in NATO, it was agreed that foreign troops and nuclear weapons would not be stationed in the east... Jack Matlock, American ambassador to the Soviet Union during its final years, said that the West gave a "clear commitment" not to expand, and declassified documents indicate that Soviet negotiators were given the impression that NATO membership was off the table for countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, or Poland.
NATO members in 2009
In 1999, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined the organization, amid much debate within the organization and Russian opposition. Another expansion came with the accession of seven Central and Eastern European countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
NATO's expansion into Eastern Europe violated commitments made during the negotiations over German reunification.
Moscow has reason to argue that the West broke a promise. As declassified U.S. documents show, the George H. W. Bush administration and its allies worked hard to convince Soviet leaders that Europe's post—Cold War order would be mutually acceptable, as the Soviet Union would retrench and NATO would remain in place.
The Monroe Doctrine was a US foreign policy regarding Latin American countries in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention.
When I was a little boy, my mother taught me that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. And if it's OK for us to have a Monroe Doctrine, if it makes perfect strategic sense for us not to want to have distant great powers on our borders, it should make equally good sense for the Russians to think that way—and, by the way, for the Chinese to think that way. That's the way great powers behave. [...] Ukraine is a country that has great geostrategic importance for him [Putin]. And he is going to pay an enormous price to keep NATO and to keep the EU out of that area. He's made that clear since 2008. The Russians have been against NATO expansion from the beginning. They have said that this was going to lead to a strategic disaster.
The immediate and long-term importance of Russian thinking about NATO expansion eastward has been badly underestimated in the West. Indeed, most Western analysis has striven to provide justification for the West's policy of enlarging the alliance rather than examining its potential drawbacks.
Since its inception in 1949, the NATO Alliance has been central to ensuring peace and security on the European continent.
Russia's aggression against Ukraine is not an isolated incident, but a game-changer in European security. It reflects an evolving pattern of behavior that has been emerging for several years, despite our efforts to reach out to Russia and build a cooperative European security system with Russia.