Senior Strategic Analyst Paul van Hooft has contributed a chapter to the latest work to examine NATO enlargement following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Evaluating NATO Enlargement: From Cold War Victory to the Russia-Ukraine War, published by Palgrave Macmillan (Eds. James Goldgeier and Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson) reviews the history and consequences of NATO’s post-Cold War enlargement into Central and Eastern Europe. It offers a nuanced discussion of the merits and drawbacks of NATO enlargement across the different actors involved and compares the results of the policy against potential alternatives that were not chosen. Particular attention is given to NATO enlargement’s influence on the course of U.S. foreign policy, democracy and security in Central and Eastern Europe, NATO’s own development as a political and military institution, and relations with China and Russia.
Paul van Hooft contributed the chapter titled, Every Which Way But Loose: The United States, NATO Enlargement, European Strategic Autonomy and Fragmentation. In this chapter van Hooft argues that NATO enlargement stabilised Central and Eastern Europe, but undermined long-term European security in other ways. The chapter draws on interviews with US officials and shows a preoccupation with consolidation of stability in both Europe and outside of it, an institutional predisposition towards NATO, and an absence of constraints on US policies. In the end, these contradictory policies diluted European strategic cohesion and overburdened European militaries, while expanding the commitments inherent to the Alliance, leaving Europe underprepared for the confrontation with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Want to learn more about the consequences of NATO enlargement? On the 17th of May 2023, HCSS will be hosting an online seminar with Paul van Hooft, James Goldgeier and Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson to discuss NATO enlargement and its consequences. The discussion will be moderated by Director of Research Tim Sweijs (HCSS). The online seminar builds on previous HCSS events, including the Transatlantic Dialogues Series (Co-organised with the US Embassy of the Hague) which is co-lead by Paul van Hooft. You can register for the event via Eventbrite.