|About the Book|
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. Although the NATO issue has been articulated primarily by the Russian elite, it has manifested itself in a rising reservoir of ill-will toward the West that cannot be ignored. In this first comprehensive English-language assessment of the Russian position, J. L. Black seeks to remedy that oversight with a thorough examination of Russian official statements, expert analysis, political platforms, and media commentary. Taken together, they show the degree to which NATO expansion has brought a rare unity to the otherwise fragmented and volatile Russian political arena. The author first provides a detailed account of Russian reactions to NATO s plans since the early 1990s. He then analyzes how the NATO question shapes Russian strategic thinking, military reforms, and election campaigning, and how it affects Moscow s relationships with Ukraine, the Baltic States, China, and the CIS. Crises in Yugoslavia and Iraq are used as case studies. Based entirely on Russian-language sources, this timely study provides invaluable insights into current Russian thinking on NATO expansion and projects the significance of such thinking for the Western Alliance into the future. Detailed and definitive, Black s clearly written and balanced assessment of this overriding legacy of the Cold War will be the definitive history of the Russian perspective during a crucial period in Western security and essential reading for policymakers, scholars, and concerned general readers alike.