The alliance has been unwisely expanded from its original 12-nation membership to include 28 countries, absorbing many of the old communist Warsaw Pact nations and some former Soviet republics. NATO may have meant well to offer security to these vulnerable new alliance members. Yet it is hard to imagine Belgians and Italians dying on the battlefield to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces out of Lithuania or Estonia.
Today’s NATO pledges to many of its newer participants are about as believable as British and French rhetorical guarantees in August 1939 to protect a far-away Poland from its Nazi and Soviet neighbors.
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