Prizes and Pitfalls of NATO Enlargement

In post-cold war Europe, the Atlantic alliance has already proven that it has a continued, if rather new, role as the region’s principal provider of security. The newness of the role is highlighted by a process of “double enlargement” that was launched in 1990 and now is well underway. Enlargement in the first instance refers to an enlargement of mission beyond the core function of collective defense; additional missions would include support for peace operations outside the territory of NATO’s member states, as in Bosnia. Enlargement in the second instance refers to an expansion in the membership of the alliance, as well as an extension of certain alliance benefits (especially democratic and transparent security interaction) to the twenty-seven members of the Partnership for Peace (PFP), the largest military cooperation program in Europe.

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