NATO-Russia. Lots of things are rumoured: see this in the Independent for example. On a personal note I feel a lot of schadenfreude here. When I was working for the government, I wrote many briefing notes saying that NATO should listen to what Moscow was saying and take it seriously; not necessarily agree, but seriously think about it. But no, NATO light-heartedly (not my expression but George Kennan’s) went ahead and expanded here, there and everywhere, broke its promises, enjoyed its adventures, all under the complacent assumption that Russia was negligible and its objections could be dismissed as mere self-interest, or spun as threats. No more. NATO has discovered that it really needs Russia in Afghanistan. But, NATO has to learn that words have meanings: the Secretary General cannot say, one week, that Georgia will be a member of NATO one day, and on another that it wants to have a “true strategic partnership” with Russia. Georgia, under present management, is not acceptable to Moscow: there are reasons why this is so. NATO must make the, apparently difficult, attempt to understand those reasons. Nonetheless, the movement is encouraging: after all, NATO and Russia share the essential element of a military alliance – which is common enemies.
By Samuel Charap, Alexandros Petersen