NATO Enlargement, Russia, and Balance of Threat
Canadian Military Journal, Dept. of Defence, Canada (2021)
12 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2021
Date Written: July 15, 2021
This paper explores the causes of Russian revanchism alongside phases of NATO expansion, and concludes that evidence of Moscow’s reflexive revanchism is sparse. Russian foreign policy is tested and correlated with Russian rhetoric, military strategy and Russian balancing actions, in light of each phase of actual and potential NATO expansion. The paper concludes that, first, Russia balances against perceived threats, only in areas where it has entrenched material and military interests. Otherwise, Russia is aware of relative military inferiority, and is agnostic about NATO and EU enlargement. These findings have enormous policy relevance, as both NATO and EU plans further enlargement, American and British isolationism grows, and European security scenario alters rapidly.
Keywords: Realism, Russian Foreign Policy, NATO, USA, Grand strategy
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