NATO Arms Sales to Russia: A Need for Clear Thinking
By Stephen Blank
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be confronting critical questions about its future at this month’s Chicago Summit. One of the important issues likely to be overlooked is NATO members’ extensive arms sales to Russia and their implications for the Alliance.
Russia’s conventional and nuclear arms build-up suggests that instead of having NATO provide Moscow with the guarantees it demands with regard to missile defense, NATO should reflect Russian tactics by demanding guarantees of its own, as it convenes for the Chicago Summit. Moscow clearly cannot yet accept the European status quo or the full sovereignty of its erstwhile satellites and republics. As long as that is the case, selling weapons to Russia amounts only to a jobs program for endangered defense industries, and a strategically misconceived project at that.
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