Enlarging NATO, Expanding Confusion - The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/.....?...The New York Times
Nov 29, 2009 - Yet the legacy of 1989 has difficult aspects as well, mostly centering on the origins and legitimacy of later NATO expansion to former East ...
In essentially settling for a gentleman’s agreement, Mr. Gorbachev missed some important pitfalls and then failed to do anything about them. First, Mr. Kohl spoke for West Germany, not for the United States or for NATO as a whole. Second, the Soviet leader got nothing about the trans-Atlantic alliance in writing. Third, Mr. Gorbachev did not criticize Mr. Kohl publicly when he and Mr. Bush later agreed to offer only a special military status to the former East Germany instead of a pledge that NATO wouldn’t expand. Finally, he did not catch subtle signals that, by early 1990, speculative discussion in the West about NATO’s future involved the inclusion of Eastern Europe as well. Mr. Gorbachev later complained to Mr. Kohl that he felt he had fallen into a trap.
Did the United States betray Russia at the dawn of the post-cold war era? The short answer is no. Nothing legally binding emerged from the negotiations over German unification. In fact, in September 1990, an embattled Mr. Gorbachev signed the accords that allowed NATO to extend itself over the former East Germany in exchange for financial assistance from Bonn to Moscow. A longer answer, however, shows that there were mixed messages and diplomatic ambiguities.