NATO | Wilson Center


Into the Fold or Out in the Cold? NATO Expansion and European Security

In the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the topic of European security and NATO expansion post-Cold War is being discussed with renewed urgency. During a recent special event at the Wilson Center, the issue was explored by an impressive panel that featured keynote remarks from US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.


2014 Ahtisaari Symposium Keynote: The Crisis of Euro-Atlantic Security

On May 5, 2014, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger – Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and Distinguished Scholar with the Global Europe Program at the Wilson Center – delivered the keynote address on “The Crisis of Euro-Atlantic Security” at the 2014 Ahtisaari Symposium. Central to Ambassador Ischinger’s remarks was the crisis with Russia and Ukraine, which he believes forces the Euro-Atlantic community to clarify its priorities and provides an opportunity to refocus and revitalize the transatlantic partnership.

Contested Waters – Maritime Delimitation Issues in Southeastern Europe

On January 30, 1996, two NATO allies, Greece and Turkey, almost went to war over two uninhabited islands in the Aegean Sea. The New York Times called it “a reckless little show down over rocks, goats, and flags”. It was the prompt and decisive mediation of the United States that helped avoid military confrontation. Eighteen years later Southeastern Europe has changed dramatically, leaving behind the legacy of the bloody dissolution of the former Yugoslavia and confrontations in the Aegean Sea.

Into the Fold or Out in the Cold? NATO Expansion and European Security after the Cold War

Twenty years ago, the 1994 Brussels Summit marked the beginning of NATO’s post-Cold War expansion. It was a process that resonated differently on opposite sides of the former “iron curtain” in the midst of complex and evolving relations between Russia and the West. This year will be no less pivotal for European security as the crisis in Ukraine brings renewed attention to Eastern Europe and the drawdown of NATO forces in Afghanistan continues. Amid these new and ongoing challenges, NATO will hold a summit in September to chart its future course.

Putin and Crimea: A Dangerous Situation

In part 2 of our discussion on Russia’s annexation of Crimea and ongoing aggression in Ukraine, Matt Rojansky comments on the impact of sanctions and diplomacy on events. He also comments on the danger level of the situation and the possibility of escalation. 

Watch the first part of this interview on Putin and Crimea>>>

About our Guest

Round Table on the NATO-Russian Relationship

NATO’s Strategic Concept affirms the desire to build a “true strategic partnership” between NATO and Russia.  While NATO and Russia have managed to cooperate in a number of practical security areas, significant strains remain in the relationship over the European institutional security configuration, missile defense, regional conflicts, and so on.  

Dr. Sharyl Cross offered her perspective in a round-table session on the evolution and future prospects for the NATO – Russia relationship.  

Alternative North Americas: What Canada and the United States Can Learn from Each Other

Since 9/11 and the Iraq war, relations between Canada and the United States have slowly deteriorated, forcing some to question the future of the world's largest bilateral trading relationship. David Jones, former U.S. foreign service officer, pulls no punches as he explores the growing differences between Canada and the United States and looks for learning opportunities for the two nations.

Full text and chapter summaries below.

Enlarging the European Union

The first enlargement was one of the most divisive and politically charged events in the history of the present-day European Union. French opposition to British membership meant that London had to wait more than a decade at the Community's door. Other countries, including Denmark and Ireland, whose requests for membership were tied to the coat-tails of the British applications, had to endure a similar wait.