Talk:Enlargement of NATO

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Split off "Relations with other countries"[edit]

For several years now, I've lumped text on countries like Ukraine and Finland, which have dealt seriously with the political prospect of joining NATO over the years, in with others countries that just have relations with NATO, like India, whose had discussions with NATO regarding missile defense, not enlargement. This week, several empty sections and others with short paragraphs were added, again for countries that aren't looking to become NATO members. What do editors think about splitting off the "Relations with other countries" section into a new article, NATO relations with other countries or similar? We could move info there about countries like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia, Australia, India and Mongolia, as well as summaries of other articles like Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Eventually, I would like to have an article on the newish Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme, which Mongolia and Switzerland have signed on for so far, but that could start as a section in the new article. Thoughts?-- Patrick, oѺ 21:45, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, that's a great idea. This article should focus on states which have been discussed as potential full members. Other stats, which seek only to cooperate with NATO, would be better covered in a separate article. TDL (talk) 23:30, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
It's a good idea to have NATO relations with other countries and Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme where relations not related to future membership are discussed. But the section "Relations with other countries" of the current article also includes content about discussions of future membership, so that falls in the Enlargement of NATO scope. If a split is implemented such content should be kept here and the NATO relations with other countries may link to the respective sections and/or include a brief summary. Japinderum (talk) 09:06, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Right, I wouldn't suggest removing information on countries where there has been historically, or even currently, an open discussion about membership. So under the heading "Membership debates" we might keep Finland, Serbia, and Ukraine, which are ones where we can point to specific parties and individuals with positions on NATO membership.-- Patrick, oѺ 19:36, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

I just went ahead with this split, since it didn't seem to attract any negative reactions. So subsections on Australia, India, Russia, etc are now located at Foreign relations of NATO. The four I left in place are Finland, Serbia, Sweden, and Ukraine under the heading "Membership debates" since domestic leaders and parties in these countries have historically debated NATO membership. Ideally, I'd like to build up the foreign relations article to be similar to Foreign relations of the European Union, or at least Foreign relations of the African Union, with a history section, a diplomatic missions section, and chart for the establishment of formal relations between the entities.-- Patrick, oѺ 18:36, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Remove Colombia reference[edit]

Seems that it gets undue weight in the article. The president mentioned the possibility in the flow of a moment. The lower level US official gave a polite yet ambiguous response on it at most. On the same day several official statements were released to do officially rule out membership. So seems more like a political hiccup, not an official intention towards membership. Morgengave (talk) 15:13, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

There's a Colombia section on Foreign relations of NATO that might be a better place for this info. I would say that to be included in the "Membership debates" section there has to be at least a political party or prominent government official advocating in favor of membership, and I'm not sure Colombia has that right now.-- Patrick, oѺ 17:43, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

criticism of enlargement, theoretical frame missing[edit]

In my opinion the article contains useful information, but lacks any form of theoretical frame and background, any form of reflexion on facts. Why is there an expansion? In whose interest? For that reason I suggest to include a "critcism"-section oder something similar to give space, for example, for George F. Kennans Views back in the 90s or to Paul Nitze, Robert Strange McNamara, Richard Pipes, Gary Hart and other experts who did not agree with Clinton's liberal concept of enlargement. --Gabel1960 (talk) 04:41, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Reflection on facts is actually not for Wikipedia to do. What you are suggesting, and have added to the article, is generally considered original research and breaks with Wikipedia's neutral point-of-view principals. Understand that neutrality does not mean giving one argument followed by the opposing one, but instead minimizing pro and con arguments in favor of letting the facts on a subject speak for themselves. As to the content, the Russian viewpoints on the 1990 negotiations over East German are expressed in the introduction of this article, twice on the NATO article, including in some detail, and have a whole section of the article about the treaty. This additional text just further adds to the undue weight the topic already receives. What I can say is that the article NATO–Russia relations is in need of more attention, and might a better place for these ideas. I hope you understand why we have to remove these additions from the article.-- Patrick, oѺ 13:03, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for giving reasons for your decision to remove my extension to the article. I have seen your entry just now, I am sorry. I first thought you had acted without discussion. Most of your reasons are convincing, there may be another section for critical views on the treaties. But your main objection, I think, is not valid, because referring the well-documented views of experts on political matters is something far from "original research" or personal views on the matter. I do not invent my own geostrategic interpretation or theory but cite the analyses of well-known experts from reliable and well-accepted "mainstream" sources. Gabel1960 (talk) 13:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
So this is what I think we can do. The "Past enlargements" section is puny, and is mostly one large chart. Today, I've tried to fill it out to describe the enlargements in greater detail, including the controversies that accompanied the 1990 and 1999 enlargements. I've taken a paragraph from the larger NATO article on the 1990 topic that's been worked over by editors on both sides of this debate. Will this work? I'd also add that while "Criticism" sections can be found on other Wikipedia articles, editors are encouraged to incorporate the material when possible, and I think here we have that opportunity.-- Patrick, oѺ 17:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry Patrick, I wasn't aware of the fact that it was you who made the latest revert. I thought it was a different person. Your suggestions are still useful - to work on Nato-Russian Relations, and your editorial work here was useful, too. But the following sentence in the previous version: "there are diverging views on whether negotiators gave commitments regarding further NATO expansion east.[7]" is cleary a distorted and obviously biased reference to the quoted source that says exactly the contrary - I ask you to read the article in Foreign Affairs. Leaving it like that would clearly be POV or something worse. Another point is structuring the text. I added headlines that structure the text in a meaningful way, I think. The enlargement of the critical views is essential for the topic. There is neither TF nor POV on my side. All the sources quoted are highly reputable.

I will check other aticles in Wikipedia for more suitable places, as you have suggested, but I still think that detailed information on the political processes behind decisions and interpretations of decisions by political scientists and other experts of international politics are an essential part of every article in Wikipedia. There is information on what and when, but also on why and to what effect in most articles on political or historical subjects. Gabel1960 (talk) 08:49, 4 January 2015 (UTC).

All I see is opinion. "40 former senators" said this, George F. Kennan thought that, Robert M. Gates said this. It's just quotes picked to be the most critical of this article's subject. WP:NPOV means neutral point of view. No point of view is acceptable, and I'm sorry but I'm sticking to that. And a line like "Clinton's decision to enlarge NATO up to the borders of Russia" betrays not just this bias, but a major misunderstanding here, as if Clinton woke up and chose to add Poland to NATO, and not that Polish politicians lobbied for and negotiated their membership over a decade with a myriad of political players.
So there are obvious issues with your edits on the macro-level, but then also in the text itself. It's clear your level of English is very good, but parts still read like they were put through Google Translate. One quote even in both English and German. The style of quotes violate the manual of style, and go against specific recommendations about the overuse of quotes and raise the prospect of their use being both indiscriminate and possibly copyright violations, since I can't even tell what is attributed. The use of semicolons as headers is not just wrong, it breaks Wiki markup language.
You brought up the Foreign Affairs article which surprises me, since the article is about the obsession opponents of NATO have with the idea that in 1990 there was some binding promise not to expand, and their use of that as a rhetorical cudgel. Before debunking it as a myth, the article does have lines like "the dispute over this sequence of events has distorted relations between Washington and Moscow ever since" which would be where I sourced the line "there are diverging views..." Again, I feel a line like that adheres to the WP:NPOV directive to present both sides without taking or giving undue weight to either.-- Patrick, oѺ 13:56, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
All the points you mention need to be clarified. I suggest a step by step discussion. So, if I manage to convince you in one point, we could agree on making small changes following the results of our discussion.
1st point: your understanding of the Foreign Affairs article. The present text says: "... and there are diverging view(s) on whether negotiators gave commitments regarding further NATO expansion east." Apart from the non-information in this quote (the diverging views should be the content of the passage, the fact that there are diverging views is already known) it is not the essence of Elise Sarotte's article.

Her article is the answer to the question she puts forward at the beginning: "What, exactly, had been agreed about the future of NATO? Had the United States formally promised the Soviet Union that the alliance would not expand eastward as part of the deal?" and she has two answers:

a) "The evidence demonstrates that contrary to the conventional wisdom in Washington, the issue of NATO’s future in not only East Germany but also eastern Europe arose soon after the Berlin Wall opened, as early as February 1990. U.S. officials, working closely with West German leaders, hinted to Moscow during negotiations that month that the alliance might not expand, not even to the eastern half of a soon-to-be-reunited Germany."

Most of her detailed analysis deals with the newly revealed and formerly secret documents that prove the promises given to Gorbatschow and Sarotte reveals also the motives behind the different moves (reunification, Bush's policies, Gorbatschow's economic problems etc.). All of this seems to be, at least to me, quite new information, based on facts, not on points of view, claryfying the question of how, by whom, why and for what purpose, the eastward expansion of NATO had been prepared, thereby intentionally ignoring Russian interests, their wish even to join NATO or a pan-European security system.

b) Sarotte's second answer is that there has never been a formal written agreement.

So, in referring to Sarotte as a valuable source to the question whether there had been a promise or not, it would be misleading to simply write she states "diverging views", because doing so would mean withholding the very essence of her analysis.

Apart from the two answers ("Yes, there were purposeful and partly well-meant oral promises to Gorbatschev to get him to approve of reunification"; "No, there was no formal agreement") she presents a very interesting conclusion: Even if you cannot charge the US/EU of a broken formal promise it is understandable that the effect of "roughshodly" "pulling somebody over the barrel" (:-) google translate, in Sarotte's words: "U.S. officials and their West German counterparts had expertly outmaneuvered Gorbachev") was a deep mistrust and bitterness on the Russian side, containing "the seeds of a future problem" (Baker).

If, as I hope, my analysis of Sarotte's article should convince you, I would propose to cut out the meaningless phrase stating "diverging views" and replace it the phrase I used: "... due to resarch into formerly secret documents, there are clear proofs of oral promises given by Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Helmut Kohl and James Baker not to expand the NATO "one inch eastward", adding "oral" to my further version. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gabel1960 (talkcontribs) 16:25, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

One item I would note, is that part of the paragraph is taken whole cloth from the After the Cold War section on the NATO article, so there's been various discussion about it both in the history and in the talk (now archived) and any changes we make here should probably be made there too. The sentence about "diverging views" is just trying to set up the sentences that follow, where these views are presented. I'm not sure the reader would necessarily know that there are different viewpoints, so I do think we need to mention that not everyone agrees on the topic, but if you have a better way to phrase that, feel free to suggest. I've been frustrated by the amount of attention this one issue has taken, since all the text needs to reflect is that some scholars and Russians politicians/diplomats feel one way, while other scholars and diplomats feel another, and I think the current paragraph does that. The secret letter is one of the "declassified documents" that is mentioned in the next sentence.-- Patrick, oѺ 18:47, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
You say: " since all the text needs to reflect is that some scholars and Russians politicians/diplomats feel one way, while other scholars and diplomats feel another" I don't think this is the essence of Sarotte's text, because to arrive at such conventional wisdom, you do not need political science or history. She says "The evidence demonstrates that contrary to the conventional wisdom in Washington, the issue of NATO’s future in not only East Germany but also eastern Europe arose soon after the Berlin Wall opened, as early as February 1990. U.S. officials, working closely with West German leaders, hinted to Moscow during negotiations that month that the alliance might not expand, not even to the eastern half of a soon-to-be-reunited Germany." So it is her work of resarch into documents and the results she presents that are worth mentioning, not the starting point before research was done, that one side is in favour of A and in favour of B.

I think you are right, the phrase was imported from the article on "NATO after the cold war". But that doesn't give it more sense, so I have put the issue into the discussion section, there, too. I looked into the archives there, but I didn't find a discussion of Sarotte's article.Gabel1960 (talk) 21:17, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Again, I think we do go into the evidence in the subsequent sentence, I believe using an article from Der Spiegel, so the Foreign Affairs article isn't the only source, and I'm not sure its typical for Wikipedia to rely solely on one as I think you're suggesting. To be frank, Sarotte's article might not even be a great source, even if it is a good summary of the issue. Foreign Affairs as a publication has a generally pro-internationalist bent, and its publisher, the Council on Foreign Relations, though certainly full of experts on the subject, is a Washington Think Tank, not neutral journalism outfit. And if we can keep the discussion on one Talk page, I think that would be best to prevent fragmented discussions. Thanks!-- Patrick, oѺ 21:48, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
It is a pleasure to discuss matters with you, because you seem to be well-informed on the matter and also much more experienced in the English wikipedia than am. You seem to refer to the subsequent sentence in the wiki-article, and there is in fact some of the evidence Sarotte gives in her Foreign Affairs article, but no all, and not in detail. The Spiegel-Article you refer to, is no second source, I am afraid, but only a partial literal translation. Even without knowing German, you can easily check that by running google translate over the Spiegel text. I think the policy of wikipedia rather supports references to the original than to translations. Even so, the translation in the Spiegel shows that Sarotte's analysis is seen as quite important by the most prestigious German news magazine.

Your description of Foreign Affairs is accurate, I think, but it is, nevertheless, the most influential and prestigious scientific journal on international politics in the US. Quoting it, seems to be legitimate. You are right, there is a bias and a connection to a think tank. But please tell me of the "independent journalistic sources" you have found, and their views on the matter without showing any bias. The most important thing for wiki is to differentiate clearly between facts and views, I think we agree on this point. Sarotte refers to facts, and those should be incorporated, I think. The facts are partly mentioned in the subsequent sentence, but not all relevant ones. And the summary of her article by saying, she had found out that "there are diverging views", is more than just ridiculous, it is misleading and ignores the main points of her analysis. By the way, because you are interested in facts, I suggest to you the following video, by Tagesspiegel, a news format of the German ARD, showing clearly the promises made publicly by Genscher in the presence of Baker: [1]. Gabel1960 (talk) 09:49, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I mean I added the source so I do believe its fine to use the way we do, just I wouldn't want to use it alone. But so you don't want to say there are different views on the 2+4 negotiations? Again, that's just to set up the viewpoints in the paragraph, like Gorbachev and Zoellick. I changed it to "the topic of further NATO expansion east was raised." Is that an option?-- Patrick, oѺ 20:33, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Russia and NATO[edit]

I don't have too much time on my hands to get things right, but I know there's an editor willing to work on this article, at least, for now. I think one thing this article is missing is Russia's aspirations to join NATO (not something people are currently discussing, yeah, but it's totally worth mentioning). For example, this header is pretty clear: Yeltsin says he wants Russia to join NATO, and even Putin didn't rule that out in 2000: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/audio_video/programmes/breakfast_with_frost/transcripts/putin5.mar.txt (Is it possible Russia could join NATO? -- I don't see why not.) --R8R (talk) 15:22, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

There is the article NATO–Russia relations that does discuss the topic, and a section at Foreign relations of NATO, and yes, any editor that can touch those up should, they're perpetually in need of updates. I think, as I've suggested before, to be included in the "Membership debates" section there should be multiple politicians or parties that explicitly support NATO membership. I don't think anyone in the current Russian government is actively campaigning on the idea of NATO membership, and the idea is purely academic.-- Patrick, oѺ 20:19, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I should mention I was specifically caught by this line: "In 2009, Russian envoy Dmitry Rogozin did not rule out joining NATO at some point, but stated that Russia was currently more interested in leading a coalition as a great power." This is not the article to go deep into this topic, but I believe a short mention would be helpful. Like: "Although after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia declared it wanted to join NATO,[1] this never happened; in 2009, Russian envoy Dmitry Rogozin did not rule out..." After all, the politicians in power in Russia wouldn't openly talk about NATO membership even in distant future these days (geopolitical situation in 2009 was much different than now), so the current line is not exactly up to date either. Not to say this would comply with, say, the Colombian president's line--R8R (talk) 21:24, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Enlargement of NATO/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tomandjerry211 (alt) (talk · contribs) 23:18, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

General[edit]

  • Please use either American English or British English, not both.

Lead[edit]

  • Citations are unecessary.

Body[edit]

  • Link Tbilisi


References[edit]

  • The note requires a citation
  • Seperate the notes and the citations
  • Citation #139 doesn't point to any citation
  • Both sfns and ref tags are unnecessary, only one type is needed
  • Last source in the bibliography doesn't point to any citation.--Tomandjerry211 (alt) (talk) 23:22, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Hello, thanks a million for taking this on! I've taken care of some of your suggested fixes today, and really appreciate the help. I have a question for you (and other editors!) about the Kosovo note: Do we still need it? It's a transcluded template with the suggested use of giving mentions of Kosovo some context (there's some recent discussion about it being out of date and needing sources). But we do give the context that Kosovo's independence isn't universally recognized in the following sentences, and its the only end note in the article. Maybe we can just include some of the note's text in the paragraph?-- Patrick, oѺ 17:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

    • Okay with me.--Tomandjerry211 (alt) (talk) 18:56, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
    • One more comment:
      • Expand the contractions "don't" and "doesn't".--Tomandjerry211 (alt) (talk) 18:56, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
        • Thanks again, I've incorporated the Kosovo note into the paragraph that it was coming from. Its easy enough to put back if other editors feel strongly about it, I know this article tries to walk a fine NPOV line with terminology when discussing the "Republic of Kosovo," or the "Republic of Macedonia," among others. Also took care of a contraction too.-- Patrick, oѺ 16:44, 28 July 2015 (UTC)