Nikola Krastev, RFE/RL
NEW YORK -- For years, global policy-watchers have speculated on the direction NATO will take as Cold War-era divisions give way to a new range of 21st century alliances and security concerns.
This week, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright and a group of foreign policy experts addressed that issue in a new report titled "NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement."
Albright, speaking on May 27 at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, outlined a new strategic concept for NATO. Her remarks addressed the question on many minds: Is there a place in the alliance for Russia?
Russia views the expansion of NATO, particularly into Eastern and Central Europe, as one of the major threats to its own security. But Albright said no one should be excluded from NATO -- not even Russia.
"The question is whether they want to be members of NATO,” Albright said.” I think that you have to want to be members, you also have to be a functioning democracy, and you have to make sure that there are not a variety of conflicts that are brought into the alliance. I think that's one of the big deals when new countries in Central and Eastern Europe came in. There were some of their conflicts that have been endemic -- the Romanian-Hungarian, various conflicts that they had to deal with."
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Albright Presents Strategic Concept For NATO’s Next Decade