Ukrainian NATO Accession is a Vital American National Security Interest

The Ukraine crisis is testing the Biden administration. The Russian buildup of military forces east of Ukraine illustrates the peril of not expanding NATO. Yet, the United States is effectively only threatening financial sanctions against Russia, or at least that is the general perception. The crisis illustrates that further NATO expansion eastwards should be an urgent priority to the Atlantic alliance. Of course Russia will claim that an expansion of NATO is evidence that NATO poses an offensive threat against the Russian homeland yet that is simply not true as NATO is a purely defensive alliance. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have all suffered Russian irredentism and loss of control of parts of their respective sovereign territory and urgently deserve membership in the Western defense alliance. 

Russia is also involved in trying to destabilize the Balkans and NATO should therefore invite Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina and ultimately Serbia as well to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Expanding NATO will stabilize Europe as it will put an end to the threat of further Serbian and Russian irredentism in Europe. The current Russian military buildup would not even be an issue if Ukraine was already a member of NATO since clearly Russia would not even dare contemplating invading NATO. Expanding NATO in the Balkans will put an end to malign Russian attempts to destabilize the region. Similarly will NATO expansion in the Black Sea region permanently stabilize that part of the world by putting an end to the threat of further Russian irredentism.

There is considerable reason to believe that the current Russian military buildup east of Ukraine is specifically designed to create deterrence against Ukrainian NATO accession. The Biden administration would be particularly well advised to respond to the Russian military buildup by expanding NATO. Contrary to what Russia wants the West to believe, that would eliminate the threat of war between Russia and Ukraine. 

There is a further issue involved and that is how Iran perceives the Ukraine crisis. To Iran is Ukraine a test of the resolve of the current administration towards Iran as well. Tehran is carefully watching the Ukraine crisis and is no doubt drawing its own offensive terrorist conclusions. American deterrence against Iran is at stake and the Iranian WMD threat against the American homeland will become even more severe if the Biden administration does not resolutely expand NATO. 

China is also watching and drawing its own conclusions regarding the feasibility of attacking Taiwan. Will a Chinese attempt to conquer liberal democratic Taiwan lead to war between China and the United States? If Chinese leaders believe that they will risk war with the United States are they very unlikely to attack Taiwan considering the importance of economic ties between America and China. A defense alliance between the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan would effectively for all practical purposes eliminate the threat of a Chinese attack against Taiwan.

American military credibility and American deterrence against China, Iran and Russia are at stake. The Biden administration would be particularly well-advised to act resolutely and expand NATO in Europe in the service of global stability and American national security.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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