Senator Rand Paul: NATO Expansion Does Not Occur in a Vacuum, We Must Be Aware of Russia’s Perspective

As the debate about adding countries such as Albania and Montenegro to NATO heats up, Senator Rand Paul is urging people to consider Russia’s perspective and avoid becoming ensnared in regional military conflicts.

On Tuesday, Senator Paul and Senator Mike Lee were the only two who opposed a non binding motion to support and expand NATO.

In an op-ed published in USA Today, Senator Paul asked readers to consider if we are “willing to risk war with Russia by including countries that already are mired in military conflict with Russia?”

“To understand what NATO expansion does to our relations with Russia, one must at least be aware of Russia’s perspective. Such awareness does not mean we agree with their point of view, but rather that we are aware our actions lead to reactions, and that NATO expansion does not occur in a vacuum,” the Kentucky senator wrote.

Senator Paul noted that we once had robust and thoughtful debate in our country over diplomacy and our desire to avoid war, but that both parties are now quick to call for sanctions, travel restrictions, and now this NATO expansion. He said that this is done under a “misguided notion our unilateral actions will lead to capitulation.”


Senator Paul pointed to an article by Daniel L. Davis, a retired lieutenant colonel, who argued that  “Extending NATO membership to Georgia — or Ukraine, as others advocate — in no way strengthens U.S. security, but rather unequivocally increases America’s strategic risk.”

“It should be a concern to every American that foreign policy leaders openly advocate extending NATO membership to volatile nations on Russia’s border, knowing that doing so might suck the United States into an unnecessary and destructive war with another nuclear power,” Davis warned in his article.

Davis went on to call for avoiding unnecessary antagonism of competitors.

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