Careful Considerations Urged Before Montenegro Joins NATO

The possibility of Montenegro’s accession to NATO provokes further questions regarding why the alliance currently exists, Emma Ashford explains in War on the Rocks.

Montenegro, a tiny nation, has little to add to any defensive alliance. For example, Montenegro currently contributes just 17 soldiers to NATO operations in Afghanistan. Despite this, Ashford writes, “there is unlikely to be major opposition to Montenegro’s membership in Washington” or elsewhere.

Ashford observes that this is because NATO struggled to find a purpose in the aftermath of the Cold War, eventually transforming into an organization designed to spread Western values. Now, NATO membership often proxies as a stepping stone for increased economic ties and membership in the European Union, which are proposed as means to preserve stability.

But Ashford asserts that “in the more than ten years since NATO ended its Balkan peacekeeping mission, no country in the region has returned to conflict,” making the effort seem to be little more than an attempt to taunt Russia, which has opposed Montenegrin inclusion in NATO.

Ashford argues that although Russia should not be in position to block NATO expansion, U.S. and NATO leaders should prudently consider whether Montenegro can truly add value to the alliance at the forefront. To Ashford, admitting states simply to slight Russia “is akin to cutting off our nose to spite our face.”

More Blog Posts

Emerging stronger in 2021

People with first-hand knowledge of the challenges in our country often have the best ideas of how to solve them.

Read more

12-02-2020 08:27am

Recidiviz uses open-source data to create a fairer criminal-justice system

The Recidiviz platform empowers states with real-time analysis, reports, alerts, and dashboards powered by case-level data.

Read more

10-12-2020 10:49am

The value in finding a mentor

No one can get through life alone – especially work life – which is why mentors and advisers play a central role in the Koch Associate Program, the Koch Internship Program, and the Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship.

Read more

Sign up for updates