Q: Is NATO expansion needlessly provocative?
SFC: I think it’s disastrous for American-Russian relations. If it weren’t for the war in Iraq, we would understand that Russia is still our No. 1 national-security concern. Only Russia has the weapons that could destroy us. It has a vast share of the world’s energy. Russia sits at the crossroads between Judeo-Christian and Islamic civilizations. It’s also the world’s first- or second-largest exporter of weapons, and its capacity for good or mischief is enormous. Remember, too, that George H.W. Bush promised Gorbachev in 1991 that if Soviet Russia agreed to allow a united Germany in NATO, NATO would not move one inch to the east. Beginning with President Clinton, we have repeatedly violated that promise.