What US Officials Said about NATO Enlargement, What the Russians Heard, and the Problem of Value-Complexity

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Monday, March 25th, 2019

Monday, March 25, 20195:00PM - 7:00PM108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
M5S 3K7
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The fierce scholarly and practitioner debate on the question “did the United States promise not to enlarge NATO” has taken our attention away from an important policy problem and one newly released U.S. and Russian historical materials highlight very well: how do leaders manage tradeoffs and uncertainty? Pursuing one set of interests can harm the achievement of other interests. And sometimes, policies take a while to form, adding to uncertainty in relations among countries. American University Professor James Goldgeier will explain why Bill Clinton and his top advisers convinced themselves that they could both enlarge NATO and keep Russia on a Western-oriented track, despite Boris Yeltsin’s warnings to the contrary, and he will discuss the implications of their approach for U.S.-Russia relations today.

James Goldgeier is Visiting Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Professor of International Relations at the School of International Service at American University, where he served as Dean from 2011-17. He holds the 2018-19 Library of Congress Chair in U.S.-Russia Relations at the John W. Kluge Center. Previously, he was a professor at George Washington University, where from 2001-05 he directed the Elliott School’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. He also taught at Cornell University, and has held a number of public policy appointments, including Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff, Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress. In addition, he has held appointments or fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Hoover Institution, the Brookings Institution, and the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation. He is past president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, and he co-directs the Bridging the Gap project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He has authored or co-authored four books.


James Goldgeier
American University and Council on Foreign Relations

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