What Should Have Happened in Bucharest

Does the NATO alliance know why it exists anymore?

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

The summit did produce greater cooperation on other fronts. Several NATO members, led by France, agreed to send additional troops to eastern Afghanistan. This will free up American troops to head to southern Afghanistan, where they are needed to bolster Canadian forces. NATO leaders also endorsed a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, despite strong Russian objections, showing that Russian influence with NATO has its limits.

However, these areas of cooperation don’t make up for the missed opportunity to move forward with MAPs for Ukraine and Georgia, and to work out a solution to the Macedonian-Greek standoff. It’s in NATO’s interest to move all three of these states closer, not further away, from the alliance.

Spencer P. Boyer is Director of international law and diplomacy with the Center for American Progress.