Why Is NATO Expanding?
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The last line of an LA Times article about something else mentions:

The [NATO] alliance meanwhile is poised to offer membership to Croatia, Albania and Macedonia, though Greece has threatened to block Macedonia's bid.

Theoretically, at least, NATO is a serious thing — it's a defense alliance. Article Five of the NATO treaty kind of sort of commits us to go to war for Croatia, Albania, or Macedonia if they get attacked by any of their numerous neighbors:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

I guess it's just a personal moral failing of mine, but for some reason, I can't really see Macedonia as being all that crucial to vital American national interests. Albania, sure, it's at least as important to us as the Panama Canal. And Croatia's practically Canada in terms of strategic value to the U.S. What true American wouldn't gladly sacrifice his sons' lives for Croatia?

But Macedonia? I'd bet that 95% of Americans don't know Macedonia exists, and the other 5% are Greeks who hate it for stealing the name of Alexander the Great's homeland.

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