In 1999 three East-Central European states (Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic) gained membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Professor Barany argues that, once it began, the Alliance should continue the enlargement process. Nevertheless he maintains that only states that satisfy NATO's membership criteria should be allowed to join. Through an extensive analysis of four countries, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia who, at the time of the book's original publication in 2003 were NATO aspirants, Barany demonstrates that they were in several important respects unprepared for membership and that there was no pressing reason for NATO's haste. Barany argues that while NATO should be clear that its doors remain open to qualified candidates, the Alliance should hold off further expansion until prospective members will become assets rather than liabilities.
• A critical, analytical look at NATO expansion • Focus on analysis of 4 E. European states and their political, economic, foreign policy, and military developments since fall of communism • Jargon-free language that is accessible to undergraduates and the general public
Introduction; 1. The pros and cons of (further) enlargement; 2. Slovakia: catching up to its neighbors; 3. Slovenia: a regional leader; 4. Romania: twelve years of disappointment; 5. Bulgaria: progress after seven wasted years; Conclusion: comparing the candidates.
'Barany's examination of the road to membership for Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in NATO as well as his assessment of their NATO-readiness is groundbreaking. His work will (hopefully) go a long way towards avoiding future problems resulting from the first post-Communist round of enlargement.' Journal of European Affairs
'Barany clearly has excellent contacts in the establishments of these states, excellent language skills, and an ability to search out telling documents. The material gathered is outstanding in this sub-field of NATO enlargement studies.' Stuart Croft, SEER