Initially, Germany and the United States were the strongest advocates of NATO enlargement. They were the first two alliance partners to change their stance from firmly ruling out the admission of former member states of the Warsaw Pact Organization to supporting NATO’s admission of selected states in Central and Eastern Europe. The motivation to do so was different in each country, while, over time, the German and American positions became more closely aligned.

This essay reviews four publications that outline the debate on NATO enlargement and its driving forces in both countries up to the NATO campaign against Serbia in spring 1999:

  • The Long Entanglement: NATO’s First Fifty Years, Lawrence S. Kaplan (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1999). 262 pp., cloth (ISBN: 0-275-96418-3), $65.00; paper (ISBN: 0-275-96419-1), $22.95.
  • The Challenge of NATO Enlargement, Anton A. Bebler, ed. (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1999). 244 pp., cloth (ISBN: 0-275-96108-7), $65.00.
  • NATO 2000. Transatlantische Sicherheit im Wandel, Johannes Varwick and Wichard Woyke (Opladen: Leske 1 Budrich, 1999). 262 pp., paper (ISBN: 3-8100-2292-6), EUR 12.68.
  • Plädoyer für eine sanfte NATO-Osterweiterung, Peter Robejsek (Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 1999). 330 pp., paper (ISBN: 3-631-34288-8), EUR 50.06.