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NATO's Time to Affirm its Strategic Security Significance to Europe

The deepening Ukraine crisis with Russia's menacing is prime time for NATO to affirm its strategic security significance to Europe. Should NATO miss this opportunity to reassure its members and prospective members, the organization would then be forced to operate without the confidence of nervous members fearing  their individual security needs would not be met should, and when, Putin comes hunting. So far, NATO actions to shore up the defenses of the Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania as well as Poland; have been adequate, yet in respect to Ukraine, NATO needs to establish a security plan for the possible future member. However, before NATO could do anything explicit for Ukraine, Ukraine must publicly declare that it seeks NATO membership in the future. Though the process to membership would take sometime, it is important that the Ukraine prime minister reverses his March declaration that NATO membership is not on his government's agenda. Should Ukraine declare its desire for NATO membership, then Ukraine forces could proceed with an operation to secure all of Ukraine sovereign territory. I submit that once Ukraine declares  to be a NATO member, and Ukraine mounts operations to secure it territories, then NATO will have the stability enforcement obligation to assist Ukraine from further Russian incursions. But Ukraine must assist NATO in this respect: a membership declaration must be first made; then the operation; then NATO must respond to assist Ukraine should Russia continue to menace. This is the point when NATO will reaffirm its European significance, send a clear message to Putin and dis-spell all doubts about the organization from its members. Pro Russian rebels in Ukraine have kidnapped monitors, shot down Ukraine helicopters and taken Ukraine buildings. Should Ukraine desire to hold elections as planned on May 25, drastic steps must be taken now.