Readers React: NATO expansion was the original sin that offended Russia and led to President Trump

Then-President Bill Clinton speaks at the NATO 50th anniversary summit in Washington on April 25, 1999.
Then-President Bill Clinton speaks at the NATO 50th anniversary summit in Washington on April 25, 1999.
(Greg Gibson / Associated Press)

To the editor: Reporting on the latest developments of the probe into 2016 campaign meddling caused me to imagine what could have been with Russia: non-hostile or even friendly relations with that country.

There would have been no Russian invasion of Ukraine or annexation of Crimea, and no interference to get Donald Trump elected president. But there was one powerful obstacle to this scenario: President Bill Clinton.

Under his watch, in 1999 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization expanded to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, tragically ignoring the warning of our foremost Russian expert, George F. Kennan, who said that enlarging NATO would be disastrous and start a new Cold War. He predicted that the Russian reaction would be very upsetting to us.


NATO expansion was nevertheless achieved, and it was continued under Presidents George W. Bush and Obama. Ukraine was intended to be next, which is when the Russians struck back.

Consequently, we have the present relations with Russia and Trump as president.

Roger Carasso, Santa Fe, N.M.


To the editor: It looks like your op-ed section has turned into a Trump bashing Forum, the latest being Virginia Heffernan’s column, which had the print headline, “All the president’s moronic men.”

I think this piece is moronic for trying to make it sound like the men around Trump have been indicted or signed plea deals for the reason of helping Russia elect a U.S. president, when actually it was more like not telling the truth that got them into trouble.

You would think that any non-moronic person who got it wrong about Trump running for president, wrong about Trump getting the nomination, and wrong about him not being able to beat Hillary Clinton, would finally learn to keep quiet and wait for the outcome of the Russia investigation.

Oops, see how easy it is? I just speculated about Heffernan’s positions during the election. It would be nice if we all kept speculation to a minimum.


Earl Yessmann, Hermosa Beach

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