NATO has been an alliance without a mission since the end of the Cold War. Even as plans for expansion go forward, the post-Cold War mission of the alliance remains unclear.
It is clear, however, that NATO enlargement will create several problems. By including the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, while excluding other nations, NATO expansion threatens to create a new division of Europe. Equally worrisome, Russia views the extension of the alliance as highly provocative.
In short, NATO enlargement reflects a failure on the part of policy makers to recognize new strategic realities—and that failure could have dangerous unintended consequences.