Feb. 6, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Jones: NATO Inaction on Enlargement Risks Balkan Stability

Macedonia has already changed its national flag and constitution to address Greek concerns and reach a 1995 accord that prohibits Greece from blocking Macedonians’ entrance into international organizations.

Last December, the International Court of Justice, by a 15-1 margin, ruled that Greece violated that accord when it blocked Macedonia’s entry into NATO. It should be recognized that Macedonia’s ongoing exclusion from NATO empowers ethnic nationalists and imperils southeastern Europe’s hard-won stability. A continuation of the status quo is not in the best interests of the alliance.

We know all too well the cost in blood and treasure that the United States and its allies have paid to stabilize Southeastern Europe and maintain peace. As Macedonia’s soldiers wait on the doorstep of NATO forces’ headquarters in Afghanistan, facing the same dangers as American troops, without any national caveats, the summit in Chicago seems to be the right moment for NATO to open its doors to Macedonia without objection from any of the 28 member states.

Retired Gen. James Jones is the former national security adviser and commandant of the Marine Corps. He served as chief of staff to Joint Task Force Provide Promise for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.

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