What You Need To Know:
✔️"We are not ready at the moment, but there is huge support from the public now";
✔️ Political factors can expedite membership for countries;
✔️ NATO is based on an open door policy, so claiming that NATO is expanding is wrong because joining is the decision of each country;
✔️ Georgia has met and exceeded the NATO standards needed to join the Alliance but hasn't ascended;
✔️There's no political willingness to actually grant NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine in the face of Russia.
"Secretary General Stoltenberg was here, and they signed two Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine that allowed us to get access to trust funds, the most important was related to common control and computers, and then to logistics. Those are the weakest points of our defense." says Alexander Khara, a Diplomat and Expert at the Maidan of Foreign Affairs.
NATO is not just about military, but also about democracy and other things related to the day to day activities of government functions says Khara. He believes that once people understand this, support for NATO will grow even more.
Khara claims that "Ukraine and Poland is the center of gravity on the continent and without addressing our security concerns, there is no way to ensure success on the whole continent." For this reason, he believes that it's imperative to work hard to integrate Ukraine into NATO quickly.
Michael Cecire, a Black Sea and Eurasia Analyst based in Washington says that "Georgia's done quite a bit on its defense side, on its political side to prepare itself for NATO membership but it's never received what it covets, which is a concrete pathway into the alliance."
He believes that the political willingness to integrate NATO is lacking from the United States because several European countries are strongly opposed to Georgian ascension. In his opinion, it would require the United States to lead and push through the Georgia question, and the Ukraine question, but that desire doesn't exist.
Hromadske International co-hosts Ian Bateson and Christian Borys interviewed Michael Cecire and Alexander Khara on September 27th, 2015