A leading expert on foreign policy reveals how tensions between America, NATO, and Russia transformed geopolitics in a Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2021
“Sarotte has the receipts, as it were: her authoritative tale draws on thousands of memos, letters, briefs, and other once secret documents—including many that have never been published before—which both fill in and complicate settled narratives on both sides.”—Joshua Yaffa, New Yorker
“The most engaging and carefully documented account of this period in East-West diplomacy currently available.”—Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs
Based on more than a hundred interviews and on secret records of White House-Kremlin contacts, Not One Inch shows how the United States successfully overcame Russian resistance in the 1990s to expand NATO to more than 900 million people. But it also reveals how Washington’s hardball tactics transformed the era between the Cold War and the present day, undermining what could have become a lasting partnership.
Vladimir Putin swears that Washington betrayed a promise that NATO would move “not one inch” eastward and justifies renewed confrontation as a necessary response to the alliance’s illegitimate “deployment of military infrastructure to our borders.” But the United States insists that neither President George H. W. Bush nor any other leader made such a promise.
Pulling back the curtain on U.S.-Russian relations in the critical years between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Putin’s rise to power, prize-winning Cold War historian M. E. Sarotte reveals the bitter clashes over NATO behind the façade of friendship and comes to a sobering conclusion: the damage did not have to happen. In this deeply researched and compellingly written book, Sarotte shows what went wrong.