When I first took up my assignment in Brussels in the summer of 2001, the conventional wisdom at NATO was that somewhere between one and four nations might receive Prague summit invitations - certainly not seven. It was President Bush's vision - first articulated in Warsaw earlier the same year of an alliance stretching "from the Baltics to the Black Sea" - that shifted the balance at NATO in favor of a robust enlargement. The horrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, further convinced many at NATO that the alliance should expand its ranks with those countries willing to take risks to win the war...
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