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Should the United States Encourage More Countries to Join NATO?

61.1% yes
38.9% no

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949 by the United States and multiple western European nations with the intention of forming a collective defense agreement to deter enemies like the Soviet Union and communist China. Over the ensuing decades especially after the end of the Cold War, additional nations have joined NATO. Recently, tensions between Ukraine and Russia have increased in the past decade and is now at a boiling point as the two countries edge closer to open war. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, which has led to questions of if it and other countries geographically close to U.S. geopolitical opponents should be encouraged to join the organization.

Those who argue that the United States should encourage more countries to join NATO contend that doing so will provide an effective deterrent against countries like Russia and China who are seeking to expand their influence. They argue that since an attack on one NATO member is considered an attack on all, other nations are much less likely to take an aggressive stance against weaker countries. They claim that if a country like Ukraine is encouraged to join NATO, Russia would need to back down which would avoid a war. They also may argue that since NATO’s members commit to supporting democracy and individual liberties, the U.S. can make the world a better place by encouraging increased membership.

Those who argue that the United States should not encourage more countries to join NATO contend that doing so is not in our best interest. They argue that our country does not gain anything if it encourages weaker nations to join, since they will be a liability more than a benefit. They claim that these countries will be very prone to facing aggression from nations like China and Russia, and that it would drag the United States into war more frequently and Americans would be sent to fight and die in a far-off country that is geopolitically unimportant. They may also argue that NATO’s requirement that members support democracy and individual liberties is a sham since authoritarian nations like Turkey are members. Thus, the United States is not successfully spreading its values to the rest of the world through NATO.

So, what do you think? Should the United States Encourage More Countries to Join NATO? Students can answer Yes, it should; No, it should not; or a nuanced answer in between!

Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:

  • Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
  • Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
  • Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • They address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
  • They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly


For this question, BRI will be giving away two $25 gift cards, one to each person providing the best defense of each side of the debate. Both students will also win BRI swag. Each student winner will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000 cash scholarship. Additionally, the referring teachers for both students will each win a $25 gift card and BRI swag.

This question will run from 1/24/22 to 2/1/22, so be sure to submit your answers in time to be considered for our prizes!

(For rules/regulations click HERE)

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