After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a near universal understanding among political leaders that NATO expansion would be a foolish provocation against Russia. How naïve we were to think the military-industrial complex would allow such sanity to prevail.
The war industry did not intend to shrink its power or its profits. It set out almost immediately to recruit the former Communist Bloc countries into the European Union and NATO. Countries that joined NATO, which now include Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia were forced to reconfigure their militaries, often through hefty loans, to become compatible with NATO military hardware.