Strobe Talbott. “The Case for Expanding NATO”. Time Magazine. 14 Jul. 1997 – But the changes facing Europe today are not just military, and NATO also serves a political function. Inclusion in the new NATO will strengthen the values and institutions of democracy in the new member states. The very possibility of membership has already encouraged a number of countries to step up their internal reforms and improve relations with one another. This sort of progress is a potent vaccine against the kind of plague that befell the former Yugoslavia.