"В последнее утро в ходе прощaльной встречи в Кремле Путин выскaзaл Клинтону смутную угрозу: если Америкa не отступит от своих плaнов, ответ России будет "соответствующим" и, "возможно, совершенно неожидaнным, дaже aсимметричным". Это могло ознaчaть что угодно. Клинтон выслушaл нотaцию Путинa, после чего обернулся к своему помощнику Строубу Тэлботу и пробормотaл: "Похоже, этот пaрень думaет, что до меня не доходит с первого рaзa. Либо он туп, либо держит зa тaкого меня. Лaдно, дaвaй зaкaнчивaть это дело; нaдо успеть повидaться с другом Борисом. ... Однажды за завтраком в лондонском отеле я сказал представителю США в НАТО Нику Бернсу, что Россия может иметь законные основания беспокоиться по поводу расширения НАТО до ее порога и размещения нового американского вооружения. Это, в конце концов, ее «задний двор». И получил бескомпромиссный ответ: «Перебьются! Они потеряли это право. Теперь это американские национальные интересы».
Роксборо "Железный Путин: взгляд с Запада»
Over breakfast in a London hotel I put it to Nick Burns that Russia might have legitimate concerns in seeing NATO expand right up to its doorstep, and America installing new weaponry there. It was, after all, their ‘backyard’. His answer was quite uncompromising: ‘Tough! They lost that right. This was in the American national interest.’ 
It was an answer that seemed to me to preclude accommodating even a reformed, ‘democratic’ Russia: it had ‘lost the right’ to influence affairs in its backyard, apparently by having inherited the sins of the Soviet Union, whereas the USA did have the right to influence affairs there because it was ‘in the American national interest’.
He went on: ‘When it came to admitting the Baltic countries into NATO, there were really furious arguments about it – both with the Europeans and within Washington . Even George Tenet [the CIA director], for example, was against it. But many of us had essentially lost hope that we could trust the Russians or integrate them into the West. By 2002, there was a growing suspicion that Putin wasn’t the person they thought he was, that he couldn’t make Russia a reliable ally. We concluded that we wanted a good relationship with Russia, but the most important target in the region, post-Cold War, was the freedom and liberation of Eastern and Central Europe. There was lots of opposition in the US, and we had to fight hard, but we thought we had to be careful about the Russians. We thought it was more important to lock in the one real gain of the fall of the USSR. George W. Bush was a strong believer in that argument.’
The neo-cons believed the policy of putting faith in Russia in the 1990s had failed. ‘I knew Russia would try to become dominant in Europe again, and we had to protect the Eastern and Central Europeans,’ said Burns. ‘Putin is all about bringing power back to Russia. This was becoming clear by late 2002.’ 
That phrase was revealing: making Russia powerful again was precisely what Putin wanted – and precisely what many in Washington could not stomach.
The administration’s ‘Russophiles’ found their views echoed in Western Europe, but not in Washington. One of them says: ‘There seemed to be a viewpoint that by understanding and laying out the Russian point of view you were endorsing it and legitimising it. This was not the view you find in Europe. This is why we were at odds with the Germans and even the UK because most of the European interlocutors were trying to factor in what Russia felt about things , because they didn’t want an open confrontation.’
Angus Roxburgh, "The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia", I. B. Tauris, 2012, pp. 88-91
см. тж. Strobe Talbott, "The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy", New York: Random House, 2002, p 397
Исмей (первый генсек НАТО) о целях НАТО: "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans [now Europeans] down."