Cato Handbook for Congress: Policy Recommendations for the 106th Congress

By Edward H. Crane; David Boaz | Go to book overview

52.
Problems with the New NATO
Congress should
refuse to appropriate funds for any “out-of-area” NATO military missions;
pass a joint resolution opposing any further expansion of the alliance beyond the admission of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic approved by the Senate in 1998;
pass a joint resolution endorsing the new European Security and Defense Policy;
pass legislation requiring the withdrawal of all U.S. forces stationed in Europe by 2005; and
conduct a comprehensive debate about whether continued U.S. membership in NATO serves American interests—especially in light of the alliance's change of focus from territorial defense to murky peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention missions.

The decision taken by NATO leaders at the Madrid summit in 1997 to invite Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to join the alliance was a watershed event. Not merely was the alliance to be enlarged; that had occurred before. But for the first time NATO proposed to undertake security responsibilities in Central and Eastern Europe. There also appear to be no discernible limits to the potential enlargement of the alliance. President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright emphasized that NATO membership is theoretically open to any European democracy. Albright went even further, asserting that no democratic country would be excluded because of where it is located on the map—a clear reference to the aspirations of the three Baltic republics.

While NATO contemplates enlarging its membership even further, another equally momentous change is taking place in the alliance. When

-545-

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