NATO Enlargement, Central and Eastern Europe and the Two Candidates

Article excerpt

Foreign policy was ignored during the second presidential debate. The Washington Times' reporting of the debate not only reflected this failing, but correctly raised issues that should have been covered. The security of the newly emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe is a glaring one. We need only to recall U.S. involvement in two world wars, the Cold War and now Bosnia to realize that developments in that region have an impact on our national security.

Next year's announced summit on NATO enlargement will dramatically affect the future of Central and Eastern Europe - and of the United States - for decades to come. For the fledgling democracies of that region and for the many millions of American citizens who trace their roots to those countries, the U.S. presidential election is crucial.

At stake are the security and even independence of those countries. Because European security is essential to the security of the United States, the critical need is for a president with vision, a cohesive national strategy and strong leadership to restore American credibility and ensure U.S. national-security interests in Europe.

According to a new Heritage Foundation study, "Restoring American Leadership," the Clinton administration "remains plagued by inconsistency, incompetence, and outright failure in foreign and defense policy. …