NATO Looks East

NATO Looks East

NATO Looks East

NATO Looks East

Synopsis

The writers examine how the eastward movement of NATO has led to a new organization. As they point out, the process was underway by the time the Soviet Union collapsed. Issues of western financial constraint, the Gulf War, events in the former Yugoslavia, and changing configurations of the major NATO partners led the way. In addition, these essays examine the potential effects of the incorporation of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary as well as the more distant, but still conceivable inclusion of the Baltic states, Ukraine, and others and special arrangements with Russia.

Excerpt

This volume succinctly analyzes the "new" North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It attacks the tired and worn-out ideas about the imminent decline of NATO. It provides a realistic appraisal of NATO by outlining its changed organizational and military structure, assessing its first-ever significant military action in the former Yugoslavia, and applauding its acceptance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland as full members of the community.

The book examines the structure, purpose, and goals of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization rather than concentrating on its own declared intentions. The authors of this volume attempt to understand NATO, particularly its expansion eastward, by examining its actions or behavior.

First, NATO's "organization" began to change after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This happened through a unique process of adjustment and compromise on the part of the major players, and it was no doubt caused by the end of the Soviet threat and the emergence of democratic leadership in Russia. It was also affected by issues of Western financial constraint, events in the Persian Gulf and the former Yugoslavia, and the political configurations of the major NATO partners.

Second, NATO's "purpose" or "objective" began to change with its first-ever violent use of air and naval forces to back up U.N. peacekeepers in BosniaHerzegovina, its first-ever ground-force operation in IFOR and now SFOR, and operations within Partnership for Peace with other non-NATO countries.

Third, NATO's membership is on the verge of shifting eastward to include countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The addition of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland is now certain. Their adhesion to NATO, along with the setting up of the special arrangements with Russia, will mark the complete transformation of NATO.

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