Academic journal article McNair Papers

1. Present Situation and Trends in Security Institutions

Academic journal article McNair Papers

1. Present Situation and Trends in Security Institutions

Article excerpt


The present NATO agenda contains a key issue: extending membership to countries of the East. NATO summit leaders in January 1994 spoke of expecting and welcoming NATO expansion, and President Clinton has said NATO expansion was "no longer a question of whether, but when and how." Accepting the President's conclusion, this paper makes three assessments of NATO expansion then offers certain recommendations:

* An assessment of the present situation and trends in NATO and other security institutions related to Europe and Eurasia

* An assessment of key issues related to possible expansion of membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

* An assessment of alternative security alignments in Europe and extending to North America and Eurasia (from Vancouver to Vladivostok)

* Recommendations for U.S. and NATO policy.

In the nearly 50 years since the end of World War II, several agreements and institutions related to European security have emerged and evolved. France and the United Kingdom banded together in the Dunkirk Treaty of 1946, which led in 1948 to an expanded Brussels Treaty, and later, in 1954, to the Western European Union (WEU). West European cooperation focused more, however, on economic relations, leading to establishment of the European Community, now the European Union (EU). The EU is now broadening its horizon beyond economics to consider a "Common Foreign and Security Policy," and efforts have been undertaken to develop a "European Security and Defense Identity" and to revitalize the WEU and develop a "Common Defense Policy."

Post World War II trans-Atlantic security arrangements were formally set in 1949 when states in Western European and the United States and Canada concluded the North Atlantic Treaty and established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In the preamble to the Treaty, parties expressed their determination to "safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law"; stated their intent to "seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area"; and resolved to "unite their efforts for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security". NATO, the EU, and the WEU have expanded over the years to take in new West European countries (see appendix A).

In May 1955, the Warsaw Treaty Organization (the Warsaw Pact) was established for the express purpose of promoting mutual defense among the Soviet Union and seven states of Eastern Europe. Albania withdrew in 1968, and the German Democratic Republic withdrew in 1990. Beginning in 1989, revolutionary changes in Central and Eastern Europe and changes in the Soviet Union led to the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact on 1 July 1991. The organization that Moscow created in 1949 for international economic cooperation among Warsaw Pact members as well as other states--the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (often called CEMA, CMEA, or Comecon)--was dissolved in January 1991.

In 1973, the first East-West institution, with 35 members, was established in the form of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), which, now grown to 53 members, was renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in January 1995. OSCE fosters security and cooperation in the area of human fights, economic cooperation, and security cooperation.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The CIS quickly expanded, and today the new independent states that were republics in the former Soviet Union are all members of the CIS, with the exception of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which have not sought CIS membership The CIS deals with political, economic, and security cooperation. …

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