Academic journal article McNair Papers

IV. Recommendations for U.S. and NATO Policy

Academic journal article McNair Papers

IV. Recommendations for U.S. and NATO Policy

Article excerpt

Reaching decisions on the general approaches the United States and NATO should take toward European security alignments and NATO expansion demand the utmost care and sensitivity.


Of the six alternative alignments for security from Vancouver to Vladivostok outlined in the preceding section, the first alternative--a vibrant and growing NATO that continues the NACC and PFP outreach programs and moves beyond these to extend membership to selected states in Central and Eastern Europe--is the best. NATO would be a leading participant in an active, broader web of European security institutions. NATO would not, at least in the near future, extend membership to states in the Commonwealth of Independent States, but it would work to develop effective relations with these states, especially with Russia and Ukraine.

NATO has been the leading, most active, and successful security organization in Europe for the nearly half century of its existence, playing a role, if not the key role, in ensuring security in the North Atlantic area. It is the foundation for the Trans- Atlantic link between North America and Europe. Member states devote more attention and resources to NATO than to any other international, security-related institution. Members engage in daily consultations by permanent representatives to NATO institutions, regular meetings of foreign ministers, infrequent Summit meetings of heads of government and state, commitment of financial resources to support NATO activities, and, for most members, regular meetings of defense ministers and chiefs of military staffs, commitment of military forces, and participation in the integrated military command structure.

While giving primacy to NATO, the United States and NATO allies should actively encourage and promote the growing, interactive, and cooperative web of European-related security organizations. The United States and NATO should press ahead with or encourage security-related programs to engage and reach out to states in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, as well as in Western Europe, in the following areas:

* OSCE: contributing to the expanded activity and institutionalization of the 53-member OSCE;

* NACC: further development and implementation of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council work plan, focused primarily on political and economic cooperation among the 38 members of NACC;

* PFP: careful and intensive development, support, and implementation of the Partnership for Peace program, focused on defense and military cooperation between the 41 members of PFP;

* EU and WEU: encouragement and support for development of a European Security and Defense Identity, a European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy, an enhanced Western European Union with a Common Defence Policy; this should be done in a way that strengthens European integration and the European pillar of the Trans-Atlantic relationship, while maintaining open relations with North America and a strong NATO;

* NATO Expansion: study, consultations, and decisions on NATO expansion, leading to invitations to selected countries in CEE to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty and become members of NATO along with the present 16 members;

* NATO Relations with Russia and with Ukraine: study, consultations, and decisions on development of relationships between NATO and, respectively, Russia and Ukraine that will be a basis for openness, confidence, and cooperation.


NATO, in its ongoing study, should carefully address all the issues involved in possible expansion of membership. On the basis of analysis made to date, the following approach is recommended:

* Move forward to expand. NATO should move forward with extending membership to selected states in Central and Eastern Europe.

* Proceed with utmost care. The expansion process must be handled with the utmost of care. …

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