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Updated: 01-Feb-2002 NATO Review

Web edition
Vol. 39- No. 1
February 1991
p. 3-8

The Atlantic Alliance in the new era

Manfred Wörner
NATO Secretary General and Chairman
of the North Atlantic Council

In the life of every institution there are certain key dates that mark the end of one particular phase of development and the initiation of new directions and tasks. Observers of Alliance affairs have traditionally pointed to 1956 as one such key date because in that year the Report of the Three Wise Men considerably expanded the importance and scope of Alliance political consultations. 1967 is also regarded as a milestone, for in that year not only did the Alliance adopt the strategy of flexible response but it also formulated the Harmel Doctrine with its affirmation of the Alliance's major role in fostering detente as well as safeguarding military defence. Even without the benefit of historical hindsight, I am certain that the year just passed, 1990, will be seen as the third such key period in the Alliance's constant evolution and adaptation to new circumstances.

In the past 12 months, many of the Alliance's most long-standing objectives have been achieved, perhaps more rapidly and smoothly than even the most optimistic would have dared to forecast. German unification has been secured in full accordance with the wishes of the German people, and without enforced neutrality or diminished security. As a full member of the Alliance, the new Germany not only symbolizes the overcoming of Europe's division but is also contributing to stability and security in Europe in a way that a divided nation never could.

While German unity is the new stabilizing factor in the political realm, the recently signed treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) should bring about a similar quantum improvement in the military realm. Never has such a far-reaching arms control agreement, and one involving so many participating nations in such complex technical work, been concluded so rapidly. The CFE treaty will give the continent more security than it has known in its history. First, however, the Joint Consultative Group which will oversee the treaty's implementation, must resolve a number of difficulties which have arisen out of the insufficient Soviet compliance with their treaty commitments. Given the crucial importance of CFE not only in codifying for the first time limits to conventional forces in Europe, but also in establishing the durable basis of trust between the Soviet Union and its Western neighbours, I hope that we can overcome these difficulties.

Together with the substantive Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBM) document that we were also able to achieve, the CFE process will progressively introduce the same principles of restraint and reassurance into military affairs that many countries have long since established in their political and economic relations. The Alliance's vision of a Europe in which aggression is politically unthinkable and militarily impossible is much closer.

German unity and the CFE treaty were the essential elements in unlocking the syndrome of confrontation between East and West, even if the Cold War could not be finally overcome until we were certain that the processes of reform and democratization in both the Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe would continue. Yet 1990 was important not only for our efforts to end one sterile and indeed tragic era but also for the progress we made in building a new and better one. During the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) summit in Paris last November, we concluded a Joint Declaration on peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe which affirms our desire for a cooperative partnership (1). That same summit adopted all of the proposals that the Alliance had made in its London Declaration for a strengthened role for the CSCE as the forum for all-European cooperation and security, and whose spirit is fully captured by the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. (2)

Since the meeting of Alliance Foreign Ministers last June in Turnberry (3) and the London Summit last July, (4) the Alliance has worked steadfastly to give effect to its outstretched hand of friendship to former adversaries. The Soviet Union and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe have established regular diplomatic liaison with the Alliance, permitting a useful interchange of information and views. We have also initiated a regular sequence of high-level exchanges by senior political and military officials, symbolized by visits to NATO by elected leaders of Central and Eastern European nations as well as by my own intensely moving visits to Moscow, Prague, Warsaw and Budapest. In all four capitals, my message that the time of confrontation is over and my invitation to work together to build a new, more secure and more prosperous Europe were well received.

Thus, from the vantage point of our Alliance's hopes and expectations at this time last year, developments in Europe over the past twelve months have played out as if according to an ideal plan. So spectacular indeed has been our progress that inevitably questions have been asked about the Alliance's future. What is there left for a politico-military alliance such as NATO to do now that the threat that dominated our daily lives and our planning assumptions for nearly half a century has all but disappeared? What is the new agenda that can be achieved only by means of the Alliance? How, conceptually, does the Alliance fit into a new European architecture whose purpose will not be the staving off of a single, collective and overwhelming challenge from an external and alien power?

Some commentators have taken the view that NATO is now obsolete because alliances are brought about and sustained only by the rationale of a clearly identified and equally perceived threat. Take that away and they lose their raison d'etre, not being able to address lesser risks and instabilities that are experienced differently by the alliance's members. Holders of this view believe that such an outcome is either desirable or regrettable but unavoidable. In the first category are those who think that security is now cheaper and easier to obtain so that it can be accommodated by looser and less reliable structures such as the CSCE; the second category includes those who believe that in the absence of a clearly identified threat, democracies will be unwilling or unable to sustain the sacrifices and commitments that a secure Western defence will require, notwithstanding the all too obvious fact that the wider world fails to show the same trend towards more peaceful relations that we have seen thus far in Europe.

On the surface, it may appear surprising that holders of the view that events have made NATO redundant have been neither numerous nor influential in the debate regarding the Organization's future. To be credible, they would need to demonstrate three propositions:

  • that the Alliance is only a military grouping focussing solely on an external, single threat;

  • that that threat has changed in such a profound way that the nation that once produced it can be completely disregarded in Western security calculations;

  • that the Alliance has proved itself incapable of changing to new circumstances to the point of being superseded.

Yet it is clear that none of these three propositions can be convincingly substantiated.

More than a military alliance

On the first point, NATO has never been a classic military alliance of disparate, and even antagonistic nations held together only by the assumption that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Initially dependent upon American leadership, the Alliance has evolved over the years into apolitical commonwealth of like-minded and equal nations sharing common values and, increasingly, common interests. The Treaty of Washington of 1949 nowhere mentions the Soviet Union but stresses instead the need for a permanent community of Western democracies to make each other stronger through cooperation, and to work for more peaceful international relations. The Alliance has played a major role in reconciling former adversaries, such as France and Germany, in counteracting neo-isolationism within the world's greatest power and in promoting new standards of consultation and cooperation among its members. All these elements would still have been fundamental to security and prosperity in Europe even in the absence of the post-war Soviet threat. Paul-Henri Spaak once said that Josef Stalin was the father of NATO, but this is only true in the sense that he served as a catalyst for helping a unique form of international cooperation to come about that was needed not only for containment but also other essential tasks.

Changing threat

On the second proposition, it is true that we now have to come to terms with a transformed European landscape of security in which the direct threat by a massive Soviet aggression has disappeared and the staving off of an imminent threat has become less urgent. This does not, of course, exclude the continued abuse of military power to determine political relations within states, as the recent events in Vilnius regrettably demonstrate. All the same, the risks that allies now face in Europe arise less from planned, ideologically-motivated aggression than from the strategic consequences of risks and instabilities that are always bound up with long periods of rapid and profound social and economic transformation such as we are now living through. As we have so recently seen, the passing of Cold War confrontation has not eliminated uncertainty. The future evolution of the Soviet Union is now less predictable than at any time since Gorbachev became leader.

Our apprehensions were increased by the resignation of Eduard Schevardnadze, a man who symbolized as much as Gorbachev himself the new Soviet foreign policy of openness and cooperation, and whose visit to NATO Headquarters in December 1989 initiated the new era of friendship and cooperation between the Alliance and the Soviet Union. These apprehensions have been considerably reinforced by the crackdown in the Baltic republics in the past few weeks. This is a clear violation of the CSCE principles which the Soviet Union has undertaken to uphold and poses great dangers for the future course of its movement towards democratization and market reform. Yet unless these two processes are continued, the Soviet Union cannot achieve internal peace and stability, but only a downward spiral into chaos and worsening nationalist strife. For this reason, the Alliance has urged Gorbachev to stop using force and pursue a policy of peaceful negotiations, reform and openness and we have pledged our full support and concrete assistance provided he does so.

Although the situation is brighter in Central and Eastern Europe, we still cannot tell if reform there will be successful. In 1990, we also had to come to terms with the inevitable consequences of the collapse of communism: the enormous burdens that transformation will place on countries already brought near to dereliction by nearly half a century of Communist misrule; the instabilities that could result from a new division of Europe according to wealth; the reopening of nationalist options and ethnic strife, not caused but invariably exacerbated by economic failure. Already, the spectre of massive migratory flows of people away from areas of tension and towards the West has been raised. Even under the best of scenarios, it will take a very long time and a combination of sustained reform efforts by these countries and steady help from the West before Europe can develop into a collectivity of equal security, comparable living standards and a common sense of participation.

It would also be much too simplistic to claim that Soviet military power is no longer relevant to Western security planning. Despite their internal problems, the Soviets still manifestly feel the need for enormous and ultra-modern military capabilities that will continue to make their country by far Europe's most powerful nation. The current levels of Soviet defence spending, the modernization of equipment, particularly in the nuclear field, and the massive transfers of CFE-limited conventional armaments beyond the Urals, testify to this continuing fact of international life.

Soviet military efforts, notwithstanding the important numerical reductions in inventories and production that have undoubtedly taken place, far outstrip reasonable defence requirements or anything that NATO nations, individually or collectively, could do. To remind readers of these facts is not to question Gorbachev's sincerity in seeking a more stable international environment, nor is it to claim that our Alliance planning needs still to be based on worst case scenarios. All the allies are convinced that long-term Soviet interests lie in cooperation and peaceful interaction with the Western countries. Yet even the most sincere reformist enterprise will encounter setbacks and reversals. Thus our relationship with the Soviet Union, where reform is most difficult to achieve and the opposition to it is greatest, is bound to preserve for some time to come a dual character. On the one hand, we hope to continue and deepen our newly-established cooperative relationship with the Soviet Union, and to construct a partnership in organizing peace and security together. Yet, on the other, the Soviet Union has got to prove that it, too, is irrevocably bound to the same objective. The future shape of the Soviet Union will take a long time to emerge and its immense strategic mass and military capabilities cannot be balanced by diplomacy or economic relations alone. So this residual risk will keep alive the need for insurance and a certain vigilance.

When we speak of a reduction in the classic threat to Alliance security, we must not overlook the increasing importance of challenges from outside our Alliance's territory. As the Gulf crisis had underscored, new and significant risks can arise from unexpected quarters. Of course, the Alliance has faced so-called out-of-area challenges since its inception, but there are now grounds for believing that these can no longer be seen by any individual ally as remote or secondary. The trend towards disarmament and lower defence budgets in the industrialized world has magnified the importance of many Third World arsenals which, like that of Iraq, have acquired a global dimension. Increasingly, such arsenals include weapons of mass destruction that could be used to directly threaten Alliance territory or exercise leverage over our affairs. Indeed, all along the southern perimeter of our territory, an arc of tension is developing to some extent from the Maghreb to the Middle East. Tensions are exacerbated not only by the persistence in power of absolute and ambitious rulers, such as Saddam Hussein, but also by a backdrop of deep-rooted development problems that spur population growth, migration, resource conflicts, religious fundamentalism and terrorism. Thus less today than ever before can we see Alliance security as something that stops at our borders or concerns only those Allies with particular links to these regions.

Adapting to new circumstances

I now come to the third proposition. Has the Alliance been able to move with the new times and prove an instrument rather than a brake to necessary change? Our progress over the past twelve months testifies to the fact that we have stayed ahead of events, shaping rather than merely adapting to them. For instance, the decisions we took during the spring and summer to modify our military strategy played a key role in persuading the Soviet Union to accept the full membership of a united Germany in the Alliance. This was also evident in the flexibility that Allies showed in devising security arrangements for the territory of the former GDR. The strong emphasis on cooperation in the London Declaration convinced the Soviet leadership that NATO was ready to accommodate their legitimate security interests. They had everything to gain by accepting freedom and reform in Central and Eastern Europe, thereby winning our trust and active assistance. Even before our strategy review is completed, the Alliance has relaxed its defence posture in Europe, reducing readiness levels and training requirements.

We have signalled our willingness to reduce our weapons to the very minimum consistent with our security, and have already come forward with new arms control proposals to further stabilize the post-CFE balance of forces. These include limitations on manpower, further CSBMs, a negotiation on the reduction and restructuring of short range nuclear weapons based in Europe, the reciprocal elimination of nuclear artillery and more meetings to discuss doctrines, budgets and military plans to further enhance transparency and assurance. These changes, together with the diplomatic liaison activities I referred to earlier, demonstrate that the Alliance has no need of an enemy nor interest in confrontation. We seek to radically transform security relationships in Europe rather than merely to reproduce the old East-West competition at lower and more relaxed force levels. This process of adaptation of our Alliance is not a short-lived but rather a continuing exercise. The North Atlantic Council in Permanent Session has been engaged over the last half year in brainstorming sessions to ensure that the strategy review is not limited to its military and defence planning aspects but embraces also political tasks as part of an overall coherent concept.

Alternatives to NATO

At this point, we should consider the two alternatives to NATO which are quite often suggested: a purely Western European defence organization or a collective security system based on the CSCE. On examination, it soon becomes clear that these are not real alternatives. It would be neither realistic nor sensible to develop a completely independent European defence capability. Even if it could be achieved in the foreseeable future, it would not give the European allies the same degree of military protection they enjoy within the Alliance, nor the same ability to bring their influence to bear on security challenges beyond Europe. The North Americans would not fail to perceive such an initiative as signalling that their contribution is neither necessary nor desired. It would thus be difficult to prevent a complete withdrawal of their forces, both nuclear and conventional, from Europe thereby creating a security vacuum.

The other suggested alternative is the CSCE. This process has the advantage of including the Soviet Union and other nations of Central and Eastern Europe with which we are seeking an ever closer and more productive dialogue. CSCE has considerable potential for dealing with the problems that have already begun to cause instability and tension in Europe and, left unchecked, could prove even more disruptive in the future: border disputes, ethnic tensions, human rights abuses and undemocratic practices. For these reasons, the Alliance has striven hard to give CSCE a greater ability to manage these problems. Our proposals will result in the establishment of CSCE institutions, most notably a Conflict Prevention Centre, which all have considerable growth potential. Yet CSCE's ability to enhance security is not the same thing as an ability to guarantee security if its mediation efforts or attempts to apply common standards of behaviour prove unsuccessful. CSCE has progressed not through its own internal cohesion and dynamics but due to the strong Alliance caucus within it, setting the standards and supporting its role. Without the Alliance, a CSCE left on its own would be vulnerable to the rule of consensus among 34 states with different interests and social systems. Instead of acting in a crisis, it might prove deadlocked and paralysed, particularly as it lacks any enforcement mechanism against violators of its principles. For the foreseeable future, CSCE could only reflect a pre-existing state of collective security. It could not create it. It also lacks an integrated defence structure which, as the Alliance has shown, is the crucial factor in overcoming past antagonisms and preventing a dangerous re-nationalization of security. In an age when we cannot precisely quantify future risks, the existence of such an integrated defence structure within NATO is by far the best insurance policy against uncertainty not only for the allies but for other CSCE states as well.

Key areas of activity

The Alliance remains not only necessary but also irreplaceable. The question is not, therefore, whether NATO but whither NATO? Naturally, the future shape of the Alliance cannot be precisely forecast for it depends on a number of imponderables: How will European political union develop, and how soon? How effective will an institutionalized CSCE prove and will the United Nations be better able to address global peace concerns in the wake of the Gulf crisis? Will the Soviet Union develop, however slowly, into a normal European nation and civil society, in singular or plural form? Yet such imponderables are not tantamount to an identity crisis within the Alliance if we consider that all European institutions - the European Community, CSCE, Council of Europe and Western European Union - are equally in a phase of renewal and redefinition. What counts is that the Alliance should have a clear idea of its near-term tasks and of the overall direction in which it wishes to head. Following our Ministerial consultations in Brussels late last year, I am confident these have been well charted. I foresee, as a result, four key areas of Alliance activity.

The first concerns the building of the European pillar within the Alliance. We wholeheartedly support the emerging European dimension in the fields of security and defence. A European security dimension as a consequence of European political union, and ultimately including defence, will contribute to building a stronger, more cohesive Europe, that will be able to shoulder a greater share of responsibilities within the Alliance. We want this process to strengthen the European pillar of our Alliance in a way that also reinforces the transatlantic dimension. No ally should be marginalized as this evolution unfolds. In the coming months, the North Atlantic Council will, in the wider political context of our strategy review, develop proposals for establishing a complementary relationship through a closer interaction with the WEU and the European Community. We will make the necessary changes to adapt our Alliance to this new reality.

The second regards the construction of the future European architecture. In a radically altered environment, the Alliance can no longer be the monopoly provider of security that it was in the Cold War years. It remains our only real possibility for peace-keeping in Europe, but it cannot alone realize the current opportunity for peace-building. This task is naturally much more complex. We must come to terms with a more diffuse concept of security in which economic integration and assistance and the internal democratization of states become as important as traditional military defence in maintaining security and preventing the degeneration of instabilities into tensions liable to cause conflicts. Such a task cannot be handled by one single super-institution addressing financial, economic, military, arms control, human rights and cultural tasks all at once. So, as Alliance Foreign Ministers recognized in their communiqué of last December, (5) our future European architecture will rest on a system of different organisations, sometimes overlapping, but inter-locking and, albeit with a different focus, complementary.

Our Alliance will now open itself fully to the other principal institutions of this architecture, notably the European Community, CSCE and Council of Europe. We will seek to develop closer ties and more complementary relations, avoiding duplication and unnecessary and indeed destructive notions of rivalry and competition. In particular, we will be seeking to help the CSCE to make its new institutions effective. This will be particularly true of the Centre for the Prevention of Conflict (CPC) which could play a role in exchanging military information and verifying arms control agreements. We are exploring ways to make some of our own data and expertise available to the CPC.

The third area concerns the further development of our dialogue with the Soviet Union and the nations of Central and Eastern Europe. At their meeting last December, Alliance foreign ministers noted the overwhelming interest by these countries in forging new links to our Alliance and in discussing security as something we can agree upon together. Although the Alliance cannot provide these nations with security guarantees, and it is not at this time appropriate to speak of membership or associate membership for them, we can use this dialogue to help them overcome their sense of vulnerability and isolation. I am thus heartened that Ministers agreed to deepen this dialogue through broader and more active exchanges and indeed cooperation on issues of common concern.

In this respect, I anticipate that many leaders of Central and Eastern European nations will address the North Atlantic Council in Brussels during 1991. We intend to multiply our political and military exchanges and to use to the extent possible our Third Dimension in the scientific and environmental domain as well as our information programme to build bridges between the Alliance and the scientific community and public opinion of these countries. At all events, the Allies are interested in political stability and prosperity as the basic conditions of lasting peace. The challenge is to prevent new economic cleavages. So we will contribute what we can to enhance stability. In this spirit, we will develop our relationship with the nations of Central and Eastern Europe to implement our message of cooperation. Also, in the same vein, we support the expectations and legitimate aspirations of the Baltic peoples. In a statement on 14 January last, the North Atlantic Council appealed to the Soviet authorities to implement fully the Soviet Union's CSCE commitments, most recently reflected in the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, and to pursue the process of peaceful reform and democratic change. The allies reiterated their support for this process. They also called for an open dialogue by the Soviet authorities with democratically elected leaders which would lead to a negotiated solution based on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, and in which they urged restraint by all concerned.

The Gulf crisis

The fourth and final area concerns the new challenges, particularly risks from adjacent areas. The Gulf crisis brought the world into the most serious military confrontation for many years. There were many factors that prompted commentators to call for a major Alliance involvement in this crisis: the blatant aggression by Iraq against a smaller, defenceless neighbour that endangered our hopes for a more civilized post-Cold War order; the potential risks to our security from Iraq's enormous military capability and boundless ambition; the dangers to our prosperity and stability, as well as to many reforming and developing countries, from upheavals in oil supplies; and the fact that the cooperative stance of the Soviet Union within the United Nations did not require heightened Alliance vigilance along the former East-West axis.

Certainly, the Alliance has responded to this crisis. Its solidarity has been absolute and has not wavered as the crisis resulted in a military action. Indeed, by the yardstick of previous out-of-area conflicts, this solidarity has been unprecedented and not exclusively diplomatic either. The Europeans have made a greater material contribution and all allies have contributed assistance either to the international force deployed in the Gulf or to those nations bearing the brunt of the UN-mandated sanctions. In particular, the speed with which the Alliance responded to Turkish requests in sending the air component of the ACE Mobile Force to Turkey, and individual allies provided air defence systems, was exemplary in reminding Iraq of our absolute determination to uphold Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

Thus the United States was by no means standing alone in the Gulf. Moreover, our Alliance objective must not be to conduct a post-mortem on burden sharing among the allies or to speculate on how the Alliance could and should respond to similar crises in the future. Nonetheless, now the Gulf crisis is over, the Alliance will of course have to draw lessons to improve both its crisis management and crisis prevention machinery. Obviously, the hopes of some commentators that the Alliance will become a global policeman or seek to form an alternative UN Security Council, a concert of the great powers to deter and punish aggressors, will be disappointed. Any attempt to take responsibility for every security problem would overtax the Alliance's structures and only detract from its primary task of guaranteeing peace in a Europe that will face many pressing problems in the future.

Yet the Alliance cannot afford to remain passive either. The Gulf crisis demonstrates that the United Nations can work only if there is the political will and international solidarity to make it work. The Alliance's active solidarity is a significant element in fostering a wider sense of urgency and collective responsibility. Certainly, if the Alliance does not provide a decisive political impetus, representing as it does the world's two major industrial and trading regions, it is difficult to perceive who will do it instead. For the United States cannot be reasonably expected to shoulder the political, economic and, more important, military burdens of global leadership by itself without provoking at home a disastrous reaction of resentment and isolationism. Moreover, the Washington Treaty commits all allies to work for a more peaceful international order and does not limit the scope of our consultations, security planning and indeed, where possible, coordination. Nor does it exclude all joint action. There are ideas which I expect we will explore once the Gulf crisis is over that do not imply the commitment to collective military action in extra-European conflicts - something which, of course, would require the consensus of all allies. I have suggested, for instance, expanded consultations on potential risks to see if we can identify policies or actions that might ward off a crisis, as well as the possibility of an internal Alliance understanding whereby the Alliance's machinery would be available for coordination and support once the allies had agreed that their security interests were all affected by a given issue.

Increased Alliance attention to extra-European concerns is not to imply that the Gulf crisis is necessarily the shape of things to come, or that the Alliance is in search of new threat scenarios to replace the old. Indeed, to the extent that the solidarity of the international community compelled Saddam Hussein to comply with the UN Security Council Resolutions, there will hopefully be less prospect of other potential aggressors seeking to emulate his example in the foreseeable future. At the same time, we must recognize that the more interdependent and less militarized world our Alliance wishes to promote, while generally more peaceful, will also be more fragile and vulnerable to the blackmail that a small but strategically placed nation like Iraq can always use. Thus the Alliance must be ready to face long periods of uncertainty and the recurrent possibility of the unexpected, and to deter the worst through a demonstrable capability for timely action. This will obviously necessitate a refinement of our collective Alliance management tools.

There is of course no question of the Alliance acting alone. As the Gulf crisis has demonstrated, success in coping with the new challenges requires a broader coalition of partners. One issue where this is manifest is in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technologies well beyond the explosive region of the Middle East. It is imperative for us to do more to prevent this proliferation and establish a more rational and widespread code of conduct for arms and technology transfers to the Third World. Soviet interests are at stake as much as ours from this danger and this is one of many areas where our security cooperation with the Soviet Union and the other nations of Central and Eastern Europe can be of immediate benefit. Cooperation between us on issues such as proliferation can only strengthen our security dialogue in Europe, and help the Soviet Union, in particular, to overcome its sense of isolation and cultural and economic marginalization.

One of the fathers of European integration, Jean Monnet, once described the European Community in terms of a mountaineer who reaches one peak only to find that there are further, higher peaks beyond that must subsequently be scaled. Our Alliance experience is rather similar. In working doggedly to implement the ambitious agenda outlined in our London Declaration and to give effect to the outstretched hand of cooperation we proffered at Turnberry, we have seen only too well that we have created the conditions for a Europe whole and free and a more secure international order rather than the objectives themselves. Much remains to be done and our new tasks are in no way less challenging or ambitious than yesterday 's containment of Soviet military power, perhaps even more so. Yet I am confident. The Alliance has once again demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to anticipate events and adapt to new circumstances. It has shown imagination, even radicalism in devising new proposals and then hard work and perseverance in pursuing them. Because of this dynamism, the debate regarding the Alliance's future has been the occasion for reaffirmation rather than doubt. If the Alliance is just as important as during the days of the Cold War, it is in part because old functions -like balancing Soviet power and maintaining the transatlantic link - remain essential, and in part because only with and through the Alliance can we handle the new security tasks occasioned by the melting of the confrontational ice in Europe and the looming challenges related to the establishment of a new, more just and stable world order. Because we have NATO, the Western nations are able to exercise their responsibility and historic opportunity:

  • to promote change;
  • to provide stability for that process to succeed over the long-term.


(1) For text, see NATO Review, No.6, December 1990, p.26.
(2) Ibid, p.27.
(3) For communiqué, see NATO Review, No.3, June 1990, p.32.
(4) For London Declaration, see NATO Review, No.4, August 1990, p.32
(5) Text in NATO Review, No.6, December 1990, p.22.