A NATO SUMMIT
US Secretary of State
Last April, President Clinton described NATO in
this journal as "an alliance built and sustained not solely on the power
of arms, but by the power of ideas" (1).
The ideas that NATO cherishes - peace, freedom, democracy, and security
- are gaining strength throughout Europe and beyond, but they also face
new challenges. This changing environment requires a vital and adaptable
NATO that will continue to defend and promote our common values and interests.
In order to assess how to strengthen the Alliance and hasten NATO's transformation
to the post-Cold War world, President Clinton has proposed a NATO Summit
at the end of this year or early next.
In preparing for this Summit, we should never lose
track of the stunning truth that, among us, we have built the most successful
alliance in history. For the past few years, NATO has been setting its
course for the future but there has been an important continuity in its
mission: to keep the peace; to promote the freedom and security of our
member states and peoples; and to reinforce unbreakable links across the
Atlantic. There is also an important new mission: to help the emerging
democracies to the East share in the benefits we have gained from this
Above all, safeguarding the security of our countries
and maintaining stability throughout Europe remains NATO's core responsibility.
The United States will sustain its unparalleled military strength, and
we will continue to maintain substantial, effective forces in Europe -
about 100,000 troops - to ensure our ability to meet our security commitments.
The end of the Cold War is making American leadership even more important
- and we accept the challenge.
In this new era, we must show our parliaments and
peoples that we share burdens as we share risks. The drastically diminished
threat after the Cold War leads us to reduce our military spending. But
if any Ally cuts spending to the point of imperiling the common needs
of the Alliance - even worse, if there is a free-fall in defence spending
- then the Alliance would face not only a crisis of confidence but a corrosion
of capability. The United States will maintain its military commitment
and responsibilities in Europe, but President Clinton must be able to
show the US Congress that our Allies are contributing commensurately.
Sharing must be a visible NATO principle: sharing of burdens; sharing
of responsibilities; sharing of decisions.
The Alliance, we believe, will succeed only if
we make our political and economic linkages as strong as our military
ties. We must strengthen bonds between North America and Europe in every
sphere in order to preserve our common security. Transatlantic relations
cannot be overly compartmentalized - either in substance or, increasingly,
Five areas for progress
Together, we must create the basis for tomorrow's security
in the North Atlantic area and throughout Europe. At the Athens ministerial
meeting last June (2), I set out five
important areas in which progress needs to be achieved before the Summit.
First, we must strengthen the unique qualities
of NATO cooperation. Never before have so many nations joined together
to confront common challenges, and never before have the military forces
of so many countries worked together so effectively, both in NATO's integrated
command and in informal arrangements. Never before have the defence industries
of so many countries adopted the same standards and made possible such
a multiplication of military strength. These achievements must not be
squandered - we must maintain our ability to act when our interests are
Despite the grave situation in the former Yugoslavia,
there is no fundamental challenge to the political order in Europe that
could produce a new Continent-wide war. Sustaining that achievement will
depend in part on reinforcing our Alliance, our practices of cooperation,
and our robust military defences and command structures.
If the cooperative linkages among our defence
industries are permitted to erode as defence budgets fall, each member
nation, as well as the Alliance as a whole, could lose the benefits of
this special force multiplier. That is why the Defence Trade Code of Conduct
is so important. We must also continue updating NATO's common infrastructure
programme to ensure that we invest in assets essential to meeting new
Second, we must help to make and keep the peace
in Central and Eastern Europe.Peacemaking and peacekeeping are most effective
when they are preceded or accompanied by timely political efforts to reduce
tensions and settle disputes. NATO must be able to make political decisions
for early, sustained, and credible engagement, and its military leaders
must have confidence in the ability of the North Atlantic Council to provide
timely and effective political direction.
Different member states will approach situations
with different political sensitivities in mind, and with different peacekeeping
structures that they might prefer. But we should also work to develop
core NATO peacekeeping procedures that will balance political acceptability
and military effectiveness. We do not need to "reinvent the wheel" each
time NATO's peacekeeping capabilities are needed. These capabilities are
especially important to help new democracies succeed - and to draw our
North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) partners firmly to the West.
We strongly support the NACC's programme of cooperation
on peacekeeping (3). This should create
the capability for joint action to respond effectively to new threats
to peace, stability, and human rights. The NACC programme should also
support the work of the UN and CSCE and send a powerful signal of the
resolve of the Euro-Atlantic community.
Third, we must work more effectively with other
institutions with goals similar to NATO's. The US commitment to European
security will continue to be expressed first and foremost through NATO.
We reaffirm that "The Alliance is the essential forum for consultation
among its members, and the venue for agreement on policies bearing on
the security and defence commitments of allies under the Washington Treaty."
But, while NATO is central to our common purposes,
it is not alone in pursuing goals consistent with the broadest definition
of security. The UN, CSCE, European Community, NACC, WEU and Council of
Europe have valuable roles to play - and each should be energized. While
important progress has been made in developing complementary, interlocking
institutions, NATO needs to build more effective links for crisis prevention,
crisis management, and communication among these institutions in order
to meet new challenges to European security.
With the United Nations, we should extend planning
beyond ad hoc arrangements to a more systematic relationship. We must
also seek to ensure that NATO states that are not members of the UN Security
Council are nonetheless more engaged in reaching decisions that affect
their interests. The United States supports the idea of establishing a
contact group consisting of key contributors to peacekeeping activities.
The United States also welcomes the development
of a European security and defence identity. This will make our own commitment
even more effective. Such an identity can also sustain and build popular
support in Europe for meeting European commitments and responsibilities.
We also welcome the opportunity to work even more closely with France
in Alliance defence activities, and we look forward to expanding that
NATO must develop closer ties with the Western
European Union. At the same time, we should also recall our declared intention
"to preserve the operational coherence we now have and on which our defence
depends" (5). And we must act on the
premise that although the military capabilities of the two institutions
are separable, they must not be seen as separate.
Fourth, we must create the basis for Continent-wide
security. In declarations of the North Atlantic Council since 1990, we
have accepted the mandate for developing a system and practices of security
that span the Continent. All states need to implement reductions in Cold
War weaponry already negotiated and further reduce any residual risks.
Moreover, states left outside the security system could in time pose dangers
to it, thus outreach activities with NACC partners - and work with the
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe - are vitally important.
The innovative work of the CSCE on crisis management and conflict prevention
is one of the most promising security experiments under way in Europe
Securing the full benefits of ending the Cold War
depends on consolidating the place of the post-Communist states in the
community of democratic nations. Western Europe has succeeded in replacing
a thousand years of strife and turmoil with a new approach to security
grounded in basic human values and the rule of law. Now, the great test
is whether it can be achieved in the East. At an appropriate time, we
may choose to enlarge NATO membership. But that is not now on the agenda.
What is most important is that we intensify and
expand the work programme for the NACC and broaden its mandate. The NACC
was conceived as a means for NATO to contribute to healing the division
of Europe. It aims to foster political dialogue, practical cooperation,
transparency in military affairs, and the peaceful integration of the
new democracies into the transatlantic community. The NACC is becoming
a central element in the growing web of security ties that bind us together.
It is tangible proof that the security of NATO members is inseparably
linked to that of all other states in Europe. It reflects, above all,
our concern for the security of the new democracies.
We are pleased with the progress that the NACC
has made in promoting these goals. But as the conflicts and tensions in
Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan and elsewhere demonstrate,
we still have far to go. Our ties must deepen and we must develop a new
cooperative security order in Europe. That new security order will depend
on mutually reinforcing institutional and bilateral relationships, and
it will succeed by developing new capabilities to address common problems.
I believe the NACC should step up its consultations
on political and security issues - and improve its ability to develop
solutions. Provisions should be made for systematic consultations during
crises, through our Missions and Embassies in Brussels. We should also
undertake an expanded programme of joint activities on peacekeeping and
develop further programmes for exchanges of civilian and military personnel.
To facilitate this closer cooperation, we should accelerate steps to provide
for a permanent presence for NACC partner states at NATO Headquarters.
We should also examine additional ways in which other CSCE countries with
the requisite experience can be associated with the important work of
In recent years, the West has created a series
of ad hoc means of coordinating policy toward the post-Communist states
in a number of areas, especially economic policy. But as yet, we have
no shared strategic framework to link nations across the old East-West
divide. We should strengthen the North Atlantic Council - along with the
NACC - as a central forum to discuss broad strategic policy. We need to
ensure that we develop an approach that reaches out to Russia and all
the new states of the region.
The United States is developing a strategic partnership
with Russia, agreed upon by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin at Vancouver
last April. We want to build similar relationships, based on commonly
shared values and principles, with all the new post-Communist states.
In building more partnerships, we will of course work closely with our
NATO Allies. We do not see these relationships as mutually exclusive or
as a substitute for other bilateral or multilateral relationships.
Fifth and finally, just as we recognize the importance
of extending NATO's role Eastward on the Continent, we must intensify
cooperation on threats to Allied interests arising from beyond Europe.
We have learned that we must act against other threats to our common security
from outside the North Atlantic area - whether or not the Allies act together
or through the institutions of the Alliance.
We face no more urgent security threat than the
potential spread of weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering
them. NATO governments must work to achieve the unconditional and indefinite
extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the 1995 Review
Conference. But we must do even more. Proliferation is the emerging arms
control agenda of the 1990s and we must be prepared collectively to take
stronger action. States seeking to threaten the peace by acquiring these
weapons must know that we will oppose them.
Our agenda for the proliferation problem must also
encompass new partners. Above all, we should cooperate with Russia and
the Newly Independent States (NIS) on the territory of the former Soviet
Union. All NATO governments have a direct interest in the rapid and safe
dismantling of the former Soviet Union's nuclear forces. This task is
beyond the means of any one nation and it will involve much greater costs
if we do not combine our efforts to accelerate denuclearization now.
This agenda is both ambitious and appropriate to
the requirements of the post-Cold War world. We seek not to find new tasks
to justify an old alliance, but to use NATO to face the new challenges
in Europe. We must push forward in advance of the forthcoming Summit for
peace, security, and democracy.
(1) See President Clinton's message
to NATO Review readers, NATO REVIEW, No. 2, April
(2) For Communiqué see NATO
REVIEW, No. 3, June 1993, pp. 31-33. - NATODATA FILE nac38.93
(3) For Report by the NACC Ad Hoc
Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping, see p. 30. - NATODATA FILE nacc9.93
(4) See paragraph 6 of The Rome Declaration
published in NATO REVIEW, No. 6, December 1991, pp. 19-22.
(5) Op.cit., paragraph 7.
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