AT THE MEETING OF THE 
                  NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL
                    NATO HEADQUARTERS
                     BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
                            December  1, 1994
     Mr. Secretary General, distinguished colleagues, and
friends.  I am privileged to serve as your President
d'Honneur at our first formal meeting since we selected
Willy Claes to succeed the brilliant and dedicated Manfred

     Secretary General Claes has taken charge at a time of
historic opportunity and challenge for the Alliance.  As
we build European security for the 21st century, we are
fortunate to have this statesman of strength and
experience at NATO's helm.

     The two greatest struggles of the 20th century, the
battles against fascism and communism, are over.  The
fallen Iron Curtain has revealed a window of opportunity
for open societies and open markets to prevail across a
continent at peace.

     It is important to recall that NATO played an
essential role in bringing us to this hopeful point.  For
more than four decades it kept the peace, preserved our
freedom, kindled hope in oppressed peoples , and finally
helped bring the Cold War to an end--a victory for all who
love freedom.

     For half a century, NATO also provided the foundation
on which our nations built the greatest community of peace
and prosperity the world has ever seen.  It cemented close
relations among former adversaries in Western Europe.  It
formed the core of our transatlantic community -- forging
links that can never be broken.  The ideals embodied in
the Treaty of Washington -- democracy, liberty, and the
rule of law -- proved no less powerful than the arsenals
of this Alliance.  Dean Acheson said it best:  "the
importance of NATO in the long run goes far beyond the
creation of military strength . . . Future hope lies in
the development of a community of free peoples. . ."

But NATO was not just about yesterday.  It is about today
and tomorrow -- about Dean Acheson's "future hope."

     First let me be clear about my own nation's
conviction.  American power and
purpose are here in Europe to stay.  This Alliance will
continue to be the anchor of American engagement in
Europe, the linchpin of transatlantic security.  Through
over four decades, under Democratic and Republican
administrations, we have maintained a bipartisan
commitment to a free, stable, secure, and prosperous
Europe.  Today, we are committed to keep 100,000 American
troops on European soil as part of our continuing

     As we meet today to continue to adapt this great
Alliance, we are keenly aware that the end of the Cold War
has brought not only opportunities, but serious
challenges.  The terrible conflict in Bosnia continues to
resist resolution.  It has challenged NATO and all
the institutions that have dealt with it.  Frankly, when
this conflict emerged from the ashes of the Cold War, the
international community was insufficiently prepared.  The
ultimately turned to the United Nations to shoulder the
principal responsibility.

     For its part, NATO has done whatever has been asked
of it by the United Nations. 
It has established a no-fly zone and prevented the
conflict from becoming an air war.  It has maintained the
sanctions pressure, and it has been instrumental in
preventing the spread of the conflict.  Contrary to some
reports, NATO has not ruled out the use of air power. 
NATO stands ready to use air power, when requested,
pursuant to United Nations resolutions.

     Now, our task continues to be to seek a peaceful
negotiated end to the conflict, one that will preserve
Bosnia's territorial integrity.  We should renew our
efforts to seek an immediate ceasefire and cessation of
hostilities.  We should pursue with the parties the
terms for a settlement, building on the Contact Group

     Let me stress one important fact.  The crisis in
Bosnia is about Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia.  It does
not diminish NATO's enduring importance.  The allies
remain committed to NATO's irreplaceable role as the key
to European security.  There is no disagreement among us
on this point.

     The tragedy of the war and bloodshed in Bosnia does
not diminish our responsibility to build a comprehensive
European security architecture that consolidates
stability, addresses today's conflicts, and prevents
others from happening in the future.  On the contrary, the
tragedy in the former Yugoslavia underscored the urgency
of that task.

     Central to building a comprehensive security
architecture for Europe is a measured process of NATO
expansion, along with continued European integration and a
determination to strengthen the Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe.

     Yesterday's NATO helped to reconcile old adversaries,
to embed free countries in strong and solid institutions,
and to create an enduring sense of shared purpose in one
another's security.  Today's NATO must do the same -- with
new countries but with an enduring purpose.  This Alliance
must preserve its core defensive role and adapt its
military forces to meet the new demands of crisis
management and peacekeeping.  It must also help new
partners learn Western standards of cooperation and draw
them into NATO's practical work of providing stability in

     Last January at the NATO Summit, the Alliance
committed itself to deepen our ties with Europe's emerging
democracies when it approved President Clinton's proposals
for a Partnership for Peace.  In less than a year, the
Partnership has come to life.  Twenty-three nations,
including Russia, have joined.  Belarus has just announced
its intention to become our twenty-fourth Partner. 
Tonight, NATO and Russia will agree on broad possibilities
for cooperation, including Russia's program for the
Partnership for Peace.  Troops that for half-a-century
faced against each other in the Cold War are now coming
together in joint military exercises.

     Our leaders also declared last January that the
Alliance is open to new members. 
Today, we take an important step in the process that will
lead to NATO expansion.  I urge that we agree to begin now
our internal deliberations on expansion and, in 1995, to
discuss with Partners the obligations and implications of

     This process will be steady, deliberate and
transparent.  I want to stress that expansion must not and
will not dilute NATO.  But NATO must, over time, be ready
to include nations which are willing and able to assume
the necessary Alliance obligations and commitments, and
whole membership advances the goals of the Alliance and of
broader European security.  Expansion, when it comes, will
occur in a manner that increases stability for all of
Europe -- for members and non-members alike.

     As we pursue NATO expansion, we must also strengthen
other structures of security cooperation.  No single
institution has the mandate or the capability to meet
every challenge in Europe.  Our NATO alliance must be
complemented by other institutions that can address the
full range of challenges facing Europe's future.  We
recognize an important role for European integration,
supported by the European Union.  There is also an
important institution with untapped potential:  the
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.  We must
build on its unique strengths as a structure for conflict
resolution and prevention and as an institution that
embodies the ideal of an undivided Europe.

     Speaking as your President d'Honneur, I say with
confidence that the Alliance is prepared to take up both
the challenges of the moment and the future.  And speaking
as a representative President Clinton and the American
people, I say with equal confidence that as we do so, the
commitment of the United States to participate actively in
maintaining the security, prosperity, and freedom of
Europe remains unshakable.

Thank you very much.