To a

7 Nov. 1997


by the Deputy Secretary General

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to have the opportunity to address you today, the last day of what I know has been a very informative course. The General and Flag Officers' Course is a mainstay of the NATO Defence College's curriculum, and we very much welcome you here at NATO Headquarters.

Two weeks of briefings and field studies are now behind you. In these two weeks you have been briefed by representatives from the CMC/IMS, SHAPE, AFSOUTH, the WEU, and many, many more. So your graduation is indeed well deserved. I do not want to add another barrage of facts and figures on top of all this. Rather, as this is the last address of the course, I would like to briefly touch on the broader political context of the new NATO and its agenda.

Let me briefly describe this broader political context.

First, we are living in a security environment that is markedly different from the one we experienced during the Cold War. Back then, the Alliance had a relatively easy task: containing a well-defined enemy embodied by the Warsaw Pact. NATO's main purpose was to defend the territorial integrity and freedom of its member states.

Today, our biggest security concern is instability on the European continent. The security challenges that we may face in the years to come -- such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or potential ethnic conflicts -- are more diverse and more unpredictable.

Since the end of the Cold War, we have also learned that security is not only a military term or a concept limited to diplomatic endeavours. Security in the 1990's derives from political, economic, social, environmental as well as military factors. Security is no longer a zero-sum game. It concerns all of us in the Euro-Atlantic area. Simply put - you cannot be secure if your neighbour is insecure.

Third, integration and interdependence have become a defining characteristic of our new political environment. Nations in Europe are drawing together through the European Union and its policy of enlargement. Business and industry are also pushing forward this broad process of integration and interaction.

This same propensity, this movement of integration is also taking place in the security realm. Half of Europe - once excluded because of the former East-West conflict - is looking for integration into Western political, economic and security structures. Many of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe have specifically committed to this in their external policies.

They want to enjoy the same benefits - namely prosperity and security - as the 16 Alliance members have for so many years.

And we in the West have an interest in seeing them become more integrated. We want to see reforms in Central and Eastern Europe to succeed; We want to see good-neighbourly relations as the norm in all of Europe; and we want to see cooperation and integration to forever replace confrontation and division on the European continent. All of these are in our national and collective interests.

How, then, should the Alliance respond to this integration? What policies do we need to deal with the ever-growing interconnectedness of political, economic, and security issues?

Let me take a moment to answer these important questions by setting out the Alliance's current political agenda. Each element of this agenda forms a part of a whole, a concerted approach by NATO not only to respond to a changed security environment and the new integrating tendencies but also to contribute to the building of a new security order through new patterns, new concepts of cooperative security.

For example:

  • we are completing accession talks with the three new perspective members, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. We look forward to signing accession protocols with the three invitees at next month's NAC Ministerial;

  • we have committed ourselves to keeping the NATO door open to future members;

  • we have created a new Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council which will give our 27 Cooperation Partners a forum for political consultations with NATO and for overseeing the broad range of cooperation activities between the Alliance and its Partners;

  • we have substantially enhanced the Partnership for Peace programme;

  • we have embarked on a brand new relationship with Russia by signing the NATO-Russia Founding Act and establishing a Permanent Joint Council to oversee its implementation;

  • we have signed a Charter on a Distinctive Partnership with Ukraine; and

  • we are enhancing our dialogue with our non-NATO Mediterranean partners.

Each part of this political agenda responds to the felt need to overcome the earlier East-West division in Europe. It has opened the door to newly independent countries, from the Baltics to the Caucasus to Central Asia, arising from the remnants of the Soviet Union, to offer new creative types of partnership and cooperative activities within the former neutral states of Europe - and to put these all on a qualitatively different footing, a practical footing, to promote and enhance the capacity of Allies and Partners alike to carry out jointly vitally important new missions such as peace support in Bosnia, first IFOR and now SFOR.

I do not want to review all of the programmes which one finds under the rubric of Alliance outreach and partnership. What I would like to do is continue with the theme of integration and briefly show how each element of the Alliance's cooperative security agenda aids the integrative tendencies I mentioned earlier.

First enlargement. The Alliance has begun with three invitees on the basis that they were best prepared to meet the obligations and responsibilities of NATO membership. But the prospect of NATO membership - which remains open to all new democracies - has indeed encouraged a number of Central and Eastern European countries to conclude bilateral treaties of friendship and cooperation.

So far, at least five treaties have been signed, putting the seal for good - one hopes - on old enmities. These include: Romania-Hungary; Romania-Ukraine; Germany-Czech Republic; Poland-Ukraine; and Hungary-Slovakia. Indeed, our robust open-door policy will continue to serve as an incentive in Central and Eastern Europe for countries to continue in this direction, following through with political and economic reforms, including placing militaries firmly under civilian control, and adopting new, cooperative approaches in dealing with security and concerns.

The Partnership for Peace is another example. When first launched in 1994, few envisioned that this initiative would turn into such a successful programme of practical cooperation in the military and defence-related areas. Today, countries as diverse and distinct in their foreign and security policies such as Moldova and Switzerland are, through their Individual Partnership Programmes, working together with the Alliance and each other in a common effort to improve our capacity to undertake peacekeeping, crisis management and humanitarian operations.

Russia is a member of both PfP and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In addition, we have created an additional basis on which to build with Russia a stable, enduring and strengthened partnership. Our goal is to help bring Russia closer to Western, and in particular NATO's, political and military structures. We want to ensure that Russia is not excluded from the ongoing process of building cooperative security in Europe, and that it, too, has a role to play in this effort. Russia's size and weight in security affairs are important factors in the European security landscape. By drawing Russia closer, giving it a seat at the table, we can contribute to Russia's integration into the cooperative security process - and this will be to the benefit, and in the security interest, of Allies and Partners alike.

The PJC therefore provides the forum to conduct and manage NATO-Russia political consultations as well as to oversee the enhanced military-to-military cooperation which we would like to see in the near term. In fact, the PJC has already had a number of meetings, including at Ministerial level, and a work plan of cooperative activities is now being implemented. And the Russian military mission to NATO, under Lt.Gen. Zavarzin, is also being established. We are confident that this new partnership, based on the commitments undertaken in the Founding Act, will foster greater interaction, greater dialogue and greater confidence between the Alliance and Russia.

As part of the inclusive nature of our approach, we have also worked closely with Ukraine to help bring this important, large, and still young country closer to our cooperative security structures. After an initial period of doubt and hesitation about its role vis-a-vis the new security architecture which is evolving in Europe, Ukraine has clearly opted for participation. This it did first through joining the Partnership for Peace. But in addition, President Kuchma and Allied leaders signed at the Madrid Summit a Charter on a Distinctive Relationship between NATO and Ukraine. This instrument will help consolidate Ukraine's relationship with NATO and the role it sees itself playing in the new architecture.

We have not wasted any time in turning the Charter from paper into a living body. The NATO-Ukraine Commission - which will oversee our joint activities under the Charter - has already begun meeting. And, to underline the importance of this new relationship, the NATO Political Committee travelled last week to Kyiv to hold a series of high-level meetings on the nature, direction and content of future NATO-Ukraine cooperation. Again, we in the Alliance believe that such dynamic and inclusive new partnerships with Russia and Ukraine serve to complement and support the wide array of cooperative activities already going on with our Partners through the Partnership for Peace and the EAPC.

But our efforts do not stop there. At the Brussels Summit in January 1994, Allied leaders launched a Mediterranean initiative to try and establish new contacts and a new dialogue with several non-NATO countries of the Mediterranean littoral. The purpose of this Dialogue is to open the channels of communication on security-related issues in the Mediterranean region, and to hear from these countries what their particular concerns are. It is to build bridges - carefully, step-by-step - without impinging on the competences of other organisations such as the EU, the WEU and the OSCE, which may also have established cooperative programmes with countries from this region.

There are six countries participating in this Dialogue - Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Given the successful nature of our initial work, the Alliance created at the Madrid Summit a Mediterranean Cooperation Group to take the dialogue farther into confidence-building, and to respond more flexibly to the interests of Dialogue Partners to developing cooperative activities. Here again, we believe that such efforts contribute usefully to the wider process of integration and participation - that is, the enhancement of stability in ever-increasing circles through new patterns of cooperative security, not only in the Euro-Atlantic region but also in the Southern Mediterranean region.

There are already dividends from pursuing the cooperative security approach. By gearing our cooperation to security and defence-related matters, by seeking to enhance the practical dimension through joint planning, training and exercising for peacekeeping and crisis management, the Alliance and its Partners have improved the capacity to work together both in the field and in headquarters. And they do so effectively and efficiently.

The evidence of this dividend lies in the Implementation and Stabilisation Forces which have deployed to Bosnia to help implement the Dayton Peace Accords. There, 36 countries - 16 Allies and 20 non-NATO - are cooperating in the biggest peacekeeping deployment in the Alliance's history.

While much work remains to be done in building a lasting peace in Bosnia, we should nevertheless recognise the achievements of IFOR and SFOR. They helped end Europe's bloodiest conflict since the Second World War. They have repaired war-torn infrastructure and are helping refugees return to their homes. And they are supporting successfully the work of other organisations and agencies who hold the responsibility under the Dayton Accords for implementing the civilian aspects and for overseeing the reconstruction and peace-building effort.

It is not an exaggeration to say that IFOR and SFOR have vindicated the goals set up by the Partnership for Peace. Without doubt, PfP programmes have allowed the IFOR and SFOR forces to be organised and deployed with speed and effectiveness. This has given our overall cooperative approach a much-needed and very valuable operational dimension. If the new security architecture is to be efficacious and to really address challenges to security and stability, then it must be able to mount, when needed, peacekeeping and crisis management operations - ideally with the widest participation consistent with effective and unified command arrangements.

This brings me to one final point that I would like to address concerning the Alliance's political agenda and its contribution to cooperative security.

The Bosnian example has taught us the value of NATO's military structures. But it has also taught us that in the future we will have to be better prepared to respond to an ensuing crisis. This is why our new command structure will contain two important innovations.

One is the Combined Joint Task Force concept. This will provide the Alliance for the first time with an expressly organised capability to deploy peacekeeping forces into a crisis area. Most significantly, CJTFs are also designed to operate with the participation of non-NATO countries.

Secondly, we are responding to the growing role and responsibilities of Europe within NATO by building the European Security and Defence Identity within NATO. To achieve this, we are developing modalities that would allow the Western European Union (WEU) to undertake peacekeeping and crisis management operations using NATO assets. The preparations and arrangements for such NATO support of the WEU are nearing completion, and we hope to exercise some of them in the near future.

These elements of internal adaptation - reform of the command structure, the increasing participation by Partners in NATO peacetime staff elements, the implementation of the CJTF concept, the development of separable but not separate forces that could be used by the WEU - these will enhance the Alliance's contribution to cooperative security by providing the necessary tools for carrying out peacekeeping and crisis management operations in the future. And a greater capacity to respond operationally when required will be an important stability-enhancing development for a viable new European security architecture.

In my remarks today, I have tried to show that NATO - the new NATO - will continue to play a major role in shaping the European security landscape. The Madrid Summit has ensured that the Alliance is fully prepared to meet the challenges that may lie ahead. We have a NATO better configured to the demands of crisis management and peacekeeping; a NATO more responsive to the integrative processes and tendencies of today's Europe; a NATO that has not only retained, but strengthened, the transatlantic link; and a NATO that, through enlargement and cooperative arrangements with its partners - including Russia, is playing an important role in building security and stability across the wider Euro-Atlantic region.

But I would conclude by assuring that this new NATO will remain similar to the old NATO in a least one very important respect. NATO will remain the organization that you, as high-ranking officers from both Allied and Partner Countries, can count on as a pillar of collective defence, stability and security in Europe. So once again, allow me to congratulate you on your graduation and to wish all of you much success in your future endeavours.

Thank you

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