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State Department Fact Sheet on the Enlargement of NATO: Why enlarging NATO strengthens U.S. security

USIS Washington File
February 11, 1998

 
Washington -- The State Department issued a document February 11 on the enlargement of NATO explaining in detail "why adding Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to NATO strengthens American national security."
 
President Clinton had just spoken in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the department prior to signing the NATO Enlargement Protocol which will now be transmitted to the U.S. Senate. The protocol will officially initiate the process of accession that will add Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to NATO.
 
Quoting from comments by Secretary of State Albright made last year on why NATO enlargement "is good for the United States," the February 1998 State Department document carries these explanations:
 
"NATO enlargement will make America safer. Europe remains vital to American interests, and NATO is the most effective institution for protecting the security of the transatlantic area. Adding Poland,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic to the Alliance will extend NATO's stabilizing influence to more of Europe and reduce the chances of aggression or conflict in Central Europe -- a region that helped spawn both of this century's World Wars and the Cold War.
 
"NATO enlargement will make NATO stronger. The three new members will add approximately 200,000 troops to NATO's ranks that can help NATO carry out its missions; indeed, these three states already are contributing over 1,000 troops to the NATO-led mission in Bosnia. NATO has added new members three times since its founding in 1949; now, as then, enlargement will make NATO stronger.
 
"NATO enlargement will help consolidate democracy and stability in Central Europe. To join NATO, states must be solid market democracies and have good relations with their neighbors. Just the prospect of NATO enlargement has encouraged states in the region to conclude nearly a dozen major agreements to settle border and ethnic disputes; Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have settled all border issues with their neighbors.
 
"Enlargement will help erase the Cold War dividing line. It would be wrong to exclude qualified Central European democracies from Western institutions simply because they were held behind the Iron Curtain against their will. By admitting these three states, and holding the door open to other new members in the future, NATO enlargement will help to erase the outdated and illegitimate Cold War dividing line."
 
Following is the State Department text:
 
(begin text)
 
The Enlargement of NATO
 
Why Adding Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to NATO Strengthens American National Security
 
Released by the Office of the Secretary, Office of NATO Enlargement
Ratification
 
February 1998
 
"The bottom line is clear: Expanding NATO will enhance our security. It is the right thing to do."
 
"We must not fail history's challenge at this moment to build a Europe peaceful, democratic, and undivided, allied with us to face new security threats of the new century -- a Europe that will avoid
repeating the darkest moments of the 20th century and fulfill the
brilliant possibilities of the 21st."
 
President Clinton
May 31, 1997
 
"A larger NATO will make us safer by expanding the area in Europe
where wars simply do not happen."
 
Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright
October 7, 1997
 
Why Is NATO Enlargement Good for the United States?
 
NATO enlargement will make America safer. Europe remains vital to American interests, and NATO is the most effective institution for
protecting the security of the transatlantic area. Adding Poland,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic to the Alliance will extend NATO's stabilizing influence to more of Europe and reduce the chances of
aggression or conflict in Central Europe -- a region that helped spawn both of this century's World Wars and the Cold War.
 
NATO enlargement will make NATO stronger. The three new members will add approximately 200,000 troops to NATO's ranks that can help NATO carry out its missions; indeed, these three states already are contributing over 1,000 troops to the NATO-led mission in Bosnia. NATO has added new members three times since its founding in 1949; now, as then, enlargement will make NATO stronger.
 
NATO enlargement will help consolidate democracy and stability in Central Europe. To join NATO, states must be solid market democracies and have good relations with their neighbors. Just the prospect of NATO enlargement has encouraged states in the region to conclude nearly a dozen major agreements to settle border and ethnic disputes; Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have settled all border issues with their neighbors.
 
Enlargement will help erase the Cold War dividing line. It would be wrong to exclude qualified Central European democracies from Western institutions simply because they were held behind the Iron Curtain against their will. By admitting these three states, and holding the door open to other new members in the future, NATO enlargement will help to erase the outdated and illegitimate Cold War dividing line.
 
Preface
 
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the most successful alliance in history. For almost 50 years, it has been the primary
shield for protecting peace in Europe and the principal institution
uniting America and Europe in defense of our common interests. Now, in order to make Europe even more stable and our own country more secure, the United States and its NATO allies have decided to invite three
additional states to join the Alliance -- Poland, Hungary, and the
Czech Republic.
 
This proposal requires ratification by the United States, including a
two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate, which is expected to vote on the measure in early 1998. The decision is one of great consequence and demands careful and bipartisan consideration by the Congress and the American public. The North Atlantic Treaty of 1949, upon which NATO is based, involves solemn security guarantees. The inclusion of additional states will entail additional costs to all of the Alliance's members -- current and new. The enlargement of NATO will benefit American security in a number of ways but has a range of implications for many aspects of U.S. foreign policy that merit
attention.
 
This pamphlet is designed to explain what NATO is, how it plans to add
these new members, and why this step, combined with other current
policies, will advance the security interests of the United States and
all of Europe.
 
NATO Members
 
Belgium Germany Luxembourg Spain
 
Canada Greece The Netherlands Turkey
 
Denmark Iceland Norway United Kingdom
 
France Italy Portugal United States
 
Introduction: Changes in Europe; Challenges for NATO
 
The end of the Cold War transformed Europe and the context in which
NATO operates. The Berlin Wall has fallen. New democracies with
thriving market economies have emerged across Central Europe. Germany has been reunited. The Soviet Union has dissolved; a democratic Russia and more than a dozen other independent states have taken its place. Such changes in Europe were unimaginable less than a decade ago.
 
These changes hold great promise for the United States. The dangerous
nuclear-armed superpower standoff of the Cold War is over. The
imminent threat of massive land invasion in Europe is gone. The
subjugation of European states has ended. The end of bloc-to-bloc
confrontation creates opportunities for nuclear and conventional arms
control, as well as for improved cooperation on a host of common
challenges from trade, to international crime, to the environment.
 
The rise of free market democracies in the place of the former Soviet
bloc also serves our interests. Democratic countries are less likely
to attack us and other democracies, and the blossoming of free market
economies creates opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers. The
interest of the United States lies in consolidating these trends and
helping to build an undivided, democratic, peaceful Europe for the
first time in its history. Both the current and preceding
administrations have relied on a variety of means -- bilateral
relations, arms control accords, and a number of multilateral
institutions -- to work toward that goal.
 
Even with the end of the Cold War, NATO remains the vital link in our
security relations across the Atlantic. The 16-member Alliance is
helping to build a new Europe. It has streamlined its command
structure and reduced its force levels, with U.S. troop strength in
Europe down from more than 300,000 during the Cold War to about
100,000 today. NATO has taken on new missions, such as the one in
Bosnia, where troops from the U.S. and other NATO countries are
working side by side with those from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary,
the Czech Republic, and other non-NATO countries. They have succeeded
in stopping the killing in Europe's worst conflict since World War II.
 
NATO also has reached out to other nations. In 1994 NATO launched the
Partnership for Peace. This program, which now includes 27 non-NATO
states, is open to all the countries of Europe and the former Soviet
Union and enables peaceful military-to-military cooperation, such as
joint training exercises and the exchange of information. In May 1997,
President Clinton and the other NATO leaders signed the NATO-Russia
Founding Act, reflecting the desire to build a new and constructive
relationship with a democratic, peaceful Russia. NATO also has
established a charter with Ukraine and formed the Euro-Atlantic
Partnership Council to enhance political discussion between NATO and
its partner states.
 
The most important change NATO has undertaken is the addition of new
members. At the Madrid summit in July 1997, President Clinton and the
other NATO leaders unanimously decided to invite Poland, Hungary, and
the Czech Republic to begin the process of joining NATO. NATO also
declared that the Alliance would keep its door open to other candidate
states as well. Meeting in Brussels on December 16, 1997, Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright and her NATO counterparts signed the
documents to add the three new members to the Alliance. This addition
of new members requires ratification by all 16 current NATO members,
including the approval of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate. The Senate is
expected to vote on the addition of these first three states in the
coming months. Members of both parties and both chambers in Congress
already have examined questions regarding NATO enlargement in great
depth. The Senate alone held 10 hearings on this issue before four
different committees in 1997, and more hearings are anticipated in
early 1998. NATO's goal is that all member nations ratify the
Alliance's enlargement by April 1999, the date of the next NATO
summit.
 
Why Is Europe Important to the United States?
 
Why should we consider Europe's security to be "vital" to the United
States? What interests do we have there?
 
These are fundamental questions. In the early days of our nation,
George Washington warned against entangling alliances, and as a
relatively new and weak state we steered clear of being tied to an
alliance with any of Europe's quarreling powers.
 
But with the rise of the United States as a major economic, political,
and military power in this century, it became clear that standing
aloof from Europe's problems was neither possible nor desirable. After
being drawn into World War I, the U.S. tried to retreat into
isolation, rejecting the League of Nations and undermining the Treaty
of Versailles. But bitter experience demonstrated that Europe's
problems soon become our own. Adolf Hitler proved that an aggressor
bent on European domination also would threaten U.S. interests and
shores. American involvement in World War II produced combat losses of nearly 300,000 of our own people and tens of millions more worldwide.
 
After World War II, the United States took a better course. The U.S.
made a decision to remain engaged in Europe's security. In 1947
President Truman launched the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and
prevent its postwar poverty from becoming a breeding ground for new
instability. The U.S. and European states also launched a series of
economic, political, and security institutions -- including the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization --ÿ20designed to help pull European
countries closer together, to remove the sources of conflict, and to
deter future aggression.
 
The establishment of these institutions and America's new commitments
to Europe reflected the unique nature of our transatlantic bonds --
bonds of history, heritage, culture, commerce, shared security
interests, and shared values. A half-century later, these bonds remain
strong. Europe, taken as a whole, is America's largest economic
partner, accounting for $250 billion in annual two-way trade, and
another $250 billion in investment. Our commerce with Europe accounts
for millions of American jobs.
 
Similarly, Europe's states have worked with us in worldwide security
efforts, from the Gulf war, to the sanctions that helped end apartheid
in South Africa, to today's NATO-led mission in Bosnia, where almost
three-quarters of the troops are European. It is inconceivable for the
U.S. to approach the security challenges or commercial opportunities
of the next century without European states as our core partners and
allies.
 
What Is NATO?
 
One of the boldest international steps taken by the United States
after World War II was the signing in 1949 of the North Atlantic
Treaty and its creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
This step represented an acknowledgment on both sides of the Atlantic
that it was essential for the United States to stay engaged in
European security, and that a military alliance represented an
indispensable way of doing so. NATO, originally formed with 12 states,
has become the most successful alliance in history. Subsequent
expansions have brought the Alliance to 16 members.
 
The security obligations of NATO members to one another are described
by the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 (sometimes called the "Washington
Treaty"). NATO provides a mechanism for its members to discuss common security concerns, coordinate their security policies in mutually
beneficial ways, and prepare for common security challenges through
participation in an integrated military command structure. Each NATO
country retains sovereignty over its own troops, yet works with the
other allies to designate which of its forces are available to
cooperate with allied counterparts, and then to coordinate necessary
planning and training. Although NATO's existence and operations are
consistent with the Charter of the United Nations, it is not a part of
the United Nations organization.
 
NATO makes all of its decisions by consensus. All 16 members must
agree on any action before it is taken. This requirement gives each of
its members, including the U.S., a veto over any NATO decision. Thus,
NATO never deploys forces or enters into an operation without American
approval, and American forces are never deployed as part of a NATO
operation without the review, approval, and direct orders of the
President and his military chain of command. The Alliance's top
military officer in Europe -- the Supreme Allied Commander Europe --
has always been an American general, reflecting America's substantial
military contribution.
 
NATO enlargement is critical to protecting and promoting our vital
national security interests in Europe. If we fail to seize this
historic opportunity to help integrate, consolidate, and stabilize
Central and Eastern Europe, we would risk paying a much higher price
later.
 
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen
April 23, 1997
 
The heart of NATO is its mission of collective defense of the soil of
NATO's members. This commitment is embodied in Article 5 of the North
Atlantic Treaty (for the full text of the treaty, see the Appendix at
the end of this document) which states in part:
 
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in
Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them
all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs,
each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective
self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United
Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking
forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such
action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to
restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
 
This is the strongest security commitment in the Treaty and has been a
primary basis for the mutual confidence that has evolved among NATO
allies over the past half-century. While Article 5 is a solemn
political and military commitment, it does not specify any particular
response by the United States to a specific situation, and does
nothing to diminish the role of Congress in the use of force abroad.
Indeed, under Article 11, all provisions of the Treaty, including
Article 5, are subject to the "constitutional processes" of its member
states -- a phrase specifically requested by the U.S. Senate to ensure
that the Treaty did not undermine Congress's constitutional role in
such decisions.
 
(NATO) will create a shield against aggression and fear of aggression
-- a bulwark which will permit us to get on with the real business of
government and society, the business of achieving a fuller and happier
life for all citizens....
 
President Harry S. Truman
April 4, 1949
 
NATO, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is at its core a military
alliance, but it always has served broad political functions. It is
the key forum for maintaining consensus among its members as they
pursue common interests. It also has helped to deepen cooperation
among its members, promote common values, and temper tensions and
disputes, such as those that have existed between Turkey and Greece.
 
Although NATO's security challenges have changed with the end of the
Cold War, enlargement will do nothing to dilute NATO's focus or drag
it into more disputes.
 
-- The Alliance's core mission will remain the collective defense of
NATO soil, and the addition of new members will improve its ability to
carry out this mission.
 
-- Enlargement reduces the chances of conflicts like the one in
Bosnia; the prospect of joining NATO has encouraged Central European
countries to settle border and ethnic disputes. The three new members
have settled all outstanding border disputes with their neighbors.
 
-- Once these states have joined the Alliance, the likelihood of
conflict diminishes even further; no NATO state has ever come under
major attack.
 
-- If a minor or internal dispute were to break out, the North
Atlantic Treaty would not automatically require U.S. military
involvement. The North Atlantic Treaty's core security guarantee is
triggered by "armed attack" on a state, and under the treaty the U.S.
still makes its own decisions about how best to respond.
 
Why Is NATO Enlargement Good for U.S. Security?
 
As the U.S. considers ratifying the addition of Poland, Hungary, and
the Czech Republic to NATO, the most fundamental question is: Why is
this in our own national security interest? There are four principal
reasons.
 
First, NATO enlargement will make America safer by helping to prevent
future conflicts in Europe. Both World Wars and the Cold War had their
roots, in part, in Central Europe. It is in our own interest to
prevent and deter conflicts in the region that ultimately could draw
in American forces. Even though Europe is now relatively peaceful, all
danger has not disappeared, as Bosnia proved. A larger NATO can bring
more states into the cooperative process of security planning that has
built confidence and stability among NATO members. It also can help
deter a variety of real and potential threats, including regional
conflicts, threats from rogue regimes, such as those with weapons of
mass destruction, and the unlikely possibility that Russia's
democratic transition might falter and give way to the patterns of
behavior demonstrated during the Soviet period.
 
While enlarging NATO requires that we extend security commitments to
the region, doing so actually reduces the chances that our forces will
ever have to fight again in Europe. As Secretary of State Albright has
noted: "This is the productive paradox at NATO's heart -- by imposing
a price on aggression, the Alliance deters aggression."
 
Second, NATO enlargement will make the Alliance stronger and better
able to address future security challenges. The inclusion of Poland,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic in NATO will add approximately 200,000 troops to the Alliance, along with a proven commitment to European
security. The three countries already are contributing more than 1,000
troops to the NATO-led operation in Bosnia, and Hungary has provided
the military base at Taszar that has enabled U.S. forces to deploy
safely and effectively. Similarly, the Czechs and Poles served with us
in the Gulf war, and all three states have been active participants in
NATO's Partnership for Peace program. Having so recently regained
their own freedom, these three democracies are likely to be energetic
allies in helping us to defend freedom in the future. All three states
also have made clear commitments concerning their willingness to bear
the costs of modernizing their own military forces, so that they can
be "security producers" and not simply "security consumers." NATO has
enlarged three times in the past -- adding Greece and Turkey in 1952,
Germany in 1955, and Spain in 1982 -- and there is no reason to
believe that adding these three states will diminish the ability of
the Alliance to continue reaching consensus on its plans and actions.
 
Third, NATO enlargement will help consolidate democracy and stability
in Central Europe. NATO established in 1995 that states wishing to
join the Alliance would need to be stable market democracies, and
would need to have resolved outstanding disputes with their neighbors.
These requirements were essential to ensure that enlargement
strengthens the Alliance rather than weakening it. Because many
Central European states are eager to join the Alliance -- 12 in all
have indicated such an interest -- just the prospect of the Alliance's
enlargement has encouraged many to strengthen their recent reforms and
conclude agreements with neighboring states. For example, in recent
years states such as Poland have deepened civilian control over the
military, while states such as Romania have increased protections for
ethnic minorities. Similarly, there have been 10 major agreements
among states in the region during this decade settling border and
ethnic disputes; the prospect of NATO's enlargement helped encourage
negotiations on many of these agreements. All these actions removed
seeds of possible future conflicts that might otherwise have affected
U.S. security and economic interests.
 
A larger NATO will make America safer, NATO stronger, and Europe more peaceful and united. That is the strategic rationale. But ... I see a
moral imperative as well. For this is a policy that should appeal to
our hearts as well as our heads...
 
Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright
October 7, 1997
 
Fourth, NATO enlargement will help erase the Cold War dividing line.
With the Cold War over, there is no justifiable reason for permanently
excluding from Western institutions the countries that were held
behind the Iron Curtain against their will. One reason the U.S. waged
the Cold War was the belief that Central European states should be
free to choose their own governments and security arrangements. Now
that these states have regained their freedom and established market
democracies, we should welcome the opportunity to reintegrate them
into the transatlantic community. One way we can continue to erase the
outdated and illegitimate Cold War dividing line is to bring states
from Central Europe into the Alliance, as they prove their readiness
to assume the burdens of NATO membership and to contribute to the
security of the transatlantic area. The Alliance's commitment to keep
an "open door" for other states interested in joining NATO membership
and prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of membership, and its
range of efforts to reach out to non-NATO states, will help ensure
that the process of enlargement does not create a new dividing line in
Europe.
 
In our committee hearings, the vitally important issues of cost and
NATO's relations with Russia were examined in great detail. We are
persuaded that the overwhelming weight of testimony on these points
reinforces the argument for NATO enlargement.... We believe that NATO
enlargement, arguably the most important foreign policy initiative for
our country in many years, is an issue that transcends partisan
politics. Both of us are firmly convinced that enlargement is squarely
in the American national interest.
 
Senator Jesse Helms (R, NC), Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations
Committee and Joseph R. Biden (D, DE), Ranking Minority Member
 
What Will Enlargement Cost?
 
Security is not free, and NATO enlargement, like every other aspect of
America's security, will carry costs. Adding members to NATO will
require the United States and its allies to extend solemn security
commitments to additional nations, and NATO members must provide the capability to back them up. The President and his advisers are
confident, however, that the costs of NATO enlargement will be
affordable, equitably shared with our current and new allies, and well
worth the investment.
 
The cost to the United States will be modest. In February 1997, the
Pentagon estimated that the total costs of the first round of
enlargement -- costs for the U.S., for other current allies and for
the first group of new allies -- would be about $27 to $35 billion
over 13 years, with the U.S. share totaling about $1.5 to $2 billion,
spread over a period of about 10 years. (The addition of other members
in the future would likely carry additional costs, but these could not
be estimated without knowing which states might be invited to join.)
In the fall of 1997, NATO authorities examined the military
requirements and the impact of enlargement on the common-funded
budgets of NATO in greater detail, including on-site visits to
military facilities in the three invited states. Partly because these
facilities were in better condition than previously assumed, they
concluded that at least one portion of the estimated costs -- those
funded directly by NATO through its common-funded budgets -- would be less than the Pentagon's earlier estimates. The United States concurs
with NATO's assessment of $1.5 billion and now expects the U.S. share
of the costs of enlargement to be about $400 million over the coming
decade.
 
Has it not been established beyond doubt that even the most costly
preventive security is cheaper than the cheapest war? Well, such an
investment will hardly generate any return in the next elections, but
it will be more appreciated by generations to come.
 
Vaclav Havel
President of the Czech Republic
October 3, 1997
 
Our current and new allies will pay their fair share. At the Madrid
summit in July 1997, the NATO allies agreed that the costs of
enlargement would be manageable. At the North Atlantic Council Defense
Minister's meeting in December 1997, all 16 allies reaffirmed this
view, stating that
 
(C)osts associated with the accession of the three invitees will be
manageable, and that the resources necessary to meet these costs will
be provided in accordance with our agreed procedures under which each
ally bears its fair share.
 
Moreover, both our current allies and the three proposed new allies
are investing in the modernization of their militaries, at their own
expense, in ways that will better enable them to contribute to NATO's
missions.
 
There would be greater costs and risks to not enlarging NATO. If the
U.S. and its allies fail to help integrate and stabilize Central and
Eastern Europe, it could lead to far higher costs later. Polish,
Hungarian, and Czech officials have all stressed that it would cost
more to pay for their defense outside NATO than inside. Not only would
they feel more insecure and thus want to spend more on their own
defense outside the Alliance, they would not have the benefit of being
able to pool their defense resources with those of other like-minded
states. The United States also benefits from having Poland, Hungary,
and the Czech Republic in the Alliance. Bringing new states into NATO
will help prevent conflicts that could cost the U.S. more in the
future, and will add new allies that are ready and willing to share
the costs of security.
 
Some estimates produced by both public and private sector
organizations have projected higher costs than those produced by the
Department of Defense. Those estimates, however, are based on a much
higher threat level, and a much higher level of readiness than
political conditions in Europe warrant now and are likely to warrant
for the foreseeable future. The U.S. General Accounting Office in a
report from August 1997 stated,
 
Our analysis of DoD's cost estimate to enlarge NATO indicates that its
key assumptions were generally reasonable and were largely consistent
with the views of U.S., NATO, and foreign government officials.
 
Are Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic Ready To Become NATO
Members?
 
When President Clinton made the decision to favor the admission into
NATO of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, he did so because he
believed those three nations represent the very strongest candidates
among the 12 states in the region that had expressed interest in
becoming part of the Alliance. At the July 1997 Madrid summit, there
was unanimous agreement to invite those three because, of all
potential members, they were strongest politically, economically,
militarily, and in their foreign policy outlooks.
 
Political readiness. All three countries have had seven years of solid
records as stable democracies. Since 1989, Poland and the Czech
Republic have each held three free parliamentary elections and
Hungary, two. Just this past September, Poland held free elections
that led to another peaceful change in government and once again
demonstrated the vitality of that country's democracy.
 
All three candidates for membership have taken numerous steps to
underscore their political maturity, pluralism, tolerance, and respect
for human rights. The groundwork laid by bold leaders such as Vaclav
Havel and Lech Walesa has become the foundation for strong and stable
democracies. As these countries have emerged from the yoke of
communism, they have made tremendous progress in fostering tolerance
for Jewish and other religious minorities and ethnic groups. Property
restitution laws have been passed to restore to their rightful owners
assets stolen by communist regimes. The people of these countries are
ready to embrace the Atlantic community, and polling in all three
states shows strong support for NATO membership. In November Hungary held a national referendum on whether to join NATO; more than 85% of
those voting said "yes."
 
Economic readiness. During the 1990s, Central and East European
countries have had the fastest economic growth rate in Europe, and the
economies of the three NATO candidate states led the way. In eight
years, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have undertaken
sweeping privatization programs. Currently, over two-thirds of
Poland's and more than 70% of Hungary's and the Czech Republic's
economies are held by the private sector. Business is expanding
steadily in these countries, which have become growing markets for
American goods and services. Major U.S. companies have invested
billions of dollars in the region.
 
If we wish to ensure that we build a stable Europe, a stable and
undivided Europe, it's right to enlarge NATO and offer the Central and
East European countries the same opportunity that Western Europe has,
while at the same time building a special relationship with Russia.
 
Gen. John Shalikashvili
Then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
June 16, 1997
 
Military readiness. The three new NATO members will add approximately 200,000 troops and a range of airfields, ports, and lines of
communication to the Alliance's collective defense capabilities.
Together, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary are already
contributing more than 1,000 troops to the NATO-led mission in Bosnia.
These countries' contributions to our security are nothing new. As far
back as the 1700s, General Kosciuszko of Poland was one of the heroes
of the American Revolutionary War and played a key role in the victory
at Saratoga. Free Polish and Czech soldiers fought alongside our
troops in World War II and all three states joined forces with us in
the Gulf war. The three countries also have established firm civilian
control of their militaries and have solid records of reliability in
handling sensitive information, both important factors in their
readiness to join NATO.
 
Foreign policy readiness. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have
signed agreements to settle all major ethnic and border disputes with
their neighbors and are deepening cooperation with these states on a
range of common challenges. These countries are playing an important
role as models for other countries in Central and Eastern Europe that
seek to join NATO of the types of political reforms needed to become
members of the Atlantic Alliance. They also have contributed
peacekeeping forces to operations in Asia and the Middle East and
stood with us in efforts to combat weapons proliferation. In these and
other ways, their behavior suggests they will be good allies.
 
What Will Be the Impact of Enlargement on Relations With Russia?
 
The goal that motivates NATO enlargement is the creation of an
undivided, democratic, and peaceful Europe. That goal cannot be fully
realized unless our efforts also include Russia. The continued
development of a democratic Russia, satisfied within its borders and
at peace with its neighbors, offers one of the most important
improvements in the security environment of the entire transatlantic
area, and especially for the states of Central Europe.
 
NATO expansion means peace and stability, not a drive at confrontation
with anybody. This is not a question of aggravating Russia. It is a
question of peace in the world.
 
Lech Walesa
Former President of Poland
March 11, 1997
 
The United States and its allies have taken a wide range of steps to
encourage the continuation of democratic developments in Russia. The
extent of our bilateral efforts with Russia ranges from cooperation in
space, to the involvement of Russian troops with our mission in
Bosnia, to working together to eliminate the means of delivery for
strategic nuclear weapons and to clean up the environment. We also
work with Russia in multilateral settings such as the 1997 Denver
"Summit of the Eight," which brought Russia together with the top
seven industrial countries to discuss a range of economic and
political issues. In the past five years, more than 20,000 Russians
have visited the United States through official exchange programs.
 
In order to further such constructive ties with Russia, the Alliance
crafted and signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act in May 1997, which
institutionalizes a broad and constructive relationship between the
Alliance and Russia. One of the key features of the Act is the
establishment of the Permanent Joint Council which provides a forum
for senior NATO and Russian leaders to discuss security issues. This
council has already held several productive ministerial meetings in
which Secretary Albright or Secretary Cohen met with NATO and Russian counterparts.
 
Of course, Russia's future is not certain, and it is possible Russia's
democratic and economic transition could falter. One of the
contingencies the Alliance must prepare for is the unlikely
possibility that the Russian transition might fail and that Russia
might return to the threatening behavior of the Soviet period. But
U.S. policy, including NATO enlargement, the NATO-Russia Founding Act, and the Permanent Joint Council, is designed to create the greatest
possible likelihood that Russia will be able to play a full and
constructive role in Europe's future.
 
Despite this record of intensifying cooperation between Russia with
both the U.S. and NATO, many in Russia oppose NATO enlargement.
President Yeltsin, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, and others have
criticized it. Some in Russia's parliament, the Duma, have cited it as
a reason for delaying ratification of the START II nuclear arms
reduction treaty. Some observers have expressed concern that
ultranationalists could use the issue to fan popular resentment in
Russia and thereby strengthen the hand of hard-line political leaders.
 
However, partly because of the cooperative efforts initiated with
Russia by the U.S. and NATO, there are strong reasons to believe that
NATO enlargement is not undermining Russian reform or strengthening
hardliners. Many recent developments argue to the contrary, including
the re-election of Boris Yeltsin and the presence of reformers in
positions of power, the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act,
ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and Russian
participation in NATO programs such as the Partnership for Peace and
the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Nor is there significant
evidence that NATO enlargement has been successfully used as a
rallying cry by hardliners.
 
The reasons are straightforward. NATO, a purely defensive alliance,
does not threaten Russia. Moreover, since the end of the Cold War,
NATO greatly reduced troop levels and declared that it does not view
Russia as an adversary. NATO also has stated that in the current and
foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out its
collective defense and other missions by ensuring the necessary
interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather
than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces.
NATO also has stated that it has no intention, no plan, and no reason
to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members.
 
U.S. interests are served by both NATO enlargement and a more
cooperative relationship with Russia, and there are strong signs that
the U.S. and its European partners can successfully pursue both. Even
so, there are some in the United States who worry that the new
arrangements with Russia -- the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the
Permanent Joint Council -- might weaken NATO by giving Russia too much influence in the Alliance or relegate the new members to second-class status. Yet the Founding Act and Permanent Joint Council were carefully designed to enable a constructive relationship with Russia
without undermining NATO's strength or effectiveness.
 
Although the NATO-Russian relationship is growing deeper, there are
important provisions built into the NATO-Russia founding Act.
 
-- It gives Russia a voice, but not a veto, in European security
issues.
 
-- Russia will not be part of the North Atlantic Council, the
Alliance's supreme decision-making body, and will have no control over
its deliberations or actions. Nor will Russia be part of the committee
that sets NATO's nuclear policy, its defense planning process, or
other internal Alliance decisionmaking bodies.
 
-- Because the Permanent Joint Council can only act on the basis of
consensus, each NATO member, including the U.S., retains an effective
veto over its decisions.
 
-- The statements in the NATO-Russia Founding Act concerning NATO's
nuclear and conventional posture policies were unilateral NATO
statements of policy, explicitly premised on the current and
foreseeable security environment, and based on NATO members' own
self-interest, not extended as a favor to Russia.
 
-- The Permanent Joint Council is not something that only benefits
Russia; NATO can use this forum to raise its own concerns with Russia.
 
What Does Enlargement Mean For States Not Initially Invited Into the
Alliance?
 
Given its motivating goal of an undivided, democratic, peaceful
Europe, NATO enlargement is intended to benefit all of Europe, not
just the three states that initially have been invited to join. NATO
has undertaken a number of steps to ensure that the process of
enlargement helps increase security throughout the region.
 
-- At the Madrid summit, NATO's leaders adopted an "open door" policy
that ensures other countries wishing to enter the Alliance and
prepared to share its burdens will be considered in the future.
President Clinton has stressed that NATO's invitations to Poland, the
Czech Republic, and Hungary will not be the last.
 
-- NATO and its partners have established the Euro-Atlantic
Partnership Council which provides a forum for intensified political
and security consultations for countries on both sides of the
Atlantic.
 
-- NATO signed a charter with Ukraine as well as its Founding Act with
Russia.
 
-- The U.S. is taking bilateral steps to enhance the security and
advance the integration of the Baltic states. In the Charter of
Partnership with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, recently signed by
President Clinton and the Baltic leaders, the U.S. welcomes the
aspirations and supports the efforts of these states to join NATO.
 
Still, there are some who worry that NATO enlargement will draw a new
dividing line in Europe that will cause new tensions and reduce the
security of those states not invited in. Again, this is an important
concern. Yet there is strong evidence to suggest that NATO enlargement
is not having this effect.
 
Worries that those countries not initially invited to join, such as
Romania and Slovenia, would feel isolated or be destabilized by the
enlargement process have not materialized. In fact, President Clinton
received a clamorous welcome when he traveled to Romania two days
after the Madrid summit. Leaders throughout the region have expressed
support for the decisions taken at Madrid -- even if their own states
were not invited -- and support for the broader process these
decisions represent. Nor have states not invited at Madrid become more
vulnerable. During this period, Russia has increased its cooperation
with Estonia and Ukraine and has signed a border agreement with
Lithuania, the first of its kind with a former Soviet republic.
Meanwhile, Poland is strengthening its ties to the Baltic states and
Ukraine.
 
Why Not Rely on the European Union or Other Existing Programs?
 
NATO enlargement is just one aspect of Europe's post-Cold War
adaptation. Economic challenges remain pivotal for Central European
states. Most of these states need to advance and deepen aspects of
reform -- from privatization, to improved regulatory regimes, to
efforts against corruption. This is one reason we support the
enlargement of the European Union (EU) to include Central European
states.
 
While the role of the EU is crucial, there is no reason to insist on a
choice between EU enlargement and NATO enlargement. Both are
important. Each contributes to European prosperity and security.
Moreover, EU enlargement alone is not sufficient to secure our
nation's security interests in post-Cold War Europe. The EU lacks the
kind of advanced, integrated military capability which remains the
heart of NATO's strength, and which continues to be needed to preserve
European security. Moreover, the U.S. is not a member of the European
Union, which is one reason why NATO remains our nation's most
important and effective link to transatlantic security.
 
Similarly, there are other existing programs that focus on Central
Europe that will complement NATO's enlargement but cannot by
themselves accomplish the same objectives. NATO's Partnership for
Peace program, for example, has provided an excellent means for
Europe's NATO and non-NATO states to develop deeper ties through
military-to-military cooperation and to enable states that aspire to
NATO membership to improve their readiness. Partnership for Peace,
however, does not entail mutual security commitments as does actual
NATO membership, nor does it provide the same incentives and benefits
of integration as NATO's enlargement.
 
Conclusion: Building Another Half-Century of Security and Peace The
20th century has been the bloodiest in history, and much of the
conflict and warfare it produced was on the European continent. The
United States paid a heavy price in those conflicts, measured in both
financial and human cost. One of the great challenges of this time is
to find ways of preserving and strengthening the relatively peaceful
security environment that we now enjoy in Europe after the end of the
Cold War.
 
The enlargement of NATO is a key part of the strategy to meet that
challenge, and it builds on the central lessons that have emerged from
this century's experiences.
 
-- Europe's security is vital to our own, and NATO enlargement will
help make Europe more stable and secure.
 
-- The period between the two World Wars revealed the futility of
American retreat from European security challenges, and NATO
enlargement will help our nation continue to play a leading role in
European security -- for our sake as well as Europe's.
 
-- The two World Wars and the Cold War point to the key role Central
Europe plays in Europe's conflicts, and adding new members to the
Alliance will enable NATO to do for Europe's east what it has done for
Europe's west.
 
-- The success of NATO in deterring Soviet aggression and deepening
European integration during the Cold War -- and its success more
recently in stopping the fighting in Bosnia -- testifies to the
effectiveness of this Alliance; adding new members will make the
Alliance stronger and better able to carry out its mission.
 
-- Our experiences across this century -- from the World Wars to the
Gulf war -- highlight the value of reliable allies that are willing to
help shoulder the burdens of security; NATO enlargement will give us
three new allies that are ready to share those burdens and have done
so in the past.
 
In all these ways, the enlargement of NATO will advance American
interests, prevent future conflicts, deter future threats, and help
consolidate the gains of democracy and stability that have come with
the end of the Cold War. It will help build a Europe that is
undivided, democratic, and at peace -- and by doing so, create a more
secure foundation for the United States in the 21st century.
 
Appendix: The North Atlantic Treaty
Washington, D.C.
April 4, 1949
 
The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and
principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to
live in peace with all peoples and all governments.
 
They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and
civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy,
individual liberty and the rule of law.
 
They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic
area.
 
They are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defense and
for the preservation of peace and security.
 
They therefore agree to this North Atlantic Treaty:
 
Article 1
 
The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United
Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be
involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace
and security, and justice, are not endangered, and to refrain in their
international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner
inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
 
Article 2
 
The Parties will contribute toward the further development of peaceful
and friendly international relations by strengthening their free
institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the
principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting
conditions of stability and well-being. They will seek to eliminate
conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage
economic collaboration between any or all of them.
 
Article 3
 
In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty,
the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and
effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their
individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.
 
Article 4
 
The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of
them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of
any of the Parties is threatened.
 
Article 5
 
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in
Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them
all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs,
each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective
self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United
Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking
forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such
action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to
restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
 
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall
immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall
be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures
necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.
 
Article 6
 
For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the
Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:
 
-- on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America,
on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of Turkey or
on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the
North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;
 
-- on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in
or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which
occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date
when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the
North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.
 
Article 7
 
This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as
affecting, in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of
the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary
responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of
international peace and security.
 
Article 8
 
Each Party declares that none of the international engagements now in
force between it and any other of the Parties or any third state is in
conflict with the provisions of this Treaty, and undertakes not to
enter into any international engagement in conflict with this Treaty.
 
Article 9
 
The Parties hereby establish a council, on which each of them shall be
represented, to consider matters concerning the implementation of this
Treaty. The council shall be so organized as to be able to meet
promptly at any time. The Council shall set up such subsidiary bodies
as may be necessary; in particular it shall establish immediately a
defense committee which shall recommend measures for the
implementation of Articles 3 and 5.
 
Article 10
 
The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European
state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to
contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to
this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by
depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the
United States of America. The Government of the United States of
America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such
instrument of accession.
 
Article 11
 
This Treaty shall be ratified and its provisions carried out by the
Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
The instruments of ratification shall be deposited as soon as possible
with the Government of the United States of America, which will notify
all the other signatories of each deposit. The Treaty shall enter into
force between the States which have ratified it as soon as the
ratifications of the majority of the signatories, including the
ratifications of Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
the United Kingdom and the United States, have been deposited and
shall come into effect with respect to other states on the date of the
deposit of their ratifications.
 
Article 12
 
After the Treaty has been in force for ten years, or at any time
thereafter, the Parties shall, if any of them so requests, consult
together for the purpose of reviewing the Treaty, having regard for
the factors then affecting peace and security in the North Atlantic
area, including the development of universal as well as regional
arrangements under the Charter of the United Nations for the
maintenance of international peace and security.
 
Article 13
 
After the Treaty has been in force for twenty years, any Party may
cease to be a Party one year after its notice of denunciation has been
given to the Government of the United States of America, which will
inform the Governments of the other Parties of the deposit of each
notice of denunciation.
 
Article 14
 
This Treaty, of which the English and French texts are equally
authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the
United States of America. Duly certified copies will be transmitted by
that Government to the Governments of the other signatories.
 
Note:
 
Article 6 of the Treaty was modified by Article II of the Protocol to
the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Greece and Turkey
(1952).
 
(end text)


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