NATO Enlargement during the Cold War: Strategy and System in the Western Alliance

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To date, only Greece and Turkey maintain a substantial rift within the alliance. Could the alliance survive a new set of fault lines? Finally there are the costs to the U.

The bill for the U. The region has been promised a great deal in terms of European integration and Western aid, but integration remains in limbo, and Western aid has not been forthcoming in large quantities.

Sadly, NATO expansion has become a substitute for more substantial political and economic integration into the West, which is what East-Central Europe really desires. Lost in the discussion of NATO expansion is the obvious question: is the alliance still necessary after the end of the cold war?

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The risks outlined above seem to outweigh any possible benefits for postcommunist Europe. The Clinton administration has pointed to several other virtues of NATO expansion—consolidating economic and political reform, monitoring human rights, conducting peacekeeping, and combating environmental problems. These have dubious validity. Economically, NATO has only been a burden to its member states. Finally, NATO was conceived as—and continues to be—a military alliance designed to counter military threats. It is not designed to do peacekeeping, and it has no training in or understanding of human rights monitoring or environmental protection.

Connecting History

If the U. NATO expansion is not inevitable, despite statements from the Clinton administration. Expansion requires a two-thirds majority vote in the U. Several key politicians have recently changed their minds about NATO. With the end of the cold war and the demise of the Soviet threat, NATO must find new rationales for its existence. The U. Problems with Current U. Expansion promotes divisions in an already divided region.

Expansion halts the demilitarization of East-Central Europe and costs alliance members a great deal of money. Promote arms control and disarmament in East-Central Europe, and declare a moratorium on the transfer of advanced weapons to the region. Engage Russia in the process of determining a new European security architecture.

It has already done important mediating, monitoring, and peacekeeping work in Nagorno-Karabakh, Latvia, Georgia, Moldova, and Macedonia. It should consider the recent suggestion by Belarus to establish a nuclear-free weapons zone in East-Central Europe and build on the unprecedented denuclearization of Ukraine and Kazakhstan. NATO has indicated that it will not deploy nuclear weapons in new member states, but no official documents have been signed to that effect.

It should also work with Russia to reduce further the levels of nuclear and conventional armaments in areas that border the region see In Focus: U. The Clinton administration must engage Russia, not alienate it. Instead of provoking Russia with a neocontainment policy, the United States must include Moscow in regular discussions with top security institutions such as the North Atlantic Council, the Defense Planning Committee, and the Nuclear Planning Group.

It must encourage constructive relations between Russia and its European neighbors, not defensiveness and mistrust. The diplomatic failures around the war in Yugoslavia demonstrated that the European Union was not yet able to act with a common foreign policy. This policy would require U.

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Further Reading:. In the context of developing this new European security architecture -- one that provides a full role for Russia -- NATO is undergoing fundamental changes as it prepares for a major summit in Spain in July. All of these initiatives reflect the fundamentally changed nature of European security; the historic shift from confrontation to cooperation, from suspicion to transparency, from blocs to inclusiveness -- for Russia as for all other European states.

NATO also seeks to pursue a broad approach to stability and security in Europe through its new Strategic Concept which:.

NATO's peacekeeping force in Bosnia became the first example of this -- drawing on the support of Russia and other partners. NATO has initiated significant changes in policy, procedure and structure while reducing and restructuring headquarters and staffs to achieve a streamlined and efficient alliance command structure. Elimination of between 1, and 2, military positions is being considered.

NATO's integrated command structure has been reduced or streamlined since in the following ways:. NATO is working to develop a visible European security arrangement within the alliance structure, which could be used for WEU-led operations. In a reorganized, slimmed-down structure the number of NATO commands will be reduced from 65 to about 22 to 23, with European officers playing a proportionately greater role.


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PFP seeks to forge a real partnership with the new democracies as well as other European states who are willing and able to participate. Participants work within PFP to promote transparency in defense planning, democratic control of the military, and joint planning and training with NATO military forces.

IOS Press Ebooks - NATO at 60 - The Post-Cold War Enlargement and the Alliance's Future

PFP's main focus is on practical security cooperation such as developing the capacity to work together in crisis management, peacekeeping, and humanitarian assistance. It also provides "separable, but not separate" military structures and supports a strengthened European pillar of the alliance through WEU. NATO has expanded its consultations with NACC-PFP Partners on disarmament and issues related to countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, with Russia as an active participant in the regular meetings of experts.

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