||THE FUTURE OF NATO|
October 30, 1997
Return to this forum's introduction.
Questions answered in this forum:
What will be NATO's new mission? Assuming NATO continues to enlarge, how will this effect NATO's decison making process and what will this mean for its effectiveness? Why has expansion failed to include the Baltic nations, the countries most threatened by a resurgent Russia? Does this not create a new line of division in Europe? As there have been many estimates regarding the actual cost of NATO expansion, what may we expect the U.S.'s share to be? Can we afford not to pay this price? Have critics overstated the possible impact of expansion on Russia?
July 9, 1997
Sec. of State Albright talks about NATO expansion.
July 8, 1997
NATO offers Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic membership.
May 16, 1997:
Czech President Vaclav Havel discusses NATO expansion.
May 14, 1997:
Sec. of State Albright discusses the NATO-Russia agreement.
May 12, 1997:
Retiring NATO Commander General George Joulwan discusses NATO's future.
March 20, 1997:
Robert Zoellick and Sam Nunn discuss NATO expansion.
February 7, 1997:
The Gore - Chernomyrdin Summitt
December 11, 1996:
Richard Holbrooke and Professor Michael Mandelbaum debate NATO expansion.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of Europe and International Issues.
Read Dr. Mandelbaum's paper, NATO Expansion: A Bridge to the Nineteenth Century at the Center for Political and Strategic Studies
The New Atlantic Initiative
American Enterprise Institute
David Miller of Chevy Chase, MD, asks:
Assuming NATO continues to enlarge under Clinton's open-ended policy of expansion, how will this effect NATO's decision making process and what will this mean for effectiveness?
Mr. Robert Zoellick, Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, responds:
I think the three proposed members (Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic) are likely to be supportive of U.S. concerns and helpful in NATO deliberations; they appreciate, probably more than others, the importance of U.S. leadership in safeguarding their security.
I also suspect that these new members - and Poland in particular - will be eager to demonstrate that they are full participants, and will be helpful in missions of the type NATO is performing in Bosnia.
Nevertheless,, the need to integrate these three countries successfully counsels against a rush to commit to further members at this time, NATO needs to remain an effective security and defense alliance, and it should not slip into a loose consultative group like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Therefore, I believe that NATO's decisions on additional members should depend on: (1) the NATO members' determinations of their strategic interests; (2) actions taken by prospective members to complete their democratic transitions and to harmonize their policies with NATO's political aims and security policies; and (3) NATO's perception of threats to security and stability.
Dr. Michael Mandelbaum, professor of American Foreign Policy at the John Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, responds:
NATO decisions are made unanimously. The more members NATO has, the more difficult it will be to secure unanimity. Of course, it is difficult to know how expansion would affect NATO's effectiveness without knowing what it is supposed to be effective in doing ; and the administration has not given a clear definition of what it is supposed to do. In at least one way, however, expansion is certain to make NATO less cohesive.
The Western European members of the alliance regard expansion as an American initiative, for which America will pay. Whatever the burden of "expansion, no one else will share it with the United States. The refusal of the Europeans to bear what Americans will regard as their fair share of the costs of an expanded NATO will inevitably lead to a bitter transatlantic quarrel over burden sharing, a quarrel that would weaken the Atlantic Alliance far more than expanding NATO could conceivably strengthen it.
Why were the Baltic nations not included in the recent NATO expansion?