NATO ENLARGEMENT:

TOWARD A SEPARATE EURO-ATLANTIC COMMAND

by Hall Gardner

Professor and Chair International Affairs Department

American University of Paris

January 30, 1999

 

Copyright 1999 Hall Gardner

 

 

Hall Gardner is also author of Surviving the Millennium: American Global Strategy, the Collapse of the Soviet Empire and the Question of Peace (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994) and Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By April 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has promised to unveil a "new strategic concept" at the same time that it celebrates its 50th anniversary and brings in three new members, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The ostensible purpose of NATO's new strategic concept is to formulate a new approach to the rapidly changing parameters of post-Cold War European security and to "demonstrate that our military planning is no longer preoccupied with a real or imagined Russian threat."(1) NATO accordingly hopes to deal as effectively as possible with both near and long-term European, if not international, security issues in a sustained effort to implement a truly comprehensive and inclusive system of security.(2)

Yet as far-reaching and altruistic as NATO goals appear to be, the question remains as to whether these goals are, in fact, capable of implementation. The concern raised here is that NATO may well be overestimating its freedom of maneuver, its resources, as well as its political will to act in consensus. In its quest to justify and re-legitimize its existence following the sudden collapse of an overextended Soviet empire and Warsaw Pact, there is a real danger that NATO enlargement could prove overly ambitious and ironically result in its own overextension. The very formulation of its new strategic concept, and of its new "mission" or "vision" statement, is taking place in a precarious situation in which the respective share of the Allied defense burden will continue to be vehemently disputed, in which most Allied states are cutting military expenditure, and in which political-military objectives are likewise contested.

 

 

Deepening or Widening?: An Unavoidable Geo-Strategic Dilemma

In June 1998, Secretary of Defense William Cohen expressed reservations regarding the ability of NATO to continue the process of enlargement beyond the integration of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary into the Alliance. Secretary Cohen expressed concern that the American Senate may not be eager to begin another round of enlargement before it more "fully" integrates its three new members. He then explained that the difficulties involved in plans for future enlargement essentially stemmed from NATO's core mission of providing collective defense for all of its members. All "full" members of NATO must not only be "consumers," but also providers, of "security."(3)

Secretary Cohen's statements raise critical questions as to the long-term nature and goals of NATO strategy in regard to its ability to formulate an "inclusive" and "comprehensive" system of European security as promised by its September 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement, for example.(4) His statement likewise questions the Alliance's promises to consider a second round of enlargement: NATO may be impelled by overall financial or political-military constraints not to fully integrate states which it has already identified as potential members. Promises to grant Romania and Slovenia, and possibly one or more of the Baltic states, preferential consideration in a proposed second round of enlargement, were issued at the same time as the July 1997 decision to integrate Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary as "full" members of the Alliance.(5)

The dilemma raised here is that NATO may soon have to make a very tough choice. Either NATO must deepen the political-military integration of its three new members, Poland, the Czech Republic, or Hungary (as generally advocated by the U.S. Department of Defense), or else it must continue to widen its membership (as generally argued by the U.S. State Department). The wider NATO expands, the greater the potential costs and risks; yet to curtail the enlargement at three new members also entails risks—unless Russia and other non-NATO states can soon be brought into a closer relationship with the Alliance. If NATO does attempt to fully integrate Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary into its military command in its traditional exclusive sense (whether or not it opts for further enlargement), it appears dubious that Russia and other non-NATO states will stand on the sidelines. It appears dubious that Russia in particular will watch passively as new NATO members begin to develop an initial capability to conduct Article V missions (around the year 2001) and then reach a more mature capability around the year 2009. The Pentagon has estimated that Russia could likewise be able to revamp its military capabilities around the same time. The Russian military, however, has promised unilateral 40% cuts in Russian military strength in the Russian northwest; at the same time, however, Moscow has threatened to engage in counter-measures if "Russia's role in the (NATO-Russian) Permanent Joint Council was arbitrarily restricted."(6)

Despite the profound depression now confronting the former Soviet bloc, coupled with on-going political and social instability, such threats may prove viable. Moscow may still be able to move toward re-integration and re-militarization—or really ‘re-nuclearization’.(7) ’ A Russian revanchist backlash, or the possibility that Russia might opt to give full nuclear-military backing to a regional ally/allies, is a real possibility. Such a scenario must not be provoked by an overly ambitious NATO enlargement that does not address—and fully incorporate—legitimate Russian security interests.

The possibility of a Russian backlash should not, however represent a pretext to curtail NATO enlargement. Having already begun the process of enlargement, NATO will largely be impelled to continue that process in response to the nature of the new geostrategic situation, as well as the nature of the new political-military demands placed upon it in new post-1991 geostrategic, military-technological, and political-economic circumstances. At the same time, however, NATO must engage in radical political and structural reforms designed to prevent the alienation of Russia and other non-NATO states—as well as to forestall the overextension of NATO's integrated command structure.

 

 

Strengthening the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council

NATO will need to work to bring Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and other non-NATO states closer to the Alliance by strengthening the role of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In addition to providing military and technical assistance to make defense activities inter-operational, as well as advice and incentives to improve or "democratize" civil-military relations, NATO should consider the option of placing all new members into a separate Euro-Atlantic command structure made up of at least three regional defense identities.(8) This proposal can be implemented by providing the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council with a greater operational role in the deployment of war-preventive forces, for example, in the effort to implement a truly comprehensive and inclusive system of security for all of central and eastern Europe.

A separate Euro-Atlantic command structure could be built upon the existing Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the NATO-Russia Joint Council.(9) Rather than attempting to fully integrate new NATO members back into existing NATO structures, NATO would seek to forge as many central and eastern European states as possible into at least three militarily-integrated Euro-Atlantic defense and security identities, which in turn would be to be backed by overlapping NATO, EU/WEU, and Russian security guarantees. NATO would accordingly provide limited reinforcement and projection/reception facilities in such a way as to not provoke non-NATO states. (Sweden, the Baltic states and Finland could be in a northeastern unit; Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia could be in a central unit; Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania could be in a southeastern unit, for example). Each command would possess liaisons with Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, if the latter accept, under the aegis of the EAPC. As shall be argued, the primary headquarters of these separate commands could be located in Kaliningrad.

Thus, rather than fully integrating new member states into NATO's presently structured political and military committees in the traditional sense, new member states should become "double-hatted" core leaders of separate Euro-Atlantic commands; they would represent both NATO and EAPC members. The more active states, beginning with Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and then adding Romania and Slovenia, for example, could be designated as "full" members. The less active states could be considered as "associate" members of the Euro-Atlantic command; the Baltic states could also enter NATO under a separate EAPC command.

These separate regional commands can attempt to patch the strategic holes throughout the new Euro-Atlantic system of defense by coordinating the defense policies of non-member states through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. The EAPC could be granted an operational role with regard to decision-making for peace operations; it could opt for the deployment of war-preventive forces in areas of potential disputes on the territories of non-NATO member states, such as the Baltic states. As NATO and Russia would oversee the activities of the Euro-Atlantic command though a strengthened NATO-Russian Joint Council, Russia would be more thoroughly involved in decision-making in areas that affect its vital interests. A separate regional command structure would form a stable "intermediary" between NATO's "hard" core (the willing members of the original sixteen NATO states) and a "soft" core of new members whose missions would primarily consist of peace-keeping and anticipatory war-prevention. To give these regional Euro-Atlantic commands greater credibility, Sweden and Austria could enter the Alliance as full-members in the traditional sense and provide logistical support for EAPC preventive war deployments (under general OSCE or UN mandates) placed in key regions of potential instability throughout central and eastern Europe. In such a way, NATO's full military power would largely remain in the background; NATO would not be overexposed or overextended as it approaches the Russian and Belarusian borders, or to the territories of other potentially hostile states.

By placing most new members of the Alliance into a Euro-Atlantic Defense and Security Identity, the political-military decision-making power of new member states could be more readily delimited than would be the case if these states become "full" and "equal" members of NATO's political and military committees. As more and more states enter the Alliance, NATO would likewise be required to reform its decision-making process by moving away from unanimity and toward a system of weighted voting based on the contributions of these states to the Alliance. Such an approach would require the formulation of a new strategic concept that would formally recognize the differentiated capabilities and interests of "full" NATO members, and that would formally establish a multi-tiered system of security and defense. (See following discussion below.)

 

 

Forestalling a New Partition of Europe

A separate Euro-Atlantic Command structure lessens the risk of a new partition of Europe and of a Russian backlash. Such a command structure would include Russian participation, as well as that of other central and eastern European states, as an active and engaged partners of the Alliance, but within a delimited region.

Given limited Allied resources, it will remain a delicate balancing act for NATO to bring three or more members into full inter-operability with NATO’s integrated military command and simultaneously sustain an active Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). The latter has been deemed crucial to sustaining a positive relationship between NATO and non-NATO members. This is true despite the fact that the costs of the PfP and the EAPC are not at all factored into the overall costs of the NATO enlargement as presented to Congress, but have been included into the separate budgets of the Departments of State and Defense. The concern raised here is that non-NATO states may become alienated once the individual power potential and military capabilities of the new NATO members is augmented, thus ultimately undermining the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

Another problem is that the new members of the Alliance, once "fully" integrated into the Alliance as "equal" members, may seek to block the "full" membership of third states—thus preventing the formation of a truly inclusive and comprehensive system of security. Once in the Alliance, it is possible that Hungary, for example, might attempt to block the membership of Romania(10); Poland, or other new members, could seek to block efforts to bring Russia into an even closer relationship with NATO.

Senator Roth's report, NATO in the 21st Century, argues that "developing consensus among nineteen states will not be significantly more difficult than among the current sixteen members.... for the foreseeable future, the new members seem less likely to pose problems for consensus than do some current members (sic!).... When the number of NATO members grows beyond nineteen, the political, social, cultural and economic diversity of the Alliance will increase. Consequently, fostering a consensus within the Alliance will become a greater challenge."(11)

 

In response, as previously pointed out, consensus among NATO of the nineteen members made be harder to sustain than the Roth report indicates. The new members may, indeed, take a pro-American stance (unlike France, or occasionally Germany, as the report implies), but the new members may ultimately oppose American policy in regard to Russia or regional rivals. Secondly, once the Alliance moves beyond nineteen (if not before), it may prove more and more difficult for all members to coordinate policy. There is a risk of a deep division between the key European powers (France, Germany, and increasingly the UK, as it joins in a defense of the European Union) and the United States over key issues. As the United States and key European states may compete for influence over the less powerful and influential members, NATO decision-making could be undermined—unless the traditional Cold War principle of unanimity and of the unit veto is discarded.

Rather than risk the possibility that the process of NATO decision-making may be disrupted, it would be best to "put aside the unit veto."(12) NATO decision-making would be achieved through weighted national voting (perhaps based upon a state's contribution to the Alliance) or else through unanimity minus one (or two), and in such a manner as to permit coalitions of the "willing" states to act when deemed necessary, utilizing NATO assets.

 

 

The Question of Power and Burden Sharing

NATO enlargement into Central Europe alone has yet to fully resolve the issue of "burden" and "power" sharing within the Alliance. The essential irony is that NATO enlargement is taking place at the same time that most Allied states are engaged in significant cuts in defense spending since 1989, while the economies of the prospective new NATO members can hardly afford defense modernization—given the need to develop their relatively less advanced economies.

The development of a European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), as a means to provide greater power and burden sharing for West European states, represents a step forward, but one that is far from being actualized. NATO and the EU/WEU have cooperated (but not without significant friction) in regard to Bosnia and Kosovo.

At the same time, however, the United States, plus the United Kingdom, France, and Germany (the latter three representing the core members of the EU/WEU) have yet to coordinate global and regional strategy. Disputes between France, in particular, and the United States over issues involving power and burden sharing, Slovenian and Romanian membership in the Alliance, nuclear strategy, control of the sixth fleet and other issues concerning the Euro-Mediterranean, have yet to be resolved. The Alliance has yet to defuse ostensibly burgeoning tensions between NATO-members Greece and Turkey. NATO's Mediterranean initiative has attempted to address some of the latter concerns but has yet to formulate a satisfactory U.S.-European power-sharing arrangement.(13)

Moreover, the proposed redefinition of Article V security guarantees, for example, could involve NATO in a whole range of costly preventive, if not pre-emptive, activities. NATO could engage in a number of non-Article V activities intended to forestall tensions and conflicts from ultimately becoming Article V missions, activities that may be disputed by NATO allies.(14) Less controversial NATO missions may include seeking to control or eliminate environmental pollution and hazardous materials; assisting states and populations in the event of natural disasters, i.e. preventing future Chernobyl-like nuclear meltdowns, for example; but more controversial missions may include engaging in future possible out-of-area operations and anticipatory peace-keeping in an effort, for example, to prevent the influx of refugee populations onto European territories; controlling and countering weapons of mass destruction and the smuggling of illicit or "dual-use" technologies; and countering acts of international terrorism. Needless to say, not all NATO members may wish to engage in such activities if they do not suit their domestic or international interests. Allied consensus in regard to Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Balkans, and other "out of area" security concerns, in regard to the Mediterranean, to Iraq and the Persian Gulf, if not in regard to weapons of mass destruction or international "terrorism," can not be guaranteed. Europeans have doubted the legality and effectiveness of these American-proposed operations and generally argue that any intervention must possess a UN security council mandate. (French President Jacque Chirac has opposed the idea of creating a "Holy alliance.") Moreover, potential tensions between the United States and its European allies could come to the forefront over the question of how to best defend countries in the northern European flank, Sweden, Finland, and Baltic states.

More flexible Euro-Atlantic coalitions of states, however, may be able to opt for particular, more extended, actions, even if not all NATO members so desire. Wider and separate Euro-Atlantic command structures would be able to engage in areas of regional interest, backed by the United States, European powers, and Russia. France and Italy, for example, have expressed an interest in a larger regional role in the support of states such as Slovenia and Romania.

The United States and United Kingdom could coordinate their nuclear deterrent more closely with that of France in defense of a separate Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity—and in strategic cooperation with Russia, particularly in regard to joint defenses against stray missiles, for example, as Boris Yeltsin has proposed. British and French promises at the December 1998 Saint-Malo summit to forge a bigger role for the European Union in strategic defense planning and possible military action appear to be a step in the right direction; yet it still not clear whether this will involve a strengthening of the WEU, or the integration of the WEU into NATO (abolishing the WEU), or integrating parts of the WEU into NATO and parts into the EU, or else a new formulation altogether, such as the creation of a new major European-led command structure within NATO (in addition to SACEUR and SACLANT), designed to engage in peacekeeping and "to deal with contingencies outside the NATO area."(15)

 

 

Eliminate "Gray Zones"

A separate Euro-Atlantic command involving the formation of a Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity would help eliminate "gray zones" involving ambiguous security assurances. In essence, potential hot spots would be filled in by EAPC war-preventive forces, under a general UN or OSCE mandate, before, and not after, potential conflict erupts. As NATO and the European Union have been involved in an uncoordinated expansion of membership, and are thus not expanding membership to the same states at the same time, not all EU members may obtain adequate security guarantees. The dilemma is that as EU enlargement significantly expands the European defense perimeter, it may create a potential "gray zone" which the EU/WEU (by itself) can not presently defend, and which NATO is not legally mandated to defend. There is consequently a potential friction (1) among the security concerns of present and future EU members (that have been promised a common foreign and security policy); (2) the interests of those states that are both members of the WEU (that have been promised a European Defense and Security Identity) and of NATO, and (3) the interests of those states that only belong to NATO alone (such as Turkey and Norway).

 

 

Working with the UN/OSCE

A separate Euro-Atlantic Command could more easily engage in operations under UN or OSCE auspices. Following German unification, Washington continued to interpret Moscow's support for the CSCE/OSCE as "downgrading NATO" in the words of Henry Kissinger, for example, in 1992, in response to Boris Yeltsin's call for a stronger CSCE/OSCE and a Euro-Atlantic Peacekeeping capability.

There is no reason, however, why NATO's interaction with the OSCE in out-of-area disputes would necessarily "downgrade" NATO. NATO can build a new interlocking relationship with the OSCE, and begin to deploy PfP-trained Euro-Atlantic war-preventive forces in the Baltic states, for example, as a new form of NATO "membership" under a general UN or OSCE mandate.

NATO has claimed that it will not create "gray zones" and that security guarantees must not be ambiguous; at the same time, however, NATO itself has begun to hint to the Baltic states that their security may be best protected by the OSCE. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ronald Asmus, generally regarded as one of the original advocates of NATO enlargement, has stated that the OSCE should develop new conflict prevention tools and further develop an OSCE role in connection with peacekeeping.(16) NATO Ambassador Alexander Vershbow has insisted upon the importance of Baltic states following OSCE guidelines—despite their understandable historical reservations in regard to Russia.(17) By contrast, Congress has passed the fiscal 1999 foreign operations appropriation bill to provide financial assistance to the Baltic States "to accelerate the Baltic States integration into NATO"(18); yet as the Senate has yet to approve Baltic state membership in NATO, Senators John Warner and Daniel Patrick Moynihan both disapproved of such language—regarded as sticking a thumb in the eye of the Russians.

The formation of a separate Euro-Atlantic Command would work to resolve this apparent contradiction between those states who have been promised security guarantees by NATO according to its traditional definition of "full" membership, and those states whose security is to be safeguarded under the more uncertain security assurances of the OSCE. A separate Euro-Atlantic command can help resolve this apparent contradiction by bringing in all central and eastern European states into a regional Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity under a general UN or OSCE mandate backed by formal and overlapping NATO, EU/WEU, and Russian security guarantees. Rather than extending NATO's integrated command into the region, NATO, the EU/WEU, and Russia would work to form a militarily integrated region largely dedicated to issues of "cooperative" security, but which would concurrently build and sustain an adequate "collective" defense capability based upon general agreement.

This proposal does not necessarily mean that UN or OSCE forces will suddenly be intervening in "hot spots" (as, however, was the case in Albania and now Kosovo). Rather, the proposal envisions the deployment of Euro-Atlantic Partnership forces throughout areas of potential disputes before and not after conflict breaks out.(19) Moreover, these forces could be integrated into a larger Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity that would seek to guarantee the security of all states in the region. Euro-Atlantic war-preventive forces would consequently play a deterrent role in providing "soft security" measures for the region, and could also help compensate for a probable U.S. refusal to deploy significant numbers of forces in the central and eastern European region, if ultimately demanded.

 

 

Overlapping Security Guarantees

As it would not be expanding its integrated military command, NATO could more easily implement overlapping or conjoint security guarantees with Russia, the EU/WEU, and other non-NATO states and then adopt more formal aspects of power-sharing with non-NATO members.

One of the difficulties in achieving close NATO-Russian cooperation stems, in part, from the very nature of NATO itself as an institution. As NATO’s basic mission is to provide collective security for of all its "full" members, as Secretary of Defense William Cohen has stated, the root of the problem, and the evident reluctance to further enlarge NATO's membership, can to a certain extent be attributed to NATO's definition of "collective defense" and of "full" and "equal" membership. As long as the definition of "collective defense" and "full" and "equal" membership implies fully integrating all new members into its exclusive military command structure, NATO may well be unable to enlarge beyond its three new members to develop a fully inclusive system of security. As long as it continues to uphold the myth of its three musketeers formula of "one for all and all for one," NATO could dig in its heels, possibly resulting in a new partition of Europe, if not a Russian backlash.

As traditionally defined, membership in NATO's integrated command is, by military necessity, an exclusive process that can only provide Russia and other non-NATO members limited input and consultation on issues that may affect their perceived vital strategic-nuclear and political-military interests. The NATO-Russian Founding Act, the NATO-Russian Permanent Joint Council, coupled with the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, essentially represent structures outside the North Atlantic Council, and do not permit Russia more substantial power-sharing through direct participation in NATO's political committees.(20)

In order to more fully incorporate Russia, but without overexposing NATO's integrated command, the United States and NATO should accordingly review previous Russian proposals for overlapping or conjoint NATO-Russian security guarantees.(21) The American refusal to consider this option helped lead to downfall of former pro-Western Russian foreign minister Andrei Kosyrev, and then to the rise of Yevgeni Primakov. The latter has advocated a more assertive "Eurasianist" stance by attempting to draw China, India, if not Iran and Iraq, into a closer entente relationship with Russia, as a means to counter-balance an enlarged NATO.

Now, however, that NATO has shown its resolve and thereby extended promises of membership to three states, there seems no reason why NATO can not enter with Moscow into a far-reaching agreement in regard to overlapping security guarantees within the context of a separate Euro-Atlantic command. The possibility of overlapping or conjoint NATO-Russian security guarantees have not been ruled out by the Baltic states themselves, but need Washington’s support.(22) Overlapping security guarantees that Russia will not assist Belarus against Poland and that Belarus will not assist Russia against Poland, for example, may be in the national security interest of Poland itself. Warsaw should thus engage in a Polish-version of Ostpolitik,(23) backed by NATO, but in the quest for overlapping NATO-EU/WEU-Russian security guarantees. Poland likewise needs American support in this regard.

 

From a de facto to a de jure nuclear free zone

With the formation of separate Euro-Atlantic commands, the option of deploying nuclear weapons and foreign forces on the territory of new member states—so as to sustain NATO's present definition of collective defense—could ultimately be ruled out. Throughout 1994-96, fears that NATO would deploy nuclear weapons, or at the minimum train new NATO members to use nuclear weapons, tended to throw fuel on an already smoldering fire. It also resulted in significant protests by anti-nuclear civilian movements within the prospective NATO member countries themselves. As NATO does not want to foreclose any options, it then made unilateral statements in late 1996 and early 1997 indicating that it did not foresee the necessity to deploy nuclear weapons or combat forces on the territories of new member states in the near future. At the same time, NATO did not state categorically that it would never deploy either nuclear weapons or combat forces.(24) (The latter may be regarded by the elites of new NATO members as providing a symbolic guarantee of protection and deterrence under Article V.)

Yet even the latter unilateral statements are unlikely to assuage Russian suspicions in the long term, however, until there is a formal agreement not to deploy such weaponry or troops and/or more substantial mutual NATO-Russian defense cooperation. At the same time, hard-line central European elites are concerned that NATO's emphasis on reinforcement (rather than upon forward deployment of troops or nuclear weapons) could mean that NATO might be unwilling or unable to come to the rescue of its new members if directly threatened. The key dilemma then is that NATO needs to strike a balance between reinforcement and reception/projection capabilities; NATO needs to provides adequate reassurance, but without projecting a direct military threat to non-NATO members. As forewarned by former deputy defense minister Andrzej Karkoszka, NATO must not develop its projection/reception facilities "in such a way which would be misperceived by non-NATO states as an aggressive posture."(25)

Moreover, from the perspective of arms control and traditional deterrence theory as generally accepted during the Cold War,(26) the utility of deploying nuclear weaponry is not clear. Russia would regard the presence of nuclear weapons as strategic and not tactical. Such weaponry would most likely be subject to first strike pre-emption in case of the outbreak of hostilities.

NATO sustained the Three Musketeers myth of "one for all and all for one" throughout the Cold War, even when the capabilities of NATO's sixteen members were not at all the same. The Three Musketeers concept implies that all NATO members should possess roughly equal or similar capabilities, including those of nuclear warfare, so as to defend one another if attacked. As NATO enlarges to 19 members or more, however, NATO will need to reformulate its concept of "full" and "equal" membership and of "collective security" as it relates to Russia—as well as all the states of central and eastern Europe—if it is to implement a truly comprehensive and inclusive system of security for the latter states.

 

 

The Question of Moles

A separate Euro-Atlantic command would lessen the potential exposure of NATO's integrated command to spying by 'moles' still present in central and eastern European societies. Lustration in the Czech Republic, and the late 1998 decision of the Sejm in Poland to expose former collaborators with Moscow, will not eliminate present and potential spies.

 

 

Greece and Turkey: NATO's Achilles Heel?

NATO enlargement into Central Europe does little to ameliorate tensions among present members of the Alliance. Ironically, NATO enlargement is taking place at a time when present NATO member Turkey does not feel that it is getting sufficient supports from European members of NATO.

While the official Turkish position is pro-NATO enlargement, Ankara argues that NATO and European Union enlargement should go hand in hand and that Turkey, like the central European states, should enter the EU and WEU as full members. (Ankara is concerned that central European states may enter the EU by 2002/03, prior to Turkey.) Moreover, Ankara fears that the formation of a European Defense and Security Identity within NATO will bleed resources to European allies that could otherwise go to assist Turkey as it presently confronts a number of significant internal and external crises. The Turkish parliament accordingly threatened to stall—if not veto—NATO membership for Warsaw, Budapest, and Prague.

At the same time, tensions between Greece and Turkey have yet to be ameliorated—and have been exacerbated by pending sales of Russian SA-300 missiles to Greek-held Cyprus. The latter has been designated as a future EU member, upsetting Turkey, while "full" Turkish membership in the EU/WEU has stalled. Although Russia and Turkey increasingly possess strong economic ties through trade and investment, Ankara fears that Russia is supporting NATO-member Greece's efforts to regain control over Cyprus, through the creation of "artificial" crises. The fact that the pending Russian arms sales to Cyprus have become an "out of area" factor of dispute in the NATO-Russian Permanent Joint Council should hopefully help to find a satisfactory resolution to the issue. At the same time, however, Greece is engaging in a five year $24 billion arms upgrade involving U.S. Patriot missiles and U.S. KIDD-class guided missile destroyers, which would greatly enhance its naval capabilities; Athens is also requesting F-15 fighters.(27) How Turkey will react remains to be seen. There is presently little incentive for Turkey to support new NATO members in central Europe unless Ankara is granted closer ties with the EU/WEU.

 

 

A Wider Area for Trade and Investment

Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary have been hoping that NATO and European Union membership will help secure multinational corporate investment in their countries. The European Union has also decided to integrate Estonia and Cyprus (the latter causing tensions with NATO member Turkey). NATO membership is moreover seen as a primary means to guarantee long-term political and economic stability—despite the fact that there is no way that NATO as a military organization can necessarily guarantee political-economic and financial stability in a situation of highly volatile financial markets.

It would accordingly appear preferable for NATO and the EU to work to establish a wider, militarily and economically, integrated region involving as many central and eastern European countries as possible. Rather than becoming regions exclusive to NATO and the EU, these countries could, in effect, serve as political economic intermediaries between the EU (in accord with EU concepts of "variable geometry") and the Commonwealth of Independent States. A separate Euro-Atlantic command would help to create a wider area of stability for trade and investment than that promised by NATO enlargement to three countries only. Such a region would serve as a multi-tiered "intermediary" among the United States, EU, and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, if not those of the Black Sea (linked to Romania) in the formation of a wider regional market and geo-economic region within the EU and NATO. By creating a wider regional defense and security identity, and by incorporating Romania as a core member, in close cooperation with other states that border the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, a separate Euro-Atlantic command structure could also help bring Turkey closer to the EU/WEU and NATO and keep open the door to European trade with Turkey and the Black Sea region and counter-balance German political-economic influence and Russian political-military pressures.

A separate Euro-Atlantic command would accordingly help central and eastern European states to help themselves through the creation of a larger regional market. As these states are still in transition to market economies, and of developing democratic structures of power, it is not certain that the costs of NATO enlargement are truly affordable. Relatively high defense spending could have adverse socio-political consequences, given the need to maintain social and other public supports/subsidies during a time of political-economic transition.

The dilemma raised here is that promises of NATO membership have tended to pit central and eastern European states in rivalry against each other in the effort to adopt NATO capabilities. Increased spending upon defense preparations at this time may raise the suspicions of neighboring states, particularly those roughly twenty-three states not expecting to enter NATO as "full" members. This will remain true despite the ostensibly positive steps toward mutual recognition, recognition of borders, and promises not to support irredentist movements, which have thus far been encouraged by the prospects of NATO membership.

In contrast, a separate Euro-Atlantic command would help boost central European state relations with Belarus and Ukraine, and sustain an opening to eastern states as Polish officials have been urging. The "Weimar triangle" of France, Germany and Poland should help support the "Brest triangle" of Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine, so as to help develop the economies of the latter states, and concurrently keep the door open to Russia as well.

 

 

Central Europe: A New Sphere of Influence?

Washington argues that it is not establishing a new sphere of influence by enlarging NATO to central European states alone, but this depends upon whether the region can remain a "shared" space, or one open primarily to the profit of U.S. or German/European trade and investment. A telltale sign of whether a sphere of influence is to be established will be seen in the nature of international arms sales. NATO has thus far discouraged significant "big ticket" arms sales and large weapons systems to central Europe and by stressing interoperability. The new NATO members do yet not possess the economic incentives for major arms purchases and have hoped to boost the sales of indigenous arms producers. Moreover, as NATO is concerned with the possible re-nationalization of defenses, it has sought to limit arms purchases by proposing even lower CFE ceilings.

In the name of "interoperability," NATO could, however, over time, limit the amount of Russian or Commonwealth of Independent States equipment purchased by new NATO members (at present the market is limited). By contrast, a Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity in coordination with the OSCE and a strengthened CFE Treaty, would seek to establish a regional system of security based upon a variety of weapons systems, including anti-ballistic missile systems. The nature of defense systems, and the question as to which countries (or really firms) are to produce that weaponry, and the nationality of the Euro-Atlantic peacekeeping forces to be deployed, would be determined by the Euro-Atlantic command, which would include Russia as a key decision-maker. A separate Euro-Atlantic command would additionally permit the costs and burdens of security to be spread out over a larger number of OSCE countries, rather than among NATO members alone.

 

 

The Question of German Power and Influence

The fact that Bonn/Berlin has begun to anticipate the formation of a new NATO Central European command, to be headed by a German, may not appeal to Russia—or to Poland and the Czech Republic.(28) In this regard, the expansion and ‘europeanization’ of the Alliance may increasingly be regarded as its ‘Germanization’. The latter possibility could become reality if the United States does ultimately take a back seat in the Alliance.(29) At the same time, the possibility that central and eastern European states may demand that the United States guarantee their security with American ground forces as a means to contain Russia political-military pressures and to counter-balance German political economic influence within the Alliance—could raise both Russian—and American—domestic opposition.

By contrast, a separate Euro-Atlantic command would seek to sustain the membership of the new "red-green" Germany in NATO; at the same time, it would seek to channel German political and financial energies into support for a new Euro-Atlantic system of security. Euro-Atlantic war-preventive forces would consequently play a deterrent role in providing cooperative security measures for the region, and could also help to compensate for a probable U.S. refusal to deploy significant numbers of forces in the central and eastern European region, if ultimately demanded by new NATO allies in the region.

 

 

Kaliningrad: Focal Point of Potential Conflict or Center of NATO, EU/WEU, and Russian Defense Cooperation?

NATO needs to look to the roots of geopolitical conflict and relations of power, and not merely address technical concerns related to deterrence. The formation of a separate Euro-Atlantic command would seek to resolve the German question, as it relates to Russian Kaliningrad, formerly German territory. As it is presently formulated, NATO enlargement into central Europe appears designed to satisfy German demands for a cordon sanitaire (to guard "against instability from the East"). Despite assurances to the contrary, NATO enlargement effectively establishes a new "buffer" region that is intended to reassure a newly unified Germany that it will not again become a front line state as during the Cold War. (Eastern European elites, of course, resent the possibility that their states might be treated as "buffers.") The potential post-Cold War front line now lies primarily along the Polish borders with Belarus and the centrally strategic Russian military outpost at Russian Kaliningrad. NATO enlargement, in its traditional exclusive sense, thus significantly expands NATO’s defense perimeter with a potentially hostile Belarus, perhaps unnecessarily forcing Belarus and Russia into a closer Alliance.

Having promised not to expand NATO into eastern Germany, NATO has now expanded around eastern Germany, in effect, creating a doughnut-shaped geostrategic configuration, with a big chunk taken out.(30) This shape is due to the fact that neither Austria, Slovakia, or Slovenia are yet included as members, essentially leaving Hungary in orbit. The latter state is without contiguous lines of communication to NATO by land, like a piece of the doughnut broken off.

On the one hand, the immediate threats posed to Germany’s eastern borders appear to be those primarily of "soft security" (illegal immigration, drug trafficking, etc). These "soft security" issues can be better handled by the European Union and the OSCE than by NATO. On the other hand, in terms of "hard security," NATO enlargement, as presently formulated, does little to protect Germany's northern flank from potential missile threats from the Kola peninsula or from a highly unstable Kaliningrad.(31)

The formation of a separate Euro-Atlantic command structure would seek to prevent the bleak situation in Kaliningrad, for example, from becoming a potential flash point of conflict.(32) Making Kaliningrad one of the major headquarters of a separate Euro-Atlantic Command would represent a step toward consolidating Russia’s relations with NATO and the EU/WEU.

 

 

The Question of Swedish and Austrian Membership

NATO enlargement into central Europe alone even in its traditionally exclusive sense does not address the key not-so-new strategic-nuclear threats to European security; nor does it protect the new EU members Sweden and Finland, in addition to Estonia, plus other states that may ultimately join the EU. While the political—but not geostrategic—focus has been on the central and eastern European states, the ultimate threats to European security may increasingly come from the northeastern and southeastern flanks. The real defense of Europe accordingly lies not in the expansion of NATO membership to central European states, but in the incorporation of the highly developed and economically advanced democracies of Sweden and Austria into the Alliance as full members in the traditional exclusive sense. (Other neutral states could also enter, but the latter two states would be the most significant in geostrategic terms.)

If joining the club of "democracies" really represented the primary reason for states to join NATO, as proclaimed by a number of influential pundits in the aftermath of the Cold War, then the highly developed democracies of Sweden and Austria should have been among the first to clamor for membership. These states, which were often derided as "free riders" during the Cold War, have been interested in participating in Partnership for Peace and in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. They are not yet prepared to join NATO, in part for fear of cutting off their historical relations with Russia, and of losing aspects of their relative independence and sovereignty. (Sweden did, however, possess secret ties with NATO during the Cold War and was often referred to as its "17th member.")

If Sweden and Austria ultimately accept the responsibilities of "full" NATO membership, they could then help provide logistical support for a Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity for all participating states in their respective regions—in coordination with the EU/WEU, Ukraine, and Russia. As full members of NATO, Sweden and Austria would truly represent "providers," and not "consumers" of security. They should likewise be prepared to provide "hard security" (along with the other willing members of NATO’s original sixteen states) and to come to the defense of the central and eastern European states in their respective regions in case of the outbreak of hostilities.

 

 

Preventing Overstretch

In the near future, NATO will have to decide if and to what extent it intends to invest relatively limited Allied resources into the following divergent interests and goals: 1) sustaining the Dayton Agreements; 2) attempting to stem the conflict over Kosovo; 3) deciding the extent to which new members, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, should be integrated into NATO's military command; 4) fully implementing a European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI); 5) continuing to enlarge its "full" membership to Romania, Slovenia, and possibly Slovakia and Bulgaria, if not to one or more of the Baltic states; 6) enlarging to the formerly "neutral" states of Sweden and Austria—if not Finland, Ireland, and Switzerland; 7) strengthening the Partnership for Peace initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council designed to forge closer relations with non-NATO states; 8) more overtly incorporating Russia, Ukraine, or other non-NATO states into the Alliance; 9) redefining Article V security guarantees to all NATO members in an ever-changing strategic-military environment.

Each item of the above ambitious agenda evidently presents differing costs and risks, at the same time that each may compete for relatively scarce financial resources and political support. Due to the potentially clashing interests and goals involved, it is not at all certain that NATO will be able to formulate a truly comprehensive and inclusive strategy for the entire Euro-Atlantic region in such a way so as to actualize all of these goals. Some of NATO's aims may be dropped off the list; others may be fundamentally altered in form if not in substance. It is accordingly not surprising that NATO itself does not expect that even the revised strategic concept of its 50th anniversary will be its last statement on the subject.

In September 1998, in a testimony that directly raised critical questions about American global strategy in general, and the strategy of NATO enlargement in particular, General Shelton stated that "our forces are showing increasing signs of serious wear. Anecdotal and now measurable evidence indicates that our current readiness is fraying and that the long-term health of the Total Force is in jeopardy."(33) General Shelton’s statements, of course, focus primarily on the overall costs of the Total Force; yet they indirectly raise critical questions as to how the subsidiary costs of NATO enlargement (which represent costs over and above the price of sustaining the present NATO defense burden) will be affected by significant shortfalls in the overall global defense burden. Similarly, James Schlesinger has warned of a "strategy-forces-budget" mismatch that will force Washington to choose among three options: 1) increase defense spending; 2) retrench on the present, ambitious foreign policy, and 3) accepting the higher level of international risk involved in maintaining (U.S.) existing commitments while allowing (U.S.) existing commitments to decline, which would tempt others to challenge.(34) If the "Total Force" is, in fact, "in jeopardy," then the American ability to fight two nearly simultaneous regional wars could be damaged. Concurrently, NATO could well find itself overextended and unable fulfill its basic mission of providing collective security to all its members. It then becomes questionable as to whether NATO can even bring its three new members up to NATO standards, given their financial weaknesses, the generally slow process of their political-military reform, and their continuing need for economic reform.(35) In addition, as previously argued, inter-Allied disputes over power and burden sharing raise problems of providing assistance to new members so as to upgrade their capabilities to NATO standards.(36)

The potential fraying of the Total Force may furthermore hinder efforts to fully integrate Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary into NATO’s command structure. Coming so soon after the Clinton Administration had solemnly assured Congress that the costs of NATO enlargement would be far less than publicly estimated,(37) General Shelton's testimony has inadvertently raised critical questions as to the wisdom of the entire venture—as it is presently formulated.

Accordingly if the financial resources to sustain an adequate global defense, in which the United States is prepared to fight two nearly simultaneous regional conflicts, continue to shrink, and if no significant increase in defense spending is forthcoming, or if European states do not raise their share of the defense burden (in exchange for greater power sharing), then NATO may also find it difficult to adequately defend both its new and old membership. From this standpoint, it appears dubious that NATO can continue to enlarge its "full" and "equal" membership in its traditional exclusive sense without significantly overextending its capabilities, weakening its political consensus, watering down its Article V security commitment—and without alienating Russia or other non-NATO countries.(38) An overextended NATO is obviously in no one’s interest. By contrast, the effort to implement a regional, yet militarily-integrated, approach to Euro-Atlantic security, based upon the extension of NATO security guarantees through regional reinforcement, but not NATO’s integrated command structure, would permit the United States to implement a more flexible global strategy. This approach would keep NATO's power capabilities in reserve and simultaneously lessen the risk of tying American and NATO capabilities to the central European "theatre" in the more likely event that significant conflict should erupt "out of area."(39) Such an approach would urge European allies to upgrade their share of the defense burden in exchange for power sharing, and to pursue a more thorough entente with Russia, so as to reduce, but not eliminate, the American share of the defense burden.

 

 

Conclusion: Toward a NATO-Russian Entente

The United States and its European Allies need to engage in a sustained irenic diplomacy that is intended to bring Russia, and other non-NATO states, into a general entente relationship upon a step-by-step basis so as to implement a truly inclusive and comprehensive strategy. The formation of a separate Euro-Atlantic command would represent the prelude to a more encompassing global strategy intended to establish a U.S., European, Russian, and Japanese concert that would seek to co-manage the post-1991 global disequilibrium.(40) A separate Euro-Atlantic command would expand NATO's membership to as many states as possible and would play the role of an 'internationalized intermediary' involved in aspects of cooperative security. It would accordingly incorporate the security concerns of all EU members, as well as non-NATO states (as part of a multi-tiered system of security). This could be accomplished by the creation of a Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity (divided into at least three subregions), which would in turn be backed by conjoint or overlapping NATO, EU/WEU, and Russian security guarantees. As Russia would be more actively involved the creation of such a separate Euro-Atlantic command, it could then be considered a "full" member of NATO, but without overly exposing NATO's integrated command.

To provide backup for a regional systems of "cooperative" security, NATO should also consider drawing the highly developed democratic states of Sweden and Austria into NATO as "full" members in the traditionally exclusive sense. This option, however, may only prove necessary in the case that Russia, or more likely Belarus, ultimately become perceived as significant threats to global peace. If Sweden and Austria would accept NATO membership, then both of these states could provide logistical support for a militarily-integrated Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity in cooperation with the EU/WEU, Russia, and other non-NATO states. NATO, of its original sixteen members, plus Sweden and Austria, could then stand in the background providing "collective" or "hard" security in case conflict did erupt in central and eastern Europe, or else in "out of area" disputes, if deemed necessary.(41) Unlike states in central and eastern Europe, Sweden and Austria would represent more immediate "producers" of security, as opposed to "consumers" of security.

Following years of Cold War suspicions, bringing NATO and Russia into close policy coordination remains a difficult, but not an insurmountable, task. American and NATO diplomacy must not provoke a Russian backlash; NATO and Russia must find ways to work together despite disagreements over many issues, and by working within a UN, OSCE, or bilateral framework wherever possible. Washington may need to obtain either a promise of overt cooperation, or else a guarantee of neutrality, from Moscow should regional crises erupt. (There is no reason to assume that any significant future crisis will necessarily be instigated by Moscow; other actors may decide to act unilaterally without Russian support.) Most crucially, NATO and Russia will have difficulties in engaging in positive cooperation in Europe unless the U.S., Russia, Japan, and EU can ultimately forge a global entente, and, in particular, work to implement a common strategy towards China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Serbia, among other regional powers.(42)

Efforts to achieve a common strategy will be hindered, however, as long as Moscow and Washington continue to link policies and actions in Europe with their respective policies and actions elsewhere in the world, and as long as Moscow flounders in the morass of socio-political instability and financial collapse. If NATO continues to push for the enlargement of its membership in its traditional exclusive sense, there is a real danger that such a strategy may exacerbate tensions among the states of central and eastern Europe—if not provoke a revanchist Russian backlash. While Russia has thus far stomached NATO enlargement into Central Europe, Moscow has regarded the "full" integration of the Baltic states into NATO's integrated command as a potential casus belli. Russia has consequently threatened to counter NATO enlargement by forging a Eurasian alliance with Belarus, China and India, among other states(43), and by strengthening its ballistic and cruise missile capabilities in the Kola peninsula and in Kaliningrad, at the evident risk of a new destabilizing arms race. A potential crisis in regard to Russian assess to Kaliningrad either through Poland or, more likely, Lithuania, can not be ruled out.

The enlargement of NATO's integrated military command into central Europe may first prove provocative to non-NATO states, such as Belarus and Slovakia, if not Serbia, that may look to a closer counter-alliance with Russia, once new NATO members begin to upgrade upgrade their military capabilities to NATO standards. Moreover, NATO and EU enlargement may increasingly be perceived as a "double isolation" by those states that are not incorporated as members of either regime. Concurrently, EU members, or other states that are not formally backed by NATO, may find themselves within a ill-fated "gray area" without clear security guarantees. Once NATO begins to build the defense capabilities of its new members in central Europe, it is possible that an unstable Ukraine may be pressed to join either NATO or Russian CIS alliances. Squeezed between two alliances, a pivotal Ukraine could either swing toward Russia or NATO—if not break-up—potentially destabilizing the entire region.

Washington has yet to convince the vast majority of the Russian elite that the enlargement of NATO’s membership will not further humiliate a former great power—and that it will not directly or indirectly hasten the disaggregation of the Russian Federation itself.(44) Now that Washington has signaled its intent to enlarge NATO, the latter needs to thoroughly engage Russia in a new system of Euro-Atlantic security involving the formation of a separate Euro-Atlantic command structure. Washington must also convince Congress and the American people that NATO should engage in a new mission, one that seeks to extend NATO security guarantees, but not its integrated military command, to key states throughout central and eastern Europe, in coordination with the Europeans and Russia.(45)

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENDNOTES

1 For a succinct statement of NATO’s intent, see "Statement by Secretary of State," Madeleine K. Albright, North Atlantic Council, Luxembourg, May 28, 1998.

2 On the one hand, NATO seeks closer cooperation with Russia. On the other hand, NATO is considering a new "mission" or "vision" statement allowing NATO to take actions without a specific mandate from the UN Security Council in "exceptional circumstances"—in possible violation of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty. NATO members Germany, France, and Canada, in addition to Russia, are most concerned about NATO taking actions outside the UN Security Council framework. This proposal comes after NATO threatened to bomb Serb positions in late November to halt violence in Kosovo, actions based upon international legal principles of "humanitarian intervention" but without a formal UN Security Council resolution. See Steven Erlanger, "U.S. to NATO: Widen Purpose to Fight Terror," New York Times, 7 December 1998. See Roger Cohen, "A Policy Struggle within NATO" New York Times, 28 November 1998; Frederick Bonnart, "NATO needs Steadier Legal Footing" International Herald Tribune, 13 November 1998. See also Senator William V. Roth, Jr, President, North Atlantic Assembly, "NATO in the 21st Century," 2 October 1998.

3 Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, "Cohen Discusses NATO Challenges for the 21st Century," USIS June 1998. "I don't think you should be misled by the size of the vote to believe that that means that they are eager to proceed with a new round immediately.... To move too quickly would be to run into severe opposition....(Some time should elapse)... so that NATO can absorb the three new members. Secretary of Defense Cohen furthermore stated that adding additional members beyond Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary would require climbing "a very steep set of stairs" and that additional NATO members must reassure Congress that they will not only be "consumers of security provided by NATO but also be producers and contributors."

4 For a critique of the September 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement, see Hall Gardner, Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997)

5 NATO could of course add less controversial states, such as Slovenia, to its membership, but this would not deal with the tougher security problems posed by Baltic state membership, or that of an instable Romania, for example.

6 Marshal Igor Sergeyev, "We are not Adversaries, We are Partners" NATO Review, Webedition, Vol 46, No 1, Spring 1998, 15-18.

7 See Dale R. Herspring, "Russia’s Crumbling Military," Current History, October 1998. Herspring warns that a crumbling Russian military could increasingly rely on nuclear weapons and may opt for launch on warning stance (in utilizing antiquated warning systems).

8 As the Committee on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO put it: "An Extended NATO should be conceived as a diversified structure, with a core structure and add-on structures, interfacing commitments, and transitional processes to gradually roll all the parts into a cohesive whole... Special arrangements for new members should be pictured as "additions" tacked onto the existing core of the Alliance. The existing Integrated Command for the old members of NATO should not be changed by this; the relations of the newly entering countries, even if much weaker, would be add-ons to that core not substractions from it. The Article V commitment to mutual defense among the old members need not be touched; if commitments to some of the new members are weaker, this is still an add-on to the existing core not a substraction from it." Committe on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO, "Bringing Eastern Europe and Russia into NATO," part B. (my emphasis). Http://www.fas.org/man/nato/ceern/beern00.htm.

9 For present steps to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council see "Updated Euro-Atlantic Partnership Action Plan" Press Release, M-2-EAPC (98) 145 (Brussels: NATODATA, 8 December 1998)

10 On this possibility, see Tomas Valasek, "One Man's Victory, Other Countries' Loss?" Center for Defense Information Weekly Defense Monitor, 30 July, 1998. Http://www.robust-east.net/index.html

11 Senator William V. Roth, Jr, op. cit.

12 Ira L. Straus, "Russia-in-NATO? The Fourth Generation of the Atlantic Alliance" Http://www.fas.org/man/nato/ceern/rus_in.htm Committee on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO, Bringing Eastern Europe and Russia into NATO, Section XI, "Decision-making with more members" April 1994. Http://www.fas.org/man/nato/ceern/beern00.htm.

13 Marcel van Herpen, "ESDI or the Permanence of a European Identity Crisis" in ESDI: New Developments, Cicero Paper, eds. Marcel van Herpen and Hall Gardner, #4 (1998). One possibility intended to bring France closer to NATO’s integrated command would be to divide NATO’s southern regional command into two commands, a South-Eastern command (with an American commander and a European deputy) and South-Western command (with French and Spanish leadership). Senator William V. Roth, Jr, op. cit.

14 The definitions of Article V is in the process of change: "As President Clinton said in Berlin: 'yesterday's NATO guarded our borders against direct military invasion. Tomorrow's NATO must continue to defend enlarged borders and defend them against threats to our security from beyond them—the spread of weapons of mass destruction, ethnic violence and regional conflict.' It must do so in part because the very nature of potential Article V threats is changing. But it must also do so because non-Article V threats can become Article V threats if they are not addressed early." M. Albright (op. cit.)

15 For a proposed change in the NATO command structure, see James A. Thomson "A new partnership, new NATO military structures" in America and Europe, eds., David C. Gompert and F. Stephen Larrabee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 90. For a description of NATO plans as of 1998, see General Klaus Naumaan, NATO Review Webedition, Vol 46, No. 1, Spring 1998, 10-14. Could NATO consider both a European-led command (perhaps located in France) and a Euro-Atlantic command (located in Kaliningrad).

16 Ronald Asmus, Speech before the reinforced Permanent Council of the OSCE, Vienna, July 17, 1998.

17 Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, "European and Atlantic Integration: Shared Values, Shared Destiny," Vilnius, Lithuania, 3 September 1998.

 

18 "Senators John Warner and Daniel Patrick Moynihan on Proposed Aid to Baltic States for NATO Enlargement," Congressional Record, 2 September 1998. Http://www.robust-east.net/index.html.

19 See remarks by Francis Fukuyama in his Foreign Affairs (April/May 1995) review of my first book, Surviving the Millennium: American Global Strategy, the Collapse of the Soviet Empire, and the Question of Peace (Westport and London: Praeger, 1994) The purpose is not that of the UN or OSCE intervening in "hot spots," as Fukuyama has misinterpreted, but to forge a militarily integrated system of regional defense involving EAPC preventive war deployments under a general UN or OSCE mandate before and not after conflict begins.

 

20 See Ira Straus, "NATO, Go East" National Review, August 11, 1997. See also NATO Secretary General speech at Edinburgh, 13 November 1998, in which the Secretary General Javier Solana proposes the creation of a joint North Atlantic Assembly-Russian Parliament group to monitor the work of the NATO-Russian Permanent Joint Council.

21 Assistant Secretary State Richard C. Holbrooke had publicly ruled out the possibility of conjoint NATO-Russian accords in July 1995. In a letter to Ambassador Richard C. Davies, Assistant Secretary of State, Richard C. Holbrooke argued that the idea of NATO-Russian security assurances has been "historically discredited." Richard C. Holbrooke, U.S. Department of State, Letter to Richard C. Davies, 25 July 1995. Holbrooke has also argued that the U.S. Senate would not support Russian membership in NATO. See full discussion in Hall Gardner, Dangerous Crossroads, op. cit., 175-194.

22 See Olav F. Knudsen, "Cooperative Security in the Baltic Sea region" Chaillot Paper #33 (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, WEU: November 1998), 53.

23 On Polish Ostpolitik, see Sherman W. Garnett, "Poland: Bulwark or Bridge?" Foreign Policy 102, Spring 1996. See also Hall Gardner, Dangerous Crossroads, op. cit., 153.

24 On March 14, 1997, NATO issued the following "unilateral" statement just prior to the NATO Russian summit in Paris on May 27: "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 the additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." NATO Press Release (97) 27, 14 March 1997. In early December 1996, NATO declared that it had "no intention, no plan, and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members" but it also stated that new members "will be full members of the Alliance in all respects, will be expected to support the concept of deterrence and the essential role nuclear weapons play in the Alliance's strategy." See NATO Press Communique M-NAC-2 (96) 165.

25 See Jorgen Dragsdahl, "NATO Resists Pressures to Militarise Central Europe" BASIC Paper #28, July 1998. Http://www.robust-east.net/index.html. To what extent NATO will support sales of interoperable CIS weaponry remains to be seen.

26 See the "double track" proposal of Philipp Borinski, "Neglected Military-Strategic Implications of NATO Enlargement" in NATO Looks East, eds., Piotr Dutkiewicz and Robert J. Jackson (Westport, Ct and London, 1998).

27 Tom Cardamone, "The KIDDS are Alright," Arms Trade Insider, No.2, October 22, 1998. Http://www.robust-east.net/index.html.

28 Alvin Z. Rubinstein, "NATO Enlargement vs. American Interests," Orbis Winter 1998, 44.

29 See Hall Gardner, Dangerous Crossroads, op. cit., 51-52.

30 Russian sources argue persuasively that key Western leaders gave verbal promises not to enlarge NATO beyond western Germany. On February 9, 1990, James Baker is reported as telling Gorbachev that that the consultations and discussions in regard to the two-plus-four mechanism must guarantee that the reunification of Germany will not lead to an eastern extension of NATO’s military organization; English Prime Minister John Major is reported as telling Marshal Iazov that he did not envision the possibility that eastern European countries would belong to NATO. German Chancellor Helmet Kohl is quoted as telling Mikhail Gorbachev on February 10 1990 that he did not expect NATO to enlarge its field of action. See Andrei Gratchev, "La Russie a la recherche d’une politique étrangére," Relations international: les études de la Documentation Francaises, La Russie 1995-96.

31 On security problems related to Kaliningrad, see Stanley Kober, CATO Foreign Policy Briefing No. 46, 11 February 1998. Http://www.robust-east.net/index.html. See also Hall Gardner, Dangerous Crossroads, op. cit., 57. Interestingly, Robert E. Hunter states that "(G)eographic location between NATO and Russia in the center of Europe" and "proximity to Germany, with its ambition to surround itself by NATO and the European Union" represented two of the six "standards" to decide which states were to enter NATO. Poland and the Czech Republic were only two countries on a "direct strategic line" between NATO and Russia. Although Hungary entered NATO for other reasons (such as direct support for IFOR and SFOR in Bosnia), no other future NATO applicant meets the full range of criteria. The next round of enlargement, if there is to be one, will thus be hotly contested. See Robert E. Hunter, "NATO in the 21st Century: A Strategic Vision" Parameters, Summer 1998.

32 Moscow has discussed the issue of transit rights to and from the Kaliningrad region with both Warsaw and Vilnius in an effort to resolve the potential conflict of interest. Interestingly, Zbigniew Brzezinski has argued for the Lithuanian membership in NATO (in the tradition sense)—due to the close Polish-Lithuanian strategic partnership. Brzezinski argues "to pick the Baltic states in one bite would be, indeed, to invite a quarrel with Russia that could be divisive both for Europe and the Alliance." So rather than taking them all, he advocates taking the biggest chunk, Lithuania, which would give NATO near total control of Russian access to Kaliningrad. See Zbigniew Brzezinski, "NATO: The Dilemmas of Expansion" The National Interest, Fall 1998.

33 General Henry Shelton, Testimony before Senate Armed Forces, Washington File, 2260 (Washington, DC: USIS, September 1998)

34 James Schlesinger, "Raise the Anchor or Lower the Ship," The National Interest, Fall 1998.

35 See Jorgen Dragsdahl, "NATO Resists Pressures to Militarise Central Europe" BASIC Paper #28, July 1998. Http://www.robust-east.net/index.html.

36 To counter declining defense spending, Senator Roth's report calls for NATO member states to declare "a voluntary moratorium" on defense budget reductions at the 1999 Washington summit: "Reduced defense spending in most member states is weakening NATO's ability to respond to new security challenges at a time when the operational tempo for Allied forces is increasing." Senator William V. Roth, Jr, President, North Atlantic Assembly, "NATO in the 21st Century," 2 October 1998.

37 Officially, in March 1998, it was announced that the United States expects to pay $4 billion over a 10 year period for NATO enlargement, out of an initial total of $15 billion. These costs represent those over and above the present estimated $150-160 billion a year that the United States spends on NATO; they do not include the costs of PfP or EAPC; nor do they take into account possible additional costs of dealing with future crises or "out of area" operations, or the costs of dealing with a potential Russian backlash..

38 David Calleo has argued that since July 1994 the Clinton administration has taken a deliberately maximalist position on NATO enlargement, risking "overstretch." As Calleo put it: "There has apparently been a significant change in the ambitions of the administration’s foreign policy, without, so far, much corresponding change in its defense budget. The administration’s fiscal projections continue to count on a low, indeed, a falling military budget, which remains an essential element in achieving its promised fiscal balance early in the new century." David Calleo, "A New Era of Overstretch?" World Policy Journal, Spring 1998. President Clinton's January 1999 State of the Union Address, however, called for an increase in defense spending. How Russia would regard a significant U.S. defense increase remains to be seen.

39 The fact that NATO had begun to streamline its command structure, implement significant force reductions, and to shift stocks of equipment closer to Belgian and Dutch ports in case of overseas crisis since 1989, for example, has already raised questions in regard to its ability to defend Central European states. NATO enlargement into central Europe would appear, however, to necessitate a logistical re-orientation back toward the central European "theater," and away from potential out-of-area conflicts.

40 The settlement of the Kurile islands/northern territories’ dispute between Russia and Japan, envisioned for the year 2000, would form the basis for a peace treaty to formally end World War II in the Far East. If successful, this would set the stage for a global U.S.-European-Russian-Japanese entente.

41 My position opposes both the notion of an "open door" NATO, as well as a NATO which digs in its heels and limits itself to three new members. By contrast, it proposes a general NATO-EU/WEU-Russian-Japanese entente (not a full fledged alliance; it then seeks to implement a separate Euro-Atlantic Command as a means to forge a inclusive but delimited system of regional security in central and eastern Europe. For support of an "open door" NATO, see Bruce Russett and Allan C. Stam, "Courting Disaster: An Expanded NATO vs Russia and China," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 113, No. 3, 1998; For a critique of the latter, see Robert J. Art, "Creating Disaster: NATO’s Open Door Policy," ibid.

42 For a similar perspective advocating U.S.-Russian cooperation against the Taliban in Afghanistan, western re-alignment away from Pakistan and toward India, Russian realignment away from China, U.S.-Russian cooperation in strategic defense and the development of a procedure for Russia to have a vote in NATO that will be less than a veto, but more than just a voice, as a step toward "full" NATO membership, see Ira Straus, "NATO, Go East" National Review, August 11, 1997, 41.

43 For a critical account of the Sino-Russian relationship, focusing on military ties, see Stephen Blank, "Which Way for Sino-Russian Relations?" Orbis, Summer 1998. See also, Hall Gardner, Dangerous Crossroads, 128-134.

44 Former NATO Supreme Commander General Jack Galvin put the issue this way: "We won the Cold War, but we’re losing the peace after the Cold War. There’s no doubt in my mind about it. We do not think about the Russians enough, about who they are and what they're doing. We don’t think much about the way they think of us.... We should consider folding NATO into a bigger organization, without losing what has made NATO effective—sustained political control over a collective military for decades.... [we need] a whole new organization that brings the Russians on board." General Jack Galvin, Closing Plenary session," co-chairs, Walther Leisler Kiep and Robert D. Blackwill, American Council on Germany, Atlantik-Brücke Conference (Berlin: 17 June 1995.)

45 This alternative, yet realistic option, can be accomplished by a simple majority vote in both the House and the Senate. At the same time, Russia must be convinced that NATO does not, in fact, intend to extend its military command into the central and eastern European region. Russia cannot claim that either Sweden or Austria represent former spheres of influence or security of Moscow. The integration of these highly developed countries into NATO's integrated command could occur once these states begin to perceive Russia, or more likely Belarus, as hostile or else threatening their interests. Yet even if they do not opt to become "full" members of NATO, then these countries could still assist the formation of a Euro-Atlantic defense and security identity.