News

DEFINING MOMENTS: ALLIANCE DEVELOPMENTS 1996

Draft General Report

Mr. Jan PETERSEN (Norway)
General Rapporteur


International Secretariat
22 October 1996
AN 244
PC (96) 7
Original: English

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. RECONSTRUCTING BOSNIA AND POST-IFOR
  2. THE NEW NATO

    1. CJTF: To Be Confirmed
    2. The Political Landmine of Restructuring
    3. The Way Ahead
    4. The Link to the Intergovernmental Conference

  3. RUSSIA

  4. UKRAINE

  5. ENLARGEMENT: DECISION TIME

    1. Warning Signs
    2. Baltic Security


    The General Rapporteur wishes to thank Peter Duetoft MF, Olli Rehn MEP, Minister - Counsellors ystein Houdkinn, Norwegian OSCE Delegation, Niels Aadal Rasmussen, Danish OSCE Delegation, Michael Matthiessen, Danish EU Delegation, and Heorhiy Nazarov, Embassy of Ukraine in Brussels, Rear Admiral Merrill W. Ruck, ACLANT, Richard Tibbels, WEU, Susannah Simon and Ralph Morton, UK Foreign Office, Thomas-Durrell Young and Colonel William Johnsen, US Army War College, Lt. Colonel Charles Barry, US National Defense University, and Inge Hjeresen and Trine Bj›rnskov, DG-10, European Commission.


    INTRODUCTION

      "The Atlantic nations must join in a fresh act of creation, equal to that undertaken by the postwar generation of leaders of Europe and America." US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger

      23 April 1973

    1. Following the historic meeting at NATO on 13 June 1996 of all 16 NATO Defence Ministers, the first such encounter since the French withdrawal from the integrated military structure 30 years ago, and after the 3 June NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting in Berlin, which for the first time identified the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) as an entity within the Alliance, US Defense Secretary William Perry described "the stability of Europe on into the next century" as depending on:

      • A strong NATO
      • A positive and constructive NATO-Russia relationship, and
      • Building on the PfP.

      The Berlin communiqué described NATO not, as common in the past, as some unique "bedrock"1 of European security but, rather, as an "integral part" of European security - a declaration which Russia seized upon as positive "change".2 Secretary Perry's triad, augmented by the Berlin language, lays an appropriate foundation for our overview of Alliance developments in 1996 and for assessing prospective azimuths as the 1997 NATO Summit approaches, and beyond.

    I. RECONSTRUCTING BOSNIA AND POST-IFOR

  6. On 25 June OSCE Chairman-in-Office (CiO) Swiss Federal Counsellor Flavio Cotti certified that elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina would proceed on 14 September. His assessment was that the Dayton Agreement conditions of freedom of expression, press, association, and movement had "not been fulfilled". Nevertheless, he argued that postponement would not necessarily improve the situation. It could, conversely, lead to "uncontrolled development". However, "effective" elections required "action to be taken" against indicted war criminals to avoid a "pseudo-democratic legitimization of extreme national power structures and ethnic cleansing". He endorsed a French suggestion that fresh elections be held in two years time, and that the international on-site presence be extended. On 27 August, and again on 22 October, the OSCE was compelled to delay the municipal component of the elections, owing to widespread registration manipulation on the part of the Serbs but also the Croats.

  7. These circumstances have clear implications for the Alliance. When the Pentagon announced on 7 December 1995 that IFOR "will deploy long enough to give the civil aspects an opportunity to take hold and start making an impact on the lives of the people of Bosnia", it claimed "high confidence" that this could be accomplished in twelve months. The assumption was that at the time of withdrawal a democratic government would be in place, the cycle of violence broken, and "economic reconstruction well under way". However, the concerns of the CiO obviously suggest that the situation remains fragile.

  8. Whether elections would produce authorities interested in real peace regardless of whether Karadzic or Mladic, and 72 others at the time, were apprehended could only be a matter of speculation. Indeed, it was argued that the ceasefire held precisely because "each of the Bosnian factions is led by authoritarian-nationalist figures" who seek to keep Bosnia divided.3 Peacebuilding will be a long-term process, and will, of course, rely overwhelmingly on the parties themselves to reach some semblance of multiethnic tolerance, as existed before the war, even if Bosnia does partition - as not a few observers believe will occur in some form given the results of the 14 September elections.

  9. At the same time, the international community too has its responsibilities, and in particular a duty to do no harm. Here success has also been partial. The High Representative, Carl Bildt, his colleagues, governments, and the IFOR military authorities differed on what "action" against war criminals would be required: Karadzic temporarily or permanently stepping aside as President, resigning his Serbian Democratic Party post (which he did on 19 July after Richard Holbrooke intervened), being apprehended and tried, or left alone in exchange for Serbian concessions on other issues. It goes without saying that there are good reasons for maintaining a limited IFOR role to avoid possible risks of hostage taking and a breakdown of cooperation by Russia (which believed Karadzic relinquishing the presidency satisfied the Dayton Agreement) and the Srpska Republic. However, was it not incongruous for many of the governments contributing forces to IFOR to decry war criminals on the loose (only seven of the 75 indicted have been taken into custody) but remain cautious on apprehension when none saw any alternative except IFOR, or other outside military forces?

  10. Other illustrations included the calculated uncertainty about a post-IFOR international presence. The limited, pre-determined timeframe directly contributed to the decision not to postpone September elections, despite the absence of a "politically neutral environment". The goal of such an environment was unrealistic for the time-frame envisaged, but all the same that is what Dayton provided. In addition, reconstruction funding proved tardy; Bildt noted that by the end of June only half of the 1996 target had actually been received from agreed pledges ($1.8 billion) - although by September $558 million had been disbursed and $880 million committed. Moreover, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees concluded in July that the lack of freedom of movement, security concerns, and the slow pace of reconstruction forced abandoning the challenge of returning all 2.4 million refugees, slashing its target from 870,000 this year to 135,000 and calling for an extra $160 million. And, of course, there were allegations of an OSCE cover-up of voting fraud in the 14 September elections, influenced by political considerations from outside the region, and by incompetence in organizing registration. Indeed, on 27 September the Head of the OSCE Mission, Ambassador Robert Frowick, admitted that "unfortunately" the OSCE staff had used a voter base estimate that fell 350,000 names short of the presumed accurate tally. Both OSCE election coordinator Ed van Thijn and UN Human Rights Commissioner Elisabeth Rehn objected in October to the holding of municipal elections the following month, citing the absence of appropriate civilian conditions including for the refugee electorate.

  11. One of the most serious and potentially divisive questions any democratic government and parliament must confront is whether to deploy forces abroad. Would a pre-announced deployment deadline prod the parties to come to an agreement, or would it simply provide a breathing space for aggressors? Would the lack of a deadline perhaps not encourage parties to make good faith efforts and consequently freeze the situation, as experience with UN peacekeeping has shown?

  12. Nevertheless, as early as May 1996, the IFOR land commander, Lt. General Sir Michael Walker, urged a post-IFOR presence "to show that the international community is still determined to prevent the war from breaking out again".4 This clearly denotes that conflict could return. Although more attention must be devoted to supporting civilian efforts, enforcing the military aspects of Dayton will still be important. Current national contributions could be adapted for a force of roughly half of the 55,000 - strong force - building on the LANDCENT structure in place by September - and surely the United States will be called upon to continue to provide its, as demonstrated again and again, indispensable political as well as military element so long as the situation requires it. The PfP and NATO-Russia tested role of IFOR must also be remembered.

  13. The parliamentarians' role will not, of course, be limited to election monitoring. We in the NAA will have a special responsibility to build a bipartisan consensus on the post-IFOR operation. We must not risk squandering what Dayton has achieved. Should events unravel, the international community, most certainly the Alliance, will have to take responsibility for the aftermath - and that will certainly have consequences for the state of transatlantic relations and the cooperative order we seek to build in Europe. Let us approach D+366 with flexibility and appreciation for past lessons when consensus escaped the Alliance. As NATO Secretary General Javier Solana stated in London on 19 September 1996: "the international community, including NATO, must remain engaged in Bosnia beyond this first year".

II. THE NEW NATO

  1. Its own declarations proclaim that NATO has been transforming since the July 1990 London Declaration agreed a "fundamental" strategy change moving away from a static Cold-War posture. Yet, the familiar American invocation of "The time has come to streamline and modernize NATO, recognizing that our challenge is no longer simply to execute a known plan with already designated forces, as it was during the Cold War",5 was reiterated only days after the Berlin Ministerial portrayed NATO as having embarked on "a new phase of its history", and six years after the "fundamental" change.

  2. What are the reasons for the slow progress? Is it the politics of which country obtains command headquarters, of maintaining or enhancing relative prestige in the Alliance? Do some Allies believe that NATO should not stray from its political consultative and collective defence role, such that the old structures are more or less adequate? Are they willing to contribute meaningfully to what the Alliance terms stability missions "Beyond NATO's Area of Responsibility (BAOR)"? These are all questions volumes can fill, and many, of course, are familiar staples of Alliance politics.

  1. CJTF: To Be Confirmed

    1. Nevertheless, a focal point of the NATO adaption effort, excluding IFOR, remains the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF). Proposed by the United States at Travemnde in October 1993 following a SACEUR initiative, CJTF would constitute a triservice headquarters intended to achieve three military and political missions: (1) direct operations requiring high flexibility; (2) engage Partners; and (3) provide WEU and the ESDI with capability and a real identity.

    2. In the US view, dual-hatted headquarters would be established for NATO and European missions based in the integrated military command, with certain Major Subordinate Command (MSC) pre-assigning a "nucleus" standing headquarters. The missions primarily contemplated were peacekeeping and humanitarian contingencies. Never in the US view was it envisaged that the CJTF would be wholly or substantially detachable from the major NATO commanders, either in a "supported" or "supporting" mode.

    3. Adapting militarily to CJTF was never the problem, replicating as it did on a multinational basis what in the US services are termed adaptive joint force packages. SACLANT Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Merrill Ruck observed at the outset that "much of this is not new... we had a foretaste of it in Operation Desert Storm", but "it is new to NATO, and it is in line with our thoughts on the way we believe NATO must go in an era of changed circumstances and declining resources".6

    4. Nevertheless, real political and military concerns immediately arose. Might CJTF militarily marginalize the integrated military structure (hence the not separate catchword)? Would political competition prevent NATO-WEU cooperation, and lead to duplication or no action at all? Could NATO manage collective defence and peace support at the same time? Would France cooperate in some way with the integrated command? Could a single command structure for both Article 5 and non-Article 5 missions be ensured? Could non-WEU staff and forces participate in a WEU operation? Would NATO need to be reimbursed for use of its assets in a non-NATO CJTF-directed operation? How much would the additional emphasis on power projection cost, and would nations, most of which have limited or no force projection capability, agree to invest supplementary resources?

    5. Consequently, nothing more than a general endorsement was envisaged for the forthcoming summit in January 1994, and nothing more emerged: the Alliance leaders declared that they "endorse the concept of [CJTF] as a means to facilitate contingency operations". Two and half years later, the Ministers in Berlin went no further than noting "the completion of the CJTF concept". They requested the Military Committee to recommend how CJTF should be implemented "to the satisfaction of all Allies", and tasked the Council to undertake "detailed elaboration" of the CJTF with respect to ESDI, including:

      • identify and release NATO capabilities;
      • settle double-hatting arrangements;
      • further develop information-sharing arrangements for WEU operations (recall that is was not until 1996 that provisions for classified information exchange were agreed, over four years after NATO and WEU began these discussions);
      • establish procedures for NATO-WEU consultations on the use and monitoring of NATO assets.

  2. The Political Landmine of Restructuring

    1. The difficulties, or challenges, do not end there. It must also be recalled that CJTF is but a subset of the larger, and likewise unresolved, work on the "further adaption" of Alliance structure and procedures of the Long-Term Study (LTS) launched in June 1992, described in previous General Reports. Flowing from the approval in May 1996 of a new military directive for implementing the Strategic Concept, MC 400/1, some basic issues will need to be resolved, Rear Admiral Ruck, cautioned in early July. These include agreement on "issues arising from the requirements of restructuring and reconfiguration of national contributions" and adapting the major Alliance military direction documents pertaining to military command structures (MC 324), force structures (MC 317), and missions of the Major NATO Commanders (MC 109), according to Rear Admiral Ruck.7

    2. In civilian discourse, this means nothing less than a turf battle of titanic proportions. Even if the need to trim NATO's 65 headquarters and other establishments is recognized, to achieve "geopolitical rationalization", it would be folly to believe that any country will happily abandon hosting headquarters and being assigned senior officer billets, or not compete fiercely for positions in the new command structure. How can France and Spain be accommodated? What reason is there to believe that the traditional command difficulties in the Eastern Mediterranean can now be resolved?

    3. Nevertheless, in early September the NATO Military Committee, meeting in Portugal, was already able to recommend that the 32 command layers below the third layer, that of the 23 Principal Subordinate Commands, be abolished, and that the second (MSC) and third layers be reduced and streamlined. It was recommended that the MSCs be reduced from nine to four or six, which in Europe could mean a Northern and Southern Command, separated by the Alps. France and Germany seek to have these two MSCs commanded by Europeans, but the United States has taken a very firm position on maintaining US command of the Sixth Fleet (which means either creating three MSCs, e.g., "AFMED", or keeping the Sixth Fleet outside the two MSC structure).

    4. It was also recommended, following the activation of the Policy Coordination Group in July (a body under the North Atlantic Council, NAC, intended to examine NATO's new missions), that CJTF trials be based on the current AFCENT and AFSOUTH in Europe, and Striking Forces Atlantic. Further developments are anticipated to be reported to the 11-12 December NAC meeting in Brussels, and "Phase III" of the LTS begins in January 1997. Terms of reference for a Capabilities Coordination Cell in the International Military Staff and a Combined Joint Planning Staff at SHAPE (replacing the Rapid Reaction Force staff) are still being developed.

  3. The Way Ahead

    1. In summary, the "decisive step forward" for NATO the Ministers hailed seems premature pending further decisions. "Ongoing work in NATO on restructuring the military command structure has entered a very active and demanding period", a NATO planner concluded after Berlin, on the road to achieving what the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Klaus Naumann, terms "ad hoc coalitions but not ad hoc command structures".

    2. For example, Secretary Perry has stated that any command restructuring must have a single line of command from the SACEUR on down.8 French Foreign Minister Herv‚ de Charette, however, insists that Alliance control of a CJTF in a European intervention "could only involve the terms and conditions of the decision, its principle...But certainly not the day-to-day conditions, which would be the responsibility of the countries which had made the decision. The chain of command would be a European one".9 The Minister has noted that the Allies must still find a balanced solution which guarantees both that the Europeans will be able to conduct an operation without any crippling preconditions and that the Alliance does not lose all control,10 and floated language in Berlin about "au sein de l'OTAN, l'‚l‚ment europ‚en doit ˆtre permanent et visible" at all levels of command.11

    3. Consequently, the Berlin communiqu‚ language is ambiguous : "appropriate multinational European command arrangements within NATO" will be elaborated which "should be identifiable", and "This implies double-hatting appropriate personnel". Indeed, in the view of former French NATO Ambassador Gabriel Robin, although the new NATO is supposed to develop ESDI, the Berlin decision means the end of ESDI: "[CJTF] can provide a face-saving formula for both Europeanisation and NATO reform but nothing more. ESDI will not materialize, and the [International Military Staff] IMS will remain substantially intact, under US control".12 Still outstanding is a UK proposal which would have the Deputy SACEUR command WEU-led operations (a position already held by a British officer).13

    4. Much broader questions persist. Even were the wiring connected to the satisfaction of all NATO tenants, would a non-NATO CJTF ever really arise sufficient to demonstrate WEU credibility? Post-IFOR could be considered one such possible example, with Europeans constituting the supported command and NATO the supporting command such as by way of providing air and seapower, yet would the credibility of such a force be reduced by the absence of a US ground presence, and reignite pre-IFOR Alliance quarrels? "There are grounds to wonder whether the theory of an ESDI within NATO will become a reality in practice", US Presidential Advisor Alexander Vershbow observed,14 whereas UK Minister of State David Davis stated that "I expect European operations to be the exception rather than the rule", and that, should they take place, they are "likely to be small and their scope limited", which is why "it is no accident that WEU has been chosen to exercise political control".15 German Defence Minister Volker Rhe reconfirmed that "Our capacity for crisis operations will continue to be limited [why?] and that the Bundeswehr would be mainly available for national defence and the defence of the Alliance".16

    5. Furthermore, while the realistic acknowledgement that ESDI must be developed "within the Alliance" is welcome, there is also the risk of fuelling still-extant arguments that because of the perpetuation of NATO...the Europeans will never learn to take care of their own issues themselves and assume their rightful role, "according to former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb.17 While a European CJTF might allow for a division of effort, the United States providing the lift and the Europeans the troops, let us bear in mind that our Alliance commitments go well beyond Petersberg-type tasks, and there is an acknowledged widening capability gap between the United States and many Allies. CJTF cannot be allowed to become an excuse for hollowing out the armed forces.

    6. Finally, IFOR and the pre-IFOR NATO operations since 1992 with respect to former Yugoslavia were or are, effectively, CJTFs. Has all the doctrinal and political debate really been required, or does the watershed political significance of building ESDI within the Alliance require formal decisions to counter still common assertions that "NATO's mission is unclear"?18

    7. Clearly then, to reiterate, it is premature to conclude, as did Foreign Minister de Charette, that "WEU thus passes from a project and a dream to reality".19 The first CJTF exercise is not envisaged until 1998, and the WEU only recently undertook its first WEU- led exercise, Crisex 1995-96. What is important at this stage, however, is simply the fact that Minister de Charette declared that "France is satisfied" and is "prepared to take its full place in this new alliance",20 thus possibly paving the way for a "fresh act of creation". We must also welcome the discussion in Spain about its becoming a full member of the adapted integrated military structure. The outcome is too important for us to not get it right.

  4. The Link to the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC)

    1. An early step forward could include the April 1996 proposal by Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen and Finnish Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen for a "peace project" ("fredsprojekt") as a contribution to the IGC:

        "We in the EU must be able to act quickly and effectively at any stage of a conflict....If it is to be able to take military action to manage crises, the EU needs a clearer relationship to the peacekeeping tasks of the [WEU]. We propose a solution whereby all EU member countries can participate on an equal footing in the decision-making process and the conduct of operations which the WEU undertakes on behalf of the EU....Territorial defence and alliance commitments are separate from this sort of cooperation and crisis management."21

      In July, at Cork, Austria and Ireland agreed with Sweden and Finland that the Petersberg tasks should be incorporated into a new Treaty on European Union, a development hailed as the first "result" of the IGC.

    2. According to Olli Rehn MEP (Finland), this initiative was intended to show that the EU neutrals "are not totally against some evolution of the EU's role in security and defence...and the only practical method to implement these Petersberg tasks...would be by using the NATO structure or the proposed CJTF mechanism". In his view, the EU neutrals could end up advancing toward NATO.22 And Peter Duetoft MP (Denmark), Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Relations, has observed that, in his own view, the Finnish-Swedish initiative could overcome "the potential partial blocking of the discussion at the IGC due to opposition in many member states to the integration of the WEU into the EU, "even though the Danish government has reacted cautiously but positively", and that, given the NATO Berlin decisions, "the question of the 'European Army' has become irrelevant" (the Danish IGC position paper, Open Europe of 11 December 1995, favours an EU role in implementing the Petersberg tasks, but does not refer to WEU).

    3. France supported a like concept in June, proposing that participating WEU observers (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Sweden) should be able to take part in WEU decision-making, i.e., be de facto situation-specific members. The United Kingdom, however, remains sceptical about the need for including the Petersberg tasks in the EU treaty. While welcoming neutral EU-member state participation in Petersberg tasks, it opposes automatic full decision-making rights for neutral member states in WEU operations requested by the EU. It is concerned that such automaticity would marginalize WEU associate members (Iceland, Norway, and Turkey) who share mutual defence obligations.

    4. However articulated, wide EU participation in these missions agreed at the IGC, even if as it is occurring in the NATO-led IFOR including Austria, Finland, and Sweden (but not Ireland), would be an appropriate complement to the CJTF. At the same time, the Swedish rationale for rejecting NATO membership on the ground of the lack of "a realistic threat scenario" not only misperceives NATO's founding purpose, but hardly assists its Baltic neighbours.23

III. RUSSIA

  1. In the larger scheme of things, the re-election of President Yeltsin by a 13 per cent margin on 3 July removed a considerable degree of uncertainty as to political directions in Russia, but only to the extent that is possible. The result has commonly been interpreted as not an endorsement of the government but at least a rejection of a return to the past. It has not eliminated the conundra of who is in charge, the balance between democracy and autocracy, the fact that many of those fiercely opposed to the government are in the Duma, or, most recently, the critical questions thus far raised regarding the health of the President and the abrupt dismissal of Security Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed on 17 October. Russian Academy of Sciences academician Pavel Bayev presciently suggested to your General Rapporteur, the day after the election, a future of further confusion:

      "Fresh from the elections, Russia is already into a succession crisis. If President Yeltsin keeps a low profile for months or years to come, Byzantine intrigues will persist. Russia most probably will continue to transform into a variable-speed and multiple-geometry federation, less and less controlled from the centre. The lack of a comprehensible programme for reforms and Yeltsin's questionable ability to exercise control guarantee an inconsistent and ill-coordinated policy....This will make Russia an unreliable and ambivalent partner, but many opportunities for compromises will remain open, including on NATO enlargement, but if the experience with the "flank issue" of the CFE Treaty has any lessons at all, it is about finding solutions before problems escalate to the brink of disaster."24

  2. Insofar as the NATO-Russia relationship is concerned, the notion of a special partnership between NATO and Russia still has to be developed, if it can be. Russia dislikes the "16+1" formula as "NATO-centric", and does not have great interest in PfP as this does not afford it a privileged status. It prefers channels such as direct military cooperation with the United States. The status issue is one on which Russia remains very sensitive; for example, Yeltsin's campaign platform described the Russia of the 21st century as "a great power that plays a leading role in world affairs and without whose participation not a single key issue can be resolved", with a "decisive role in regional and global security". Besides this, some of the ideas Russia seeks to develop - the fight against crime and the ecological threat, cooperation in preserving and or developing the arms industry and a global telecommunications net - are beyond the NATO remit. Russia also asserts it cannot financially afford PfP exercise participation.

  3. Nevertheless, political consultations and counter-proliferation must remain a priority, and the task should be to "lock-in" the IFOR experience. Already, on 14 June it was apparently agreed to place Russian officers at SHAPE and at the MSCs and to have NATO officers at SHAPE, and future ideas include a standing NATO-Russia peacekeeping unit,25 whereas it was reported that in early September Germany had suggested to Russia both a "17" format (suggesting, at least presentationally, co-equal round-table participation, rather than Russia on one side and the Allies on the other of the table).26 For example, during his visit on 7 October to NATO then Security Council Secretary Lebed spoke of a treaty, not a general or declaratory charter, guaranteeing "joint decision-making" to be concluded before any decisions on NATO enlargement, which he suggested be delayed for the "next generation".

  4. Moreover, some elements of a strategic "bargain" - strategicheski torg - on enlargement may also be falling into place. Concessions were made to Russia on 1 June at the end of the CFE Treaty Review Conference in Vienna, including a compromise formula which Russia can interpret as "modernization" of the agreement that was, let us recall, negotiated when the USSR existed and is based on "two groups" of states. As a nation vitally affected by the military situation in the Northern Flank, Norway insists upon full implementation of the Treaty and is prepared to participate to achieve this aim as soon as possible. On 8 October NATO tabled its proposal regarding scope and parameters to improve the operation of the Treaty in a changing environment, with a view to beginning negotiations in early 1997.

  5. There is also discussion over how OSCE might be "strengthened", similar to what occurred when Germany united in NATO. For example, in July the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly endorsed the idea of a "consultative body" through which the members of the Contact Group on a permanent basis and other states on a rotating basis would review OSCE affairs. Germany is said to have raised the possibility of a Steering Council comprising the United States, the EU, and Russia intended to speed consensus but not take decisions. On 27 September the OSCE CiO suggested that the possibility be examined of a Consultative Committee for Security Questions with restricted membership able to prepare but not take decisions.

  6. During the Political Committee visit to Moscow in April the Deputy Foreign Minister, Nikolai Affanasievsky, stated that "NATO expansion could be an option but only if there is a cardinal and real reform from a military alliance to collective security for Europe as a whole". Yet, Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov called as a "basis for talks" political membership in NATO with the Alliance extending security guarantees, and seems to be seeking some negotiated guarantees in writing that no foreign forces and nuclear weapons will be stationed in the territory of new members, which is where Russian foreign policy was a year ago, perhaps akin to the settlement with respect to a unified Germany. Moreover, even though Russia reiterates its vague call for a new system of collective security, its own proposals base this new system on existing organizations, NATO included.

  7. At the informal NATO Defence Ministerial in Bergen on 25-26 September, Secretary Perry stated that five specific proposals were made to Russian Defence Minister Igor Rodionov, who had attended for a special "16+1" meeting, which could form an institutionalized relationship possibly termed a "Charter":

    1. Consultations on the planning of a possible IFOR follow-on force;
    2. Exchange of permanent military liaison officers;
    3. Russian participation in CJTF planning;
    4. Establishing a mechanism for crisis consultation; and
    5. Scheduling regular NATO-Russia meetings (already de facto in existence).

    Minister Rodionov, however, stated that the "Charter" required further detailed study, and again repeated Russian objections to NATO enlargement. At the same time, an Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation agreement was signed by Norway, Russia and the United States to address environmental issues in the Arctic that arose from military activities, e.g., the dumping until 1992 of Russian liquid and radiological waste in the northern seas - another example of practical cooperation in the absence of a high-level political chapeau.

  8. Many of these questions will endure, no doubt influenced by the possible succession contest. Even if Russia "assents" to a limited initial NATO enlargement, it seeks to "cap" enlargement with this first round, so that debate and countermeasure talk will no doubt be cyclically revisited. At the same time, the vital point was made by our former Associate Rapporteur Vyacheslav Nikonov that "You may think this system is strange but we are moving toward democracy".27

IV. UKRAINE

  1. Another challenge for the Alliance is to get right its "enhanced relationship" with Ukraine (a term selected to differentiate it from the NATO-Russia relationship considered paramount by the Alliance).

  2. Unlike Russia or Belarus, Ukraine has not opposed a gradual enlargement of the Alliance, and regards NATO as a stabilizing factor. Indeed, at the NAA-Supreme Rada seminar in Kiev Foreign Minister Gennadi Udovenko, on 14 September 1996, described NATO as "the most effective and most favourable security structure for the new democracies in the Euro-Atlantic region".

  3. However, Ukraine does not want to pay a perceived possible price of becoming a "buffer" subject to pressure. Its policy has been to get as close as possible to NATO and de-emphasize its "neutrality", with President Leonid Kuchma having proposed on 5 June that Ukraine should have the right to join "any military-political structure tending to turn into an element of European or transatlantic security". In the OSCE Ukraine has proposed that "leading European and transatlantic organizations" extend security guarantees to it and that a nuclear-weapon-free zone be created from the Baltic to the Black Seas (excluding Russia) as a condition for NATO enlargement.

  4. Ukraine is also attempting to accelerate cooperation with WEU, but has not been able to secure Associate Partner status, reserved for the ten countries having Europe Agreements with the EU.

  5. Yet, there is no one domestic political view on NATO or enlargement. Speaker Oleksandr Moroz informed the seminar in Kiev on 13 September that NATO should enlarge only if Ukraine, Russia and other countries of the former Soviet republics were admitted at the same time, assigned OSCE the key role in European security, and questioned the need for NATO itself.

  6. In any event, the Ukrainian government attitude raises root questions for NATO aspirants and for the future of regional security. Poland, for example, which will have an important role in the region (preparations are well under way for a Polish-Ukrainian peacekeeping battalion) has taken the position that it cannot accept preconditions at this stage until its accession negotiations with the Alliance begin. Moreover, obviously NATO cannot extend one-way security guarantees. Perhaps a political solution could be found with a declaration at the time the first NATO members enter reiterating the 1991 Alliance statement that the security of all European democracies is of "direct and material concern" plus the relevant language regarding the no a priori requirement for nuclear forces from the Study on NATO Enlargement.

V. ENLARGEMENT: DECISION TIME

  1. On 6 September President Bill Clinton proposed that a NATO Summit "should" be held in the spring or early summer of 1997 to invite "the first group of aspiring NATO members to begin accession talks to bring them into the Alliance", and on 22 October proposed that this first group join by 1999. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland were identified as having made the most progress toward meeting NATO membership criteria in the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act, which the US House passed on 23 July by 353:55 and the Senate (including Slovenia) on 26 July by 81:16 (in mid-September the bills were reconciled in conference so that Slovenian inclusion was also supported by the House). A bill introduced in September by Congressman Martin Hoke called upon NATO to begin accession negotiations with these four countries together with Romania and Slovakia, allowing also for the possibility of "political membership" if agreed by the Alliance. Although some in Europe believed this was electioneering, in fact the precursor to this legislation was passed before the Republicans won control of Congress.

  1. Warning Signs

    1. We must, nevertheless, be alert to certain possible "warning signs" of delay:

      • Foreign Secretary Rifkind stated that "much more important than enlargement is the kind of Alliance that any new members would be joining".28
      • Foreign Minister de Charette has stated that "We attach the greatest importance to seeing a decision made on at least the principles underlying the reform of NATO and the general direction it will take before enlargement"29 - and many Allies would prefer to see NATO restructuring completed before enlargement occurs, which would limit negotiation to the present sixteen and also facilitate enlargement by avoiding disruption and ensure that new Allies knew exactly what they were joining.
      • US National Security Advisor Anthony Lake urged resisting calls to move "too rapidly, which could undermine our goal by compromising NATO's consensus on bringing in new members", but that "we will not allow..." delays for nations ready "to add to the strength of the Alliance" - meaning what?30
      • US NATO Representative Robert Hunter has stated that "we are trying to make the difference between being an ally and being a good partner as small as possible" -and yet becoming an Ally obviously entails much, much more than PfP.31
      • Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing decided that enlargement would isolate and antagonize Russia, and proposed "an alternative solution...of having NATO give a military guarantee of the eastern border of Poland and other states concerned".32
      • It was reported that Washington, and then France and Germany, sought a Russia-NATO Charter prior to naming the first prospective allies.33

    2. Such cautious commentary, however, could be balanced by the declaration by President Jacques Chirac in Warsaw on 12 September that in 1997 the process of Poland's admission should "definitely" begin, and that all Partners attend the Summit. On 18 September Secretary Rifkind in Zurich expressed his hope that the first new members be admitted in 1999 - a view shared by Ambassador Hunter on 11 September who said he "suspected" new members "on or before" that year, the 50th anniversary of NATO - thus raising the issue of deadlines which Partners view as so important.

    3. Another question is whether all of these candidates would accept NATO membership if it came to a national referendum. Forty-nine per cent of Czechs and 68 per cent of Hungarians oppose sending troops to defend another country, and only 55 per cent of Poles would support this mission.34 This may reflect psychological associations with the Warsaw Pact, however misplaced vis-…-vis NATO, but shows that public opinion may not yet comprehend what joining NATO means.

    4. Nevertheless, if Allies wish to postpone enlargement until after NATO resolves its own restructuring, or link the two issues closely in time, members should be aware of the possibly very difficult and open-ended debate before us. Agreement on new structures would naturally make bringing in new members easier, but there is no reason why restructuring should delay accession negotiations.

  2. Baltic Security

    "Russia on its part is prepared to provide security guarantees to the Baltic States - alone, or if needed, jointly with NATO. But of course it is out of the question even a hypothetical possibility of extending Russia's sphere of operations onto the Baltic States. This perspective is absolutely unacceptable for Russia, and we would consider any steps in this direction as a direct challenge to the interests of fundamental structures of European stability."

    President Boris Yeltsin
    20 June 1990

    "President Clinton reiterated that the first new members of NATO should not be the last and that the process of NATO enlargement will be open to all of Europe's new democracies and threatening to no one."

    White House Statement on occasion of meeting of President Clinton with Baltic State Presidents
    25 June 1990

  3. As importantly, the next enlargement must not be the last. The three Baltic States are all NATO aspirants. Yet, all too often discussion of their membership generates Pavlovian unease among Alliance and NATO nation officials. These concerns commonly include: the Baltics are "indefensible" so that a security guarantee would lack credibility; they are of no strategic interest for the West; it would be asking Russia too much to accept former Soviet republics in addition to, initially, some former Warsaw Pact states; the Baltic States have unsettled borders, including mutatis mutandis with each other and with Russia; the Baltics are home to large minorities of neighbouring states, including Poles in Lithuania and Russians in Estonia and Latvia considered near abroad by Moscow; lingering problems with the Russian-speaking presence could be exacerbated by Baltic NATO membership and Russian reaction to their entry; Baltic membership would mean Russian access to Kalingrad would cross a NATO state, draw a NATO frontier with Russia from Klaipeda to Narva, and complicate matters for neutral Finland and Sweden. Thus, ideas have been raised that the answer to Baltic security lies in their integration into the EU, active PfP cooperation, some kind of Nordic arrangement with Sweden and Finland (who, together with Austria and Ireland, themselves form a kind of security "grey zone" within the EU, even though they did not opt out from the ESDI implications of Maastricht), or a security pact among the Baltics alone - that is, anything but NATO, or even perhaps the WEU as well.35

  4. Your General Rapporteur categorically rejects these arguments. How many other Central European states, including those considered as early NATO members, do not confront minority or frontier challenges, real or imagined? Does not Norway, and in future Poland, share a NATO border with Russia which the Alliance is committed to defend, geography notwithstanding? Is not Baltic freedom, wrenched away by the USSR in 1940, final and irreversible, as German Deputy Wolfgang von Stelten has put it? If Russia-first sentiment is truly at play, why then would Denmark be taking the lead in Baltic partnership? Why have Norway or Poland donated naval units to the Baltic nations, which could lead to a joint Baltic naval squadron (BALTRON), or Sweden sold anti-tank missiles to Lithuania? Why are several NATO states, together with Sweden and Finland, cooperating in building up the Baltic Battalion, or the US committing $15 million in military assistance? When the Baltic States join the EU (to which Russia does not object), will they be denied participation in ESDI - which, moreover, will now be developed within NATO? Does not ambiguity on our part actually encourage revisionists in an unpredictable Russia?

  5. For all of these reasons, no "dividing line" should be drawn between likely first new members and other European democracies, each considered on its own merits. If we really mean that NATO enlargement is directed against no state but for stability and good-neighbourliness, then the door should remain as open to Vilnius as to Warsaw, to Riga as to Bucharest, or to Tallinn as to Ljubljana. As the Danish Folketing resolved, as long ago as 24 November 1994 by a vote of 104:14, the Baltic States should be offered the same possibilities with respect to NATO as the Central European countries. Otherwise, we will leave a major issue badly defined and invite, not avoid, fresh problems.

CONCLUSION

  1. Suffice it to observe that there is, once again, no shortage of political issues for debate. The tides of change are truly of historic proportions. There can be no denying that 1996 has proved a very important year for the Alliance, albeit one posing increasing questions, some of older, some of more recent, vintage as to the role of the Alliance in the emerging European security framework. "The fresh act of creation" carries on.


NOTES AND REFERENCES

  1. Address of President Bill Clinton to CSCE Summit, Budapest, 5 December, US Information Service Wireless File, 6 December 1995.
  2. Emphasis added. Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov accentuated the "part" word as indicating "NATO is changing". Interfax, 6 June 1996, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), Central Eurasia, 7 June 1996. In fact, the 7-8 June 1990 NATO Ministerial "Message from Turnberry" described CSCE "as a central element in the construction of a new Europe, along with other European institutions including the Alliance itself". A parallel might be drawn to the late 1980s, when the USSR tried to promote reform of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact toward more "political" organizations as part of the accommodation over German unification, and played up the London Declaration as indicating that "NATO too was embarking on the path of transformation, decreasing its purely military emphasis". Eduard Shevardnadze, The Future Belongs to Freedom (New York: Free Press, 1991), p. 140. Of course, six years later NATO was still pursuing its transformation.
  3. International Herald Tribune, 9 May 1996.
  4. Independent, 12 June 1996.
  5. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Walter Slocombe, address to the US Atlantic Council, 21 June 1996.
  6. Communication from Rear Admiral Merrill W. Ruck, Chief of Staff, SACLANT, to Bruce George MP, 21 June 1994. Emphasis added.
  7. Ibid., 12 July 1996.
  8. US Information Service Washington File (USIS WF), 13 June 1996. Emphasis added.
  9. FBIS, Western Europe, 10 June 1996. Emphasis added.
  10. Le Monde, 3 June 1996.
  11. Le Soir, 30 May 1996. "That was not only resisted by the Americans [but] by all the other Europeans as well... it did not survive, nor did it deserve to". Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, FBIS, Western Europe, 5 June 1996.
  12. Survival (Summer 1996).
  13. The European, 6-12 June 1996.
  14. Alexander Vershbow, "Unfinished Business in the Transatlantic Relationship", US Atlantic Council, Washington, 14 June 1996, USIS WF, 17 June 1996.
  15. Minister of State David Davis, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, "Institutional Challenges - Institutional Variable Geometry, WEU-NATO and WEU-EU Relations and Enlargement", Transatlantic Forum, Washington Conference, 25 June 1996.
  16. Munich Focus, 10 June 1996, FBIS, Western Europe, 12 June 1996.
  17. "NATO's Future and U.S. Interests", CRS Report, 3 May 1996.
  18. Paul Gallis, NATO: Congress Addresses Expansion of the Alliance, CRS Issue Brief, 7 June 1996.
  19. Op. cit., note 9.
  20. Op. cit., note 10.
  21. "Svensk-finsk WEU action", Stockholm Dagens Nyheter, 21 April 1996, FBIS, Western Europe, 25 April 1996. Emphasis added.
  22. Personal correspondence, 23 July 1996.
  23. Dagens Nyheter, 13 June 1996, FBIS, Western Europe, 18 June 1996.
  24. Personal correspondence, 4 July 1996.
  25. Nicholas Williams, "The Future of PfP", Arbeitspapier, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, April 1996.
  26. AFP, 5 September 1996.
  27. International Herald Tribune, 19 July 1996. Emphasis added.
  28. FBIS, Western Europe, 5 June 1996. Moreover, Minister Rifkind subsequently stated on 2 September that the following months will witness NATO considering the possibility of beginning talks. BBC SWB, Former Soviet Union, 4 September 1996 (Emphasis added).
  29. Op. cit., note 10. Emphasis added.
  30. USIS WF, 30 May 1996.
  31. USIS WF, 13 June 1996.
  32. Reuter, 10 July 1996.
  33. The Times, 7 September 1996; International Herald Tribune, 11 October 1996.
  34. The Economist, 29 June 1996.
  35. An overview which tries to circumvent the NATO issue is provided by Ronald D. Asmus and Robert C. Nurick, "NATO Enlargement and the Baltic States", Survival (Summer 1996).