News

ON THE VERGE OF A WIDER ALLIANCE

SUB-COMMITTEE ON NATO ENLARGEMENT AND THE NEW DEMOCRACIES

Draft Interim Report

Mr. Porter J. GOSS (United States)
Mrs. Annette JUST (Denmark)
Co-Rapporteurs


International Secretariat
26 October 1996
AN 245
PC/ED (96) 3
Original: English

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE

  2. 1999

    1. Intensified Dialogue
    2. Russian Views
    3. Towards Who and When

      1. Differentiation
      2. NATO Restructuring
      3. When?

    4. The NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act

  3. ISSUES FOR THE NAA


The Co-Rapporteurs are thankful to Anne-Else Hojberg, Political Affairs Division, NATO, Colonel James Holcombe, Chief Permanent Staff Element, Partnership Coordination Cell, and Lt. Colonel Herbert Harzan, Military Cooperation Branch, NATO International Military Staff, and Major Craig Bell, US European Command, for providing helpful information. Views expressed are solely attributable to the Co-Rapporteurs.


INTRODUCTION

The Assembly urges the North Atlantic Council to recall that Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty expressly permits the Parties to invite, by unanimous agreement, any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to the Treaty, and to interpret this article as referring to states in which functioning democratic institutions are safely entrenched and whose security posture is compatible with that of the Alliance.

North Atlantic Assembly
Madrid, October 1991

  1. The Alliance is well upon the cusp of an historic post-Cold War watershed. The end of 1996 and early 1997 will test whether or not NATO is now well and truly prepared to realize what Secretary General Javier Solana has termed "the single most important contribution the Alliance can make to the aim of creating a more integrated and united Europe" - a wider NATO. At their Berlin meeting on 3 June 1996, the NATO Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their commitment "to open the Alliance to new members", and in December this year they will "assess progress and consider the way forward".(1) An Alliance Summit is anticipated in the first half of 1997 to decide precisely what these next steps will be.

  2. The passing of the presidential elections in Russia and the re-election of President Boris Yeltsin - despite uncertainty as to the President's ability to retain office because of health reasons - may now embolden the naysayers who erroneously believed that there was some need to "prove" to Russia that NATO was not a threat, pursued the self-defeating and reactive policy of linking enlargement to Russian approbation, sought to "tone down" pronouncements on enlargement in the belief that this would assist President Yeltsin's election chances, or simply exploited the Russian factor as a cover for hidden agendas to delay decision. No better exposure of the vapidity of this approach was the fact that before the elections Yeltsin himself suggested accommodation on the issue.

  3. 1997 can and must, therefore, witness the beginning of good faith accession negotiations, giving concrete effect to our call in Turin in October last year to "proceed with NATO enlargement as soon as possible". And this path must take full account of the Berlin decision that the European Security and Defence Identity will be built within NATO. This means that, for both political and defence reasons, as Partners develop their relations with EU or Western European Union (WEU) these strands cannot be seen in isolation from the Alliance.

  4. At the same time, the Alliance is also concerned that those not admitted in the first wave will somehow feel "isolated", or tacitly consigned to a Russian sphere of influence. Thus, NATO will examine "further enhancement of PfP both to help possible new members to join and to provide a strong long-term partnership with NATO for others", and strengthen the NATO-Russia and NATO- Ukraine relationships.(2) This year's Draft Interim Report considers key issues associated with the enlargement/PfP enhancement tracks of Alliance outreach, including those of direct concern to parliamentarians.

I. PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE

  1. Nearly three years have passed since NATO announced in January 1994 that it would welcome the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe as full and equal members. The PfP was then launched to enhance multinational interoperability, exchange information on defence planning and budgeting, promote democratic control of defence forces, and strengthen the ability to participate in peacekeeping, search and rescue, humanitarian and other missions as might be agreed (e.g., crisis management). An associated Planning and Review Process (PARP) was offered later that year to identify interoperability objectives ranging over cartology, blood donors, mineclearing, replenishment, common fuel requirements, and airfield procedures with respect to PfP missions - the closest example of NATO's own defence planning process in which Partners can participate.

  2. Although some of this activity was already covered in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), PfP would go beyond "dialogue and cooperation" to form a "real partnership" and offer many of the inter-state confidence-building benefits NATO nurtures. Another innovation was that PfP would offer Alliance consultations with any active Partner which perceived a direct threat to its security.

  3. The PfP also introduced the link to NATO enlargement. It was conceived in early 1993, with the concept originating with the then Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, General John Shalikashvili, as a substitute for NATO enlargement. There was no consensus then within NATO that enlargement would on balance be a positive step, whereas the Clinton Administration openly asked whether enlargement without Russia included would "isolate" Moscow and create a "buffer zone" in Ukraine. However, by the time of the January 1994 Summit PfP was identified as a path into NATO, albeit in ambiguous terms: "active participation in Partnership for Peace will play an important role in the evolutionary process of the expansion of NATO...taking into account political and security developments in the whole of Europe".

  4. As we full well know, for some in the West this perspective of membership was but the procession of natural history, for others a statement that never should have been made. Nevertheless, this formula also raised a question of interpretation regarding Article 10 of the 1949 Washington Treaty, which enables the Alliance to invite any European states "in a position to further the principles of this Treaty" and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area. With reference to the preamble, for example, would democracy and rule of law suffice, or would the goal of "the preservation of peace and security" be seen by some in relation to the alleged concerns of Russia - concerns which had been raised during German unification but which had not prevented the speedy unification of that nation within the Alliance ?

  5. Romania was the first to sign (26 January 1994) and Ukraine the first CIS country to do so (8 February 1994), whereas Poland proved the first to conclude its Individual Partnership Programme (4 July 1994), the IPP. By the end of 1995 27 countries (to become 28 if Switzerland joins, as Berne anticipates) were participating, although some more actively than others. As many as 16 PfP exercises are planned for 1997 - over five times as many as in 1994 - in addition to many more exercises within the PfP "framework". PfP exercises also evolved from fraternization and set-piece guarding of checkpoints - "summer camps" - to more dynamic and freeplay manoeuvres engaging not only conscripts and NCOs but officers and, most importantly, command post exercises. The most complex and challenging event is a command post exercise planned for 1997, Cooperative Guard, viewed as a "capstone" activity for joint staff procedure drill in the context of a peace support operation. Work on the exercise schedule for 2000-2002 began already in the autumn 1996.

  6. Fifteen nations participate in the PARP: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine. Twenty-one nations have opened offices at the Partnership Coordination Cell (PCC) adjacent to SHAPE, the body responsible for military implementation of Partnership activity. Eleven countries have applied for NATO membership, comprising all of the PARP participants, except for Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Sweden, and Ukraine, plus the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

  7. In December 1995, "peace enforcement measures" were added as a PfP activity under the overall peacekeeping rubric, in view of IFOR. NATO subsequently agreed in 1996 to go a step further by providing the Defence Planning Questionnaire which assesses assets and readiness to those nations who have concluded security agreements, despite sensitivities about commercially-related technical information (3) (Partners are not yet in a position to provide "answers", but its release was intended as a familiarization exercise). At least 20 NATO committees are today involved in PfP and NACC activities, although, as before, they maintain their normal NATO duties. To date, 700 of the approximately 1,500 NATO Standardization Agreements (STANAGS) have been released to Partners.

  8. Although some, including in our Assembly, criticized PfP as an ersatz sidestep (US Senator Richard Lugar memorably coined "Policy for Postponement", also terming PfP a "band-aid instead of corrective surgery"), NATO authorities described the Partnership as indispensable to the smooth cooperation among NATO and thirteen Partner forces under Allied command (US operational control in the case of Russia) in the Implementation Force (IFOR) for Bosnia-Herzegovina, including in multinational units such as the Nordic-Polish-Baltic brigade in sector North. The PCC Director, Major General Gunnar Lange (Denmark), informed the North Atlantic Council on 20 March 1996 that "The Partner Liaison Officers simply assumed the additional role of IFOR Liaison Officers", and that "the IFOR mission has had and will have a direct impact on PfP". Although IFOR was not a "PfP" operation - implementation (enforcement) not initially included in the range of PfP missions (see paragraph 5), General Lange noted that IFOR "is exactly the type of operation PfP is intended to prepare the Partners and NATO to participate in". As Mr. Ion Ratiu (Romania) has observed, "PfP is proving itself a practical, realistic, and factual way" of assessing the contribution Partners can make, including aspiring NATO members.

  9. As importantly for shaping a new generation of officer corps, student enrolment from PfP countries attending the NATO School SHAPE at Oberammergau, Germany, jumped from 36 students in 1991 to 350 this year.(4) Unfortunately, Russian officers have not taken proportionate advantage of these courses, and there is evidence that those who do are stigmatized.

  10. In September 1996 the United Kingdom was the first NATO nation ever to conduct a purely national, not a PfP, exercise on the territory of a former Warsaw Pact country, Poland, in the 4000-troop exercise Lancer Eagle. This is no small progress, for only three years before some officials of the same government (and no doubt others) took the view that training on Partner territory could appear "partisan" or damage relations with Moscow. So political barriers are being surmounted, and the Netherlands and France, as well as the Czech Republic and Hungary, are also reportedly interested in using this training ground, Drawsko Pomorskie, the largest in Central Europe. Already in 1995 Greece was using Bulgarian territory from which to test surface-to-air missiles.

  11. However, PfP never fully lived up to the expectations of those seeking Alliance membership. Considering that PfP was, again, originally intended as a substitute for enlargement, this is hardly surprising. Among their concerns have been:

    • Undue focus on low-level tactical-level exercises, with the BBC World Today having reported on 6 September criticism of "unrealistic, low-level exercises" with IFOR leaving PfP behind in events (although not all Partners participate in IFOR) and cited the Deputy SACLANT Vice Admiral Ian Garnett as conceding that "It will be some years before Partners can contribute to more complicated...[rather than] very simple...missions", which would require "regular involvement for at least five years".
    • The limited military value of peacekeeping, cf. the real-world "stability" mission in Bosnia.
    • The unwillingness of NATO to "differentiate" in what is offered Partners, except for Russia and Ukraine, even though efforts to establish civilian control of the military were unlikely to have the slightest impact in Russia but could, sufficiently resourced, make a difference in aiding other Partners.
    • Delays in approving the IPPs, no doubt a result of overload caused by the open-ended invitation related to the non-differentiation approach.
    • Inadequate transparency about NATO's own decisions and chief reliance on delegations rather than the Secretariat for such information.
    • Inadequate integration at the military staff level, e.g., at the NATO Major Subordinate Commands.
    • Integration with NATO was occurring far more because of bilateral cooperation with nations (e.g., the US Regional Airspace Initiative to modernize airspace systems for joint military and civilian use in Albania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, and, later in 1996, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) rather than NATO-wide efforts as such.
    • The limited scope and financing of PfP, which of course is outside the NATO integrated military structure, directly hindered Partner efforts to contribute to NATO's new missions; e.g., Poland argues that it could not contribute additional units beyond one battalion to IFOR because the operation is fully run by NATO procedures not all of which have been made available to Partners. According to a Polish diplomat: "The sooner political decisions on admission of new members are taken, the quicker new members will be in a position to contribute meaningfully to implementation" of such tasks.(5) Surely, given the fact that NATO nations have reduced their forces by 25% since 1991, expediting the process would seem in the self-interests of the present 16 Allies.
    • Perhaps most importantly, without a clear perspective on enlargement and a timetable, Partner defence planners were placed in a very difficult position in attempting to design budgeted force structures: Could they count on NATO infrastructure funding by year X? Should they buy cheaper Russian armaments or aim for NATO-standardized Western equipment? "The original scope of PfP is too narrow for preparing countries for membership", a NATO analyst observed in personal remarks, and "there will always be an unbridgeable difference between collective defence as practised within NATO and practical military cooperaton as conducted between NATO and its Partners".(6) This bridge will simply have to be eventually crossed. And, yet, returning to the non- differentiation policy, the September 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement cautioned that "premature development of measures outside PfP for possible new members should be avoided" - i.e., a "cop-out" of critical significance.

  12. Perspectives naturally depended on whether one sought to join NATO or not, and invariably those who did sought to accelerate momentum, perhaps by exaggerating problems, when NATO naturally had to work around agreed plans. Some of these criticisms diminished as the PfP progressed, and in Berlin the Ministers identified the way ahead as follows:

    • Enhancing Partner participation in CJTF
    • Expanding PARP to cover interoperability objectives beyond peacekeeping to cover all of NATO's new missions
    • Increasing Partner involvement in shaping cooperation programmes
    • Producing a joint rolling evaluation of the IFOR experience (a Hungarian proposal)
    • Encouraging "regionalization" of PfP activity, such as Denmark's major role in Baltic cooperation

  13. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher further pointed in Berlin to the need to develop standards for civilian and democratic control of armed forces (he proposed this a year ago, but there is no single model within NATO itself) and for greater financial resources (as a rule Partners cover their own costs). The SHAPE Chief of Staff, General Peter Carstens, informed participants at the NAA Rose-Roth Seminar at the NATO Defence College in Rome in April that the "way ahead" for NACC/PfP should include strengthening political-military dialogue, increasing command post and planning exercises, democratic control, opening NATO exercises (not just PfP exercises) to Partners, and extending the range of interoperability objectives that could be "more intensive for some". Observed General Carstens: "There is an urgent need to demonstrate NATO intent". We agree.

II. 1999

  1. Intensified Dialogue

    1. 1995 was given over to the "how" and "why" of enlargement, resulting in the September 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement. It was an interesting "capstone" document, including for its conduciveness to different interpretation on issues such as full or partial integration, foreign forces, nuclear weapons, and pre-accession differentiation. Although the leadership of the Polish-American Congress dismissed the text as having "no practical significance to the countries concerned",(7) the Study did provide important political and military guidelines making Partners aware of what would be expected and what would not be tolerated, e.g., demonstrate "a commitment to and respect for OSCE norms and principles, including the resolution of ethnic disputes, external territorial disputes including irredentist claims or internal jurisdictional disputes", or establish democratic and civilian control of their defence forces (paragraph 72). In any event, 1996 moved beyond conceptual reflection (however much required given German Defence Minister Volker Ruhe's concerns about pursuing an enlargement approach "determined by the highest possible degree of ambiguity" (8)) to a second phase comprising two elements:

      • "Intensified dialogue" whereby Partners would learn more about the details of membership and NATO more about what Partners could or could not contribute, although participation in this dialogue "would not imply that interested Partners would automatically be invited to begin accession talks", as the Ministers stated in December 1995; and
      • Consideration of internal Alliance adaptation, including resource and staffing implications in particular, "to ensure that enlargement preserves the effectiveness of the Alliance".

    2. The intensified dialogue began on 16 January 1996. The Czech Republic became the first country to respond officially to the Enlargement Study with an aide m‚moire of 14 March 1996 (the Czech Ministry of Defence takes the position that the most active Partners should be directly involved in NATO bodies dealing with enlargement) (9). Thirteen countries (aspiring members plus Finland and Bulgaria, with Azerbaijan and Ukraine not having followed-up on initial interest) are participating. In a format between the Partner and a NATO team led by Assistant Secretary General Gebhardt von Moltke, the Spring was devoted to dialogue on political requirements such as democratic control and resolution of disputes with neighbours (some of it repetitive of discussions the previous year); after Berlin a more intensified military-technical dialogue proceeded (including information on national institutions overseeing defence and security); and the last phase was given over to Partners inquiring as to costs and summing-up (15 September-24 October). This post-Berlin phase was hailed by one Central European diplomat as "a real breakthrough", even if the dialogue was regarded by some in the Alliance as an obvious delaying tactic.

  2. Russian Views

    1. It was refreshing to hear US Undersecretary for Defence Walt Slocombe state on 14 June 1995 that "NATO enlargement should not be seen merely in relation to Russia". Other reasons for enlargement, he said, included European integration, avoiding renationalization of defence, providing a context to resolve problems within Central Europe, and solidifying democratic and economic reform in a transatlantic framework.(10) This is, of course, precisely the approach your Co-Rapporteurs and many in our Assembly have tried to hammer home to policymakers for many years.

    2. Nevertheless, an opportunity may be on the horizon for realizing what Secretary General Solana has termed Alliance readiness "to consider certain Russian concerns", even if the enlargement decision will be made by the 16 Allies themselves". There was the well-known statement by Russian Security Council Secretary General Aleksandr Lebed in June that "We are no longer fighting anybody and we are strong enough not to want to redraw the political map of Europe...if you [NATO] have enough money and energy to expand, feel free".(11) Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov stated at the end of July that in addition to objection to deployment of nuclear or conventional foreign forces on the territory of new members:

        "...we find it unacceptable to have NATO's military infrastructure expanding right next door to Russia's territory. If NATO's new members are fully integrated in the Alliance's military systems - command and control, communications, intelligence, rear supplies, and so on -the deployment of NATO forces could be effected within a matter of hours. Such a possibility, even though it might be highly unlikely today, will become a factor of uncertainty for us."(12)

    3. At the same time, the Foreign Minister stated: "I am convinced that a way out of the prevailing situtation might be found through compromise and reciprocal consideration of interests".(13) He asked, even while expressing "total opposition" to enlargement: "Can you guarantee that the enlargement of NATO will not lead to the installation of military infrastructures? If your answer is yes, I too will give you a positive response".(14)

    4. This went some way beyond "just say nyet", but was absurd all the same. The Study on NATO Enlargement requires new members to join in some way the command structure and meet interoperability standards, in particular for command, control and communication equipment. The Study also notes that a limited number of new headquarters may be needed to cover new Areas of Responsibility, as stated in its Chapter Four, A (b) and (h). The Minister's formula insofar as these aspects are concerned is not realistic nor desirable, descriptive in all but name of purely political NATO membership which the Alliance will not accept. The Study does not require a priori the stationing of foreign troops, but signals that pre-positioned materiel may be required, or the stationing of nuclear weapons.

    5. Russia is not without foundation in arguing that the ban in Article V of the 1990 "2+4" treaty on Germany on foreign forces and nuclear weapons in the former GDR should serve as a precedent the further east NATO moves to Russia. Minister Primakov has, indeed, attempted to demonstrate that at both the time of German unification and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact the USSR had received Western assurances that NATO would not expand East, e.g., in his 20 September 1996 address to the OSCE Permanent Council. It can also be argued, nevertheless, that the Soviet border no longer exists, that Russia's zone of national security has also moved further east, and hence a resulting rebus sic stantibus.

    6. Moreover, the Alliance must and will "reserve the right to dispose forces as necessary in the event of crisis or war".(15) Certainly NATO has not demanded that Russia eliminate its tactical nuclear weapons, and whether deterrence is served by air-, sea-, or ground-launched means is militarily irrelevant. Whether a nuclear-free zone in Central Europe, as vigorously advocated also by Ukraine and Belarus, and, of course, a persistent idea throughout the period of East-West confrontation, should be established is an issue we put to the Committee itself for debate, but no likely future Ally has asked to base some element of the remaining nuclear-capable aircraft and their ordnance on its territory. We see no reason why NATO could not commit to not deploying nuclear weapons in peacetime on the territory of new Allies in light of the current international environment.

    7. Although NATO seeks to develop its relationship with Russia "in rough parallel" with enlargement, the future of that relationship, as the General Report also notes, is unclear. A fundamental, and probably implacable, difference is simply the role of NATO. Whereas the PfP was intended to intensify political and military cooperation "throughout Europe", Russia rejects NATO "as a basis for a new system of European security".(16) For example, it has been argued that the "16+1 formula was a kind of political trap which split the [CIS] countries' joint efforts in the security sphere", and that it is politically disadvantageous because, a "special" relationship aside, "Russia will not have the right of veto whereas Luxembourg ... or even Iceland ... do have such a right".(17) Russian authorities have suggested that a "16+12" (NATO+CIS) or "17" format would be preferable to the "16+1" framework NATO offers for NATO-Russia relations, "17" or even "1+1" implying a full Russian voice in decisions on issues such as enlargement and IFOR before they are taken.

    8. Whether the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) or the NACC could provide other options to integrate Russia remains to be seen, as the Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic and European Relations explores. The "16+1" format remains, all the same, what NATO offers.

    9. For the moment, nevertheless, we have the rich IFOR experience on which to build, and the apparent progress in Berlin to exchange staff officers suggests that the future can surmount residual Russian negativism. The value of other elements being discussed - non-proliferation, ballistic missile defence, drug trafficking, terrorism, defence-related ecological damage, and cooperative arms development for peacekeeping - are self-evident. Although the March 1996 NATO-Russia civil emergency planning and disaster preparedness memorandum, the first cooperation text signed by the Secretary General, may not equate with a new Congress of Vienna, it is valuable not only for practical cooperation but to demonstrate that the Alliance is not a holdover "war machine".

    10. Whatever the future, we reiterate that if the Russians wish to join in constructive efforts to deal with the enlargement issue, then we should welcome them aboard for debate. We have reasons to believe there is evidence in support of this direction. Certainly, Russia's failure to step through the open door could irresponsibly risk a less secure Europe. However, either way, the Russians have to understand, and we believe they do, that the NATO enlargement train is about to leave the station.

  3. Towards Who and When

    1. The Danish Defence Minister, our former Colleague Hans Haekkerup, has stated that it was his impression that the first new members will be the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, to be decided at an extraordinary summit in the Spring of 1997,(18) - although he is keen for the three Baltic States to be included in the first group (see the General Report for Baltic security issues). Hungarian Foreign Ministry Department Head Istvan Gyarmati informed the April NATO Defence College seminar that he foresaw a follow-on timetable being made available within six months of the invitation, accession negotations continued over 1997-98, signature of the protocol of accession in 1998, and ratification in 1999 - the 50th anniversary of the Alliance. Nevertheless, at least three possible complications in expediting enlargement may be looming.

    1. Differentiation

      1. We have already noted the differentiation probl‚matique in NACC and PfP. With respect to enlargement, an inherited contradiction arises.

      2. On the one hand, "PfP may have to distinguish within itself between those countries who are on the path of membership and those who are not. The former would begin to involve themselves in more detailed activities designed specifically to acquaint them with the obligation of NATO membership", which could include inviting "some Partners to participate in some NATO meetings as observers as was the case when Greece and Turkey were waiting formally to join the Alliance in 1951".(19) Indeed, in 1990, when the associate delegate status was created, the NAA did not endorse the NACC as such, but rather attendance of Partners "at selected meetings of the North Atlantic Council or other appropriate bodies" - that is, coming directly into the heart of NATO, not into appendage bodies specifically created for all of the 38 NACC participants. Likewise, the US Deputy Secretary of Defence, John White, noted that "the PfP program is not a true alternative for NATO enlargement".(20)

      3. On the other hand, there is the aforementioned perceived need to "strengthen" PfP for those who do not join at an early stage or not at all. NATO Assistant Secretary General von Moltke has stated that "our aim is to narrow the distinction between Allies and Partners as much as practically possible".(21) Countries such as Romania fear there will, in fact, be only one enlargement (as Russia seeks). Secretary General Solana has assured that "the door will stay open", yet Alliance diplomats and officials express concern that those not admitted first will be isolated, or that new Allies will block further enlargement.

      4. All of this could serve as an argument for minimizing differentiation and keeping membership applications sub judice ad infinitum. Indeed, there is an alternative school of thought within the Alliance that NATO should not invite the first group of new members to begin accession negotiations, but instead publicly acknowledge all of those countries seeking membership and leave the accession negotiations' date and date of admission open.(22)

      5. We ask, therefore: Will NATO be able to concentrate sufficiently on preparing a limited number of new members and at the same time intensify an already vast PfP programme? Might the individual character of PfP be compromised in the search to satisfy all concerned nations?

    2. NATO Restructuring

      1. Then there is the question of synchonization posed by the relationship between enlargement and the restructuring of the NATO command system, as discussed in detail in the General Report [AN 244 PC (96) 7]. In Berlin, the Ministers stated that "the overall adaptation of the Alliance will facilitate" enlargement. Because, as Mr. Petersen rightly notes, the difficulties of the restructuring process suggest no obvious and feasible deadline, there is a risk that those who have not shared the enthusiasm of the United States and European personalities, namely Defence Minister Haekkerup and German Defence Minister Rhe, could use NATO restructuring as an excuse for enlargement delay - if not necessarily the pre-accession negotiations, then the actual accession.

    3. When?

      1. Third and finally, the anticipated 1997 Summit may announce who will be invited but not necessarily when they will be admitted. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel has suggested membership would occur around the year 2000, and the earlier 50th anniversary date of 1999 has already been mentioned. There is a concern, however, that politicians may slip into an even more "Russia-first" mode after the invitation is extended, such that the US Central and Eastern European Coalition has been pressing the White House for a "letter of intent" from the President personally pledging to complete the admission of the first tranche of NATO members before his second term [should there be one] expires. Others believe that the political momentum would be too great to drag out the accession process, that not extending precise invitations could be devastating for the Alliance. Although the invitation itself would constitute a political breakthrough, defence planning cannot be held hostage to uncertainty, confronted as it is already in every country with a resource challenge. Moreover, as Zbigniew Brzezinski has rightly noted: "The sooner target dates are defined and new NATO members-to-be are named, the sooner a genuinely positive dialogue with Moscow will begin".(23)

  4. The NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act

    There has been too strong a tendency in US policy to overreact to outdated Russian sensitivities....NATO enlargement will make unrealistic the calls by Russia's extremists for the revitalization of the former Soviet Union or the westward expansion of Russian hegemony...[and] will further lock German interests into a transatlantic security structure....America's defence and security must be structured to shape a strategic landscape that enhances economic, political, and military stability all across Europe....This is in our national interest. It is action long overdue, and it is the intent of the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act of 1996.

    Senator V. William Roth, Jr.
    25 July 1996

    1. Secretary General Solana informed the NAA in Athens in May that NATO aspirants must carefully consider how their joining the Alliance will affect their "political and military environment" and how they see themselves contributing to our overall security. In his view, "this is a matter that must not be confined to expert circles, but to a broader public debate".

    2. It goes without saying that this includes the parliamentary dimension. What is important is that all NATO nations accelerate assistance to potentially eligible new Allies. This was precisely the aim of a literally historic piece of legislation, the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act, passed this summer by Congress. The huge majorities garnered in both Houses - 353:65 on 23 July in the House, 81:16 on 25 July in the Senate - more than supported the call of Representative Benjamin Gilman, Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, that "After today's vote, it is hoped that we will never again hear that the Congress does not support NATO enlargement".

    3. The key provisions of the legislation (as adopted in the House, HR 3564) are as follows:

      • NATO enlargement will reinforce stability and security by fostering the integration of the emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe into the structures which have created and sustained peace in Europe since 1945, and will not threaten any nation.
      • The United States continues to regard the political independence and territorial integrity of all emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe as vital to European peace and security.
      • NATO remains the only multilateral security organization capable of conducting effective military operations and preserving security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region.
      • It should be US policy to actively assist the emerging democracies in their transition so that they may eventually qualify for NATO membership, and the Congress finds that Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic (the Senate version added Slovenia) have made the most progress toward achieving the stated criteria (inter alia active PfP Partner, significant progress toward establishing democratic institutions, a free market, civilian control of the armed forces, and the rule of law) and should be eligible for additional assistance.
      • Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are deemed eligible to receive $60,000,000 for fiscal year 1997.
      • The process of enlarging NATO should not stop with the admission of these three countries, and the President may designate other countries as eligible, with the bill naming Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
      • Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania should not be disadvantaged in seeking to join NATO by virtue of their forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union (indeed, US Senator John McCain cautioned on 27 June in Norfolk that should Russia gravely retaliate against the Baltics or Ukraine in response to the first NATO enlargement the consequences would be regarded "as a challenge to collective security", accelerate NATO enlargement without discussion, and cause a cut-off of Western assistance to Russia).
      • The countries of the Caucasus region should not be precluded from future NATO membership.
      • Funds made available are also to support the Regional Airspace Initiative and the PfP Information Management System, including the transfer of items to all of the countries named above (save for the Caucasus).
      • The President is encouraged to provide excess defence articles to cooperative regional peacekeeping initiatives.

    4. There were some differences between HR 3564 and HR 7, the original bill introduced by Chairman Gilman. HR 7 (and the 1994 NATO Participation Act) urged membership "at an early date", did not refer to the Caucasus, and did not refer to US leadership in the PfP. There are also differences between HR 3564 and the Senate amendment. The latter, again, includes Slovenia as having made the most progress, and replaces enlargement "should not stop" with "should not be limited to consideration of", following a filibuster threat by Senator Sam Nunn - who in the end voted against the amendment. An earlier Senate version also "fully expected" eventual membership of Austria, Finland, and Sweden. The Senate version also notes that some NATO members do not accept nuclear weapons on their terrritory. The two bills went to conference in September.

    5. Although details need to be reconciled, it is encouraging that, after having opposed this kind of legislation, the White House welcomed HR 3564 as demonstrating that "the House shares President Clinton's determination" to enlarge NATO - an interesting twist since the point of the legislation since the 1994 NATO Participation Act was to prod the Administration into action and not just declaration, to determine the reliability of the White House. The legislation was welcomed largely, however, because it set no date and did not specifically call for granting NATO membership to any state. In constrast, HR 7 of 1995, as passed by the House, called for Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia to be invited to become full NATO members, whereas an earlier version set the date of 10 January 1999 as the deadline for the invitation. This positive White House response was issued despite earlier objections, as late as two days before the bill passed in the House, that naming early candidates "would complicate efforts to enhance stability and security in Europe".

    6. Politics eclipsing policy? Whatever, here we at least may have an instance where Zbigniew Brzezinski's dictum that "the four-year Presidential process has a pernicious influence on foreign policy" may not have not materialized - perniciously - on the issue of NATO enlargement, thanks to the Congress.(24)

    III. ISSUES FOR THE NAA

    1. This Sub-Committee, established at the 1995 Annual Session in Turin, serves as the only dedicated permanent Assembly body on this vital issue. It continues the tradition of the Political Committee in having played the leading NAA role since 1986 in following democratic reform in Central and Eastern Europe and encouraging transition. Your Co-Rapporteurs encourage comments from all members and associate delegates on its work so that it may serve as a useful reference tool for parliamentary work.

    2. The time is approaching, however, for us in the Assembly to ask what more, if anything, beyond associate delegate status, holding Sessions in these nations, and fact-finding missions and seminars, the NAA should do as enlargement approaches:

      • Is there a parliamentary parallel to the enlargement plus enhanced PfP formula NATO is pursuing? What more could be done for associate delegates who are not likely to enter NATO in the initial rounds or who do not seek membership? What of our own relationship with the Russian Federal Assembly and Ukrainian Supreme Rada?
      • Should we revisit the (short-lived) 1994 discussion about offering full membership to the parliamentarians of NATO candidates prior to their governments joining the Alliance? Recall that Senator William V. Roth, Jr., proposed early that year that full membership should be offered to the Visegrad countries so that the Assembly would "demonstrate a commitment to an ongoing dynamic Alliance and, once again, show that it has the courage to go where our national governments are slow to act?" Are we in a position to do so when the group of likely first candidates has shifted within a mere two years time, viz., Slovenia replacing Slovakia within the group of four, or where members may not agree on the composition of the first tranche (i.e., on 16 July Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos supported the "immediate" integration of Romania into NATO and the EU, and on 17 July US Secretary of State Christopher noted that "Romania has done a great deal to qualify itself for early consideration for membership"; the signing on 16 September of the Hungary-Romania Basic Treaty can only be regarded as highly positive and consistent with the purpose of NATO enlargement).
      • Other than offering full membership in the NAA prior to full NATO membership (setting aside the political issue raised by changing the rules of procedure which provide for parallel NAA and NATO membership), what more could be done to draw the likely first new Allies closer to the NAA - observer status or full participation in the Standing Committee, budgetary contributions?

    3. We have no instant solutions to these questions. We do wish to stress, however, that these issues will have to be addressed. Without ruling out other options, it would seem sensible that when NATO invites the first future Allies to begin the accession negotiations, at a minimum the following two steps should be taken:

      • the Standing Committee meeting in Reykjavik on 4-6 April 1997 should review options and present proposals for approval by the entire Assembly at the 1997 Spring Session in Luxembourg; and
      • the 1997 Annual Military Tour should include visits to those offered membership by the Alliance.

CONCLUSION

  1. In the final analysis, nothing could at once be more obvious and yet highly elusive than the prescription that, as our Chairman, Representative Gerald B. Solomon, has argued: "The critical issue is not about avoiding new lines but defining the purpose of those lines and eliminating old barriers, the final vestiges of Yalta .... Discharging this solemn responsibility is primarily for governments to decide, but cannot be left to governments alone".(25)

  2. The Assembly's trailblazing tradition must now be put to extraordinary use at a critical time to consolidate support for the historic enlargement of the Alliance. We can think of no better expression of parliamentary support for the course this Assembly has consistently supported than for our colleagues to consider adopting legislation akin to the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act, and for our Assembly to issue ex cathedra in Paris a clear statement regarding the first candidates and a timetable for their admission.

  3. We have a duty to terminate the curious phenomenon of non-decision whereby the NATO parliamentarians themselves have never made a collective judgment about who will soon be ready for NATO's first wave of admissions. Our more recent resolutions have proved less than bold, limited as they have been to stating enlargement should proceed "as soon as possible" (Turin 1995) or "within the next 2-5 years" (Washington 1994). This is simply ahistoric when matched against the NAA's pioneering operational role since 1988 on the pressing task of NATO outreach, our signal from Madrid (1991) reminding NATO of the enlargement provision of the Washington Treaty, and our call in Copenhagen (1993) for the Alliance to articulate terms and conditions for accession to be accomplished with a timetable and involving an "associate relationship leading to full membership". Let us collectively put to rest the argument that ratification or approval of new membership might prove to be a hindrance, rather than an expeditor, of a wider Alliance, and provide a lead to our colleagues in national legislatures.


NOTES AND REFERENCES

  1. This is the first Draft Report of the new Sub-Committee on NATO Enlargement and the New Democracies established at the 1995 Annual Session in Turin. This year members of the Political Committee participated in two meetings in April in Moscow and at the NATO Defence College in Rome to obtain detailed insight, with a third encounter held in September in Kiev. Your Co-Rapporteurs welcome the practice of opening meetings to the full Committee.
  2. The NATO-Russia and NATO-Ukraine relationships are treated in the 1996 General Report by Mr. Jan Petersen (Norway) [AN 244 PC (96) 7].
  3. Defence News, 8-14 July 1994.
  4. SHAPE Public Information Office, 29 July 1996.
  5. Robert Pszczel, Enlargement of NATO and the Future of Peacekeeping, Verification 1996 (Westview Press 1996).
  6. Nicholas Williams, The Future of Partnership for Peace, Arbeitspapier, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, April 1996.
  7. Letter from Edward J. Moskal, President of the Polish-American Congress, to Senator Robert C. Byrd, 5 October 1995.
  8. The Wall Street Journal Europe, 16-17 September 1994. Emphasis added.
  9. NATO Review (July 1996).
  10. US Information Service, Washington File, 21 June 1996.
  11. ITAR TASS, 18 June 1996. Lebed was referring to the Baltic states, but subsequently declared that NATO expansion would mean that Russia was viewed as a potential enemy and lead to a counter-bloc headed by Russia. Stern, 12 September 1996. (
  12. Krasnaya Zvezda, FBIS, Central Eurasia, 29 July 1996.
  13. Ibid. Emphasis added.
  14. FBIS, Central Eurasia, 2 August 1996.
  15. Op. cit., note 10. Emphasis added.
  16. Russian Foreign Ministry official Vladimir Andreyev, BBC, Summary of World Broadcasts, Former Soviet Union, 10 August 1996.
  17. Krasnaya Zvezda, FBIS, Central Eurasia, 8 July 1996.
  18. Copenhagen Det Fri Aktuelt, 22 July 1996.
  19. Op. cit., note 6.
  20. US Information Service, Washington File, 24 June 1996.
  21. Ambassador Gebhardt von Moltke, "NATO and European Security", Central European Issues (Summer 1996).
  22. Briefing at NATO Headquarters to the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic and European Relations, 23 September 1996.
  23. Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Russia: Terms for Accommodation With an Expanded NATO", International Herald Tribune, 22 August 1996.
  24. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Power and Principle (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1983), p. 544.
  25. The Hon. Gerald B. Solomon, Blessings of Liberty: The NATO Enlargement Debate 1990-1997, work in progress (September 1996 rolling text).