Friday, October 25, 1996

Clinton Sets Course For NATO Enlargement

President Clinton's call October 22 in Detroit for NATO to accept former Soviet bloc nations as members by the end of 1999 received enthusiastic applause from observers in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, negative reviews in the Russian media, discouraged reactions from Central European countries anticipating rejection and largely mixed emotions in Western Europe. The president's support for admitting new members did not come as a surprise to analysts, but they noted that his address marked the administration's "formal" setting of a firm target date, although he carefully avoided naming prospective members. RUSSIA--Moscow writers joined ranks in voicing their objections to the Alliance's eastward drive, with leading commentator Pavel Felgenhauer predicting in reformist Segodnya that "a serious confrontation is now practically unavoidable" between Russia and the West's pre-eminent security organization. He also argued that the Alliance's plan would "provoke a political crisis in Europe, with or without Moscow," since the countries left outside the Atlantic umbrella would resent this turn of events and cry out for compensatory security arrangements. Centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta, in turn, compared the address to then British Prime Minister Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946, and charged, "Clinton conclusively stated an intention to create in Europe a new situation fraught with a redivision of the continent." Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov's piece in Nezavisimaya Gazeta--which ran the same day as the president's speech--was of particular interest. In it, he insisted that "Russia's stand is not only that of utter defiance of NATO's enlargement," but warned that Russia would not be fooled by NATO's "propaganda" into accepting meaningless agreements for cooperation. CENTRAL EUROPE--The enthusiastic reception granted Mr. Clinton's words in the three nations considered the strongest hopefuls was evident in TV coverage and triumphant front-page headlines in their papers. Influential, liberal Magyar Hirlap of Budapest hailed the "good news." Polish public TV Channel 1 held, "The present American president has a chance to help create a united Europe;" and Warsaw's center-left Gazeta Wyborcza rejoiced, "we can congratulate ourselves on this success on a historic scale." Prague's right-of-center Mlada fronta DNES reassured readers that the Western European allies in NATO could not ignore U.S. wishes on enlargement, despite their concerns about Russia. Disappointment colored editorials in Estonia and Romania, with independent Adevarul of Bucharest asserting, "Clinton's speech hardly encourages countries like Romania." WESTERN EUROPE--Pundits from Allied nations carped that Mr. Clinton's address rose partly out of electoral motivations: delivered with the "many Americans whose roots are in the countries of the former East bloc" in mind. The fear of antagonizing Russia remained uppermost with critics from Italy to Germany to Canada. Rome's left- leaning, influential La Repubblica concluded that enlargement would serve only to "destabilize" Russia, "with incalculable consequences for our own security as well." Others were not as alarmist in their tone, but agreed with right-of-center Rheinische Post of Duesseldorf that enlargement "must be discussed with Moscow, but the Kremlin has no right to veto." This survey is based on 56 reports from 18 countries, Oct. 4-25. EDITOR: Mildred Sola Neely EUROPE GERMANY: "U.S. Master Of NATO Enlargement Process" Stefan Cornelius pointed out in an editorial in centrist Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (10/24), "The enlargement of the Alliance is one of the undefined subjects in the political arena that is simply unavoidable, needs time to mature slowly but constantly, but does not cause any sensation.... Why is there this sheer endless procedure and why did Bill Clinton make this announcement right now of all times?... First, NATO must carefully be prepared for a new NATO. The most successful approach is to announce a step long before it is implemented. Second, the deadline (for an accession) creates a certain pressure: Russia got the message that enlargement will not be an endless game and cannot be prevented. And third, the Americans show that they are the masters of the process. Clinton is setting the deadlines and does not show consideration for special wishes, such as, for instance, France's near-blackmail attempt to gain inappropriately strong influence in the command structure of the new NATO." "Consultations, Not Veto Rights For Moscow" Godehard Uhlemann said in an editorial in right-of-center Rheinische Post of Duesseldorf (10/24), "NATO's enlargement to the East must be discussed with Moscow, but the Kremlin has no right to veto.... However, Russia has also interests that must be taken seriously. But because NATO, in addition to its defensive task, also has a strong political pillar, it must try to find out whether the military must really be strengthened by enlarging to the East." "A Date, But What About The Details?" Washington correspondent Juergen Koar filed this editorial in centrist General-Anzeiger of Bonn (10/23) and centrist Stuttgarter Zeitung (10/23), "Foreign policy is not a big hit in the U.S. presidential election campaign. If it, nevertheless, comes to the fore, it is based on domestic policy reasons.... It was not a coincidence that Bill Clinton delivered his address in Detroit.... There are many Americans whose roots are in the countries of the former East bloc, which are lining up in front of NATO's gates. For the president this was a chance to gain ground on scarcely-fought terrain by presenting himself as the supreme commander and a decisive person who sets the course in foreign policy. "For a long time, his contender Bob Dole has supported Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic's accession to the Alliance, and he is accusing his opponent Bill Clinton of having no concept. Clinton has now countered these charges by saying that, on the 50th birthday of NATO, new members should accede. But so far, neither Clinton nor Dole have said what the next steps should be.... Should the first group of 'new arrivals' be followed by others and if so, who could that be? What is lacking is the pressure from powerful lobby groups in the election campaign--and (if there were any pressure), there would be an immediate need to explain what should happen next. Neither Clinton nor Dole have mentioned a single word about what the cost for the U.S. taxpayer will be if NATO enlarges to the East." BRITAIN: "NATO Lite" In an editorial, the conservative Times held under the headline above (10/24): "The most dangerous threat to NATO is internal rather than external: Europe's armies are under-capitalized. America's military equipment budget is now twice the size of that of all its European allies put together.... European defense budgets have fallen in real terms by almost a third since 1985. Such figures underline that any kind of free-standing European defense is a pipe dream. "But in the longer term, such disparities threaten the cohesion and effectiveness of NATO itself. "Threats have not evaporated; they have altered. The possible uses of armed forces have not shrunk to peacekeeping. Twenty countries outside NATO possess ballistic missiles; a handful can arm them with chemical and biological warheads.... Politicians who want to go on cashing in on the peace dividend offered by the end of the Cold War forget that states still require military insurance. To enjoy insurance, governments must pay premiums." "Clinton Enlists NATO To Boost His Image" The centrist Independent noted under the headline above (10/23): "Now, after a long period of keeping its exact options open, the administration has finally set a firm target date for enlargement, choosing the year that marks the 50th anniversary of NATO's creation, and the 10th anniversary of the breach of the Berlin wall, the event which above all others symbolizes the end of the Cold War." "Clinton Opens NATO Door To East European Members" The conservative Daily Telegraph concluded (10/23): "This was [Clinton's] first foray into foreign policy during this election campaign. Foreign policy has been almost ignored so far in the campaign.... The timing was awkward because of the political upheavals in Moscow, where opposition to NATO expansion is intense." "Why NATO Must Not Go Soft" Readers of the conservative Times saw this byliner by British Defense Secretary Michael Portillo (10/23), "NATO faces a bigger intellectual challenge than ever before. It has to adapt and restructure, to welcome France and Spain to its new military structures, to embrace the new democracies, plan for new types of missions and build a relationship with Russia. It must do all this and yet maintain the integrity that has made it successful. "NATO must remain an Atlantic alliance. America recognizes the importance of European security to its own vital interests.... Talk of a new relationship with Russia emphasizes how different the world has become. But history shows that we must not allow our guard to slip. Catastrophe can ensue when a slightly higher investment in defense and an unambiguous demonstration of political will would have prevented it. "Let us remember that NATO has been successful because its members have committed themselves to hard defense, to maintaining the finest military capabilities, essential to meet threats to national survival. This is not the time for NATO to go soft, and certainly not a time to convert it into an organization principally for peacekeeping operations." "Clinton Pushes Ahead On NATO Enlargement" The liberal Guardian noted (10/22): "President Bill Clinton will today formally present a 'concrete timetable' for the enlargement of NATO, putting the prestige of his office behind a firm deadline for the completion of negotiations by 1999. He will not name the successful countries to avoid offending those excluded.... Mr. Clinton's speech in Detroit--a politically important region crowded with voters of Czech, Polish and Hungarian stock--will be his major foreign policy statement of the election campaign, designed to answer Republican taunts that he has 'a photo- opportunity foreign policy.' "The speech has been phrased with extreme caution, each clause fine-tuned by the Pentagon and State Department to avoid affront to NATO allies and Russia." FRANCE: "Are Americans Willing To Defend Central Europe?" Laurent Zecchini pointed out in left-of-center Le Monde (10/24): "By introducing this issue into his speech, (Clinton) insisted on his prestige as head of the executive and of the army.... But Americans are far from convinced of the need to endanger American lives to defend Budapest, Warsaw or Bratislava.... During this electoral campaign, there has been no conflict over diplomatic issues.... This is because neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party has been able to define with clarity the role of the United States in the world after the Cold War. The electoral campaign has accentuated this vacuum." "A Surprise In A Campaign Lacking Suspense" Jean-Jacques Mevel wrote in conservative Le Figaro (10/23): "Clinton's announcement regarding NATO enlargement is truly a surprise in a campaign lacking suspense.... He is giving his partners an indication of what his second mandate will look like.... France and Germany are cautious.... The United States and Great Britain do not want to give Moscow the right to interfere in NATO matters.... The U.S. attitude on this enlargement is more political than military.... It wants to reduce border conflicts and reconcile former enemies, thanks to a set of guarantees that will, in essence, be U.S. guarantees." "Gesture Meant To Enhance Clinton's Image" Eric Revel said in financial La Tribune (10/23): "It is essentially a diplomatic gesture...meant also to enhance Clinton's image.... Clinton's speech should be of the highest interest for France." ITALY: "Most Important Strategic Decision Of Century's End" A front-page commentary by Stefano Cingolani in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (10/24) concluded: "And now there is the most important strategic decision of this century's end: NATO enlargement to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic (to begin with). The United States is committed to defending the new countries from any external attack, thus bringing the Western defense perimeter closer to Moscow and the ethnic melting pot of Central and Eastern Europe. In the American view, this must go hand in hand with European Union enlargement: The economic arm and the military arm go in tandem." "Clinton Put Europe At Center Of U.S. Foreign Policy Again" Ennio Caretto commented from Washington in centrist, top- circulation Corriere della Sera (10/23): "Whatever the outcome of the November 5 elections...progress towards NATO expansion will be irreversible. Congress agrees, and Dole would even like to speed it up.... But the road will not be an easy one. There is the risk that Europe may split. In fact, Slovenia, Romania and Slovakia are also pushing for NATO membership at once. Slovenia is sponsored also by Italy, while Slovakia faces general resistance.... With the Detroit speech, needed in part to satisfy an electorate coming from countries which want to join the Alliance in order to obtain its protection, Clinton has put Europe at the center of U.S. foreign policy again: The transatlantic plan will be the key issue of his second term. Uneasy about the situation in the Middle East and Asia, the president wants to insure Europe's support, also preventing another East-West split." "An Outburst Of Strategic Conscience" Left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (10/23) observed in an article by Washington correspondent Vittorio Zucconi, "Protected by the luxury of a huge lead in electoral polls, President Clinton has finally remembered, two weeks before the election, that he is not only a politician seeking re- election, but the leader of the United States and the West. For the first time in this electoral campaign, he talked about foreign policy yesterday, launching a formal, explicit proposal for NATO expansion.... It was not just an outburst of strategic conscience which led Clinton to remember America's international role and responsibilities.... But while electoral motivations were evident in the speech, it is less clear why Clinton has chosen this time to come out in the open with a proposal which America had always been vague about vis-a-vis the furious opposition of Yeltsin, the Kremlin and Russian opposition leaders." "The Greater NATO Which Threatens Russia" A commentary by Lucio Caracciolo in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica pointed out (10/19): "Russia is down on its knees, threatened by Chinese penetration in Siberia and by the activism of Islamic guerrillas in Central Asia. We prefer not to think of the possible consequences for Europe and the world of a progressive sliding of Russia on slope of anarchy if not of a `hot' civil war.... We are instead surprised and alarmed at how those who risk seeing the thousand pieces of the Russian puzzle fall over them--i.e., the European and Atlantic Allies--are doing their best to make the most catastrophic scenarios become real. What purpose would the planned 'expansion of NATO,' in fact, serve if not the destabilization of destabilizing Russia?.... If we were to include Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in the Allied military structure at a time of serious instability in Russia, in fact, we would risk producing the following effects. First of all, to split the heart of Europe between `Western' and `Eastern' nations, i.e. between `good' and `bad'.... Second, we would definitely push Russia towards Asia, and make sure that the Russian parliament will not ratify the START II treaty...and would encourage the Kremlin to violate other treaties.... Third, we would speed up the political-institutional crisis of an empire which is clearly without leadership, thus favoring the disintegration of the Russian Federation, with incalculable consequences for our own security as well.... The hope remains that, before taking a road without return, public opinion, the governments and the parliaments of the Atlantic Alliance will feel the urgency to re-examine without preconceptions a choice of which perhaps they have not considered all the implications." "Enlarge, But Beware Haste" A commentary by Stefano Silvestri in leading financial Il Sole 24-Ore (10/17) said: "NATO enlargement is unavoidable. But we must fully understand the problems it implies.... The first problem is not so much who will join, but who will remain out and how.... With them, and especially with Russia, it is necessary to reach a large political and strategic agreement in order to keep that enlargement from opening the way, sooner or later, to a process of political regression and therefore to new military confrontation.... Everything might become easier if at the same time, for example, OSCE is really reinforced and made more powerful, making it a true decision-making center to deal with European crises together with Russia.... In other words, NATO enlargement, as such, is neither a solution nor good business." RUSSIA: "NATO Plans To Cause Crisis In Europe" According to Pavel Felgenhauer in reformist Segodnya (10/25): "Most influential politicians both at the White House and in Congress no doubt consider Russia a weak and politically and economically unstable country which assumes too much, disproportionately to its status, and which will not come to its senses, unless faced with inevitable military, political and economic sanctions. Those include more than just NATO expansion.... U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and a group of senators came to Moscow to try to persuade Russian partners that non-ratification and non- implementation of START II will cost them dearly. But they persuaded no one. On both NATO expansion and START II, the Russian ruling elite, it appears, has plumbed the depth of tractability and a serious confrontation is now practically unavoidable. The Alliance's enlargement will provoke a political crisis in Europe, with or without Moscow. As only a few countries will be adopted, others are likely to raise an outcry, demanding compensation and security guarantees." "What To Do About NATO?" Centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (10/24) front-paged a comment by its editor Vitaly Tretyakov: "NATO enlargement is a decided matter. Russia's opinion has been ignored.... The persistent desire to have NATO enlarged eastward, seemingly unjustified objectively, is based on the premise that Russia will most likely continue to fall apart. To disprove that certainty, unfortunately, seems impossible now.... So, the answer is as obvious as it is banal: Russia must keep from breaking up any further. With Russia reversing the current tendency, the NATO issue will resolve itself.... With NATO intending to oust Russia from Europe and turn it into a sort of buffer between the Atlantic world and Asia, Russia, rather than resisting this idea, would do good to embrace it, with China and India becoming our main strategic partners, if not allies.... Striving to sign a NATO-Russia charter on least favorable terms makes no sense and is comparable to turning oneself in to the police." "Russia: Chechnya's Burden Enough Not To Take On NATO" Stanislav Kondrashov said in reformist Izvestia (10/24): "We are getting increasingly obsessed with NATO's proposed march eastward. Sure, Russia is quite right to resist it stubbornly. Sure, we must wring from the other side as many concessions and guarantees as possible to prevent new suspicions and enmity in Europe. But we must be careful not to kick out the traces.... Neither Primakov nor Rodionov nor the president himself must allow strife over NATO to become another, larger Chechnya, a bottomless hole to bury all hope for Russia's well-being and progress to a promising, non-imperial, future." "Clouds Over START II Caused By NATO" Under this headline, reformist Segodnya (10/25) published a comment by Vladimir Batyuk: "What official Washington did not know was the kind of resentment there was in Moscow, in general, and in the Duma, in particular, over its reluctance even to discuss the military and political effects of NATO expansion. The Perry lecture on NATO's peaceableness and democratic principles, evidently, was the straw that broke the camel's back.... It seems highly desirable that official Washington and Russian Duma deputies hold a serious dialogue on NATO expansion, ABM and prospects for START III and do this soon, before NATO's plans become reality." "Primakov: We Shall Live And See" Vladimir Abarinov observed on page one of reformist Segodnya (10/24): "Official Moscow left the Clinton speech practically without a comment. Yevgeny Primakov merely confirmed its negative stand, adding for the most importunate of journalists, 'We shall live and see.' That evidently means that Moscow is not going to capitulate." "Clinton Sets Foreign-Policy Priorities" Dmitry Gornostayev judged in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (10/24): "The effect of the Clinton speech--in substance, if not in scale--may roughly be comparable to that of the famed Fulton speech by Churchill. If in 1946 Churchill proclaimed an 'iron curtain;' 50 years later Clinton conclusively stated an intention to create in Europe a new situation fraught with a redivision of the continent.... So, it has officially been made clear that Russian interests will not be taken into account.... Whatever the West may henceforth suggest to Moscow will be based on recognition of Russian interests being secondary to its own. This can be couched in the kindest of words said with a most gracious smile. We have seen that done before, the Clinton performance in Detroit being no exception.... Throughout his speech, the U.S. president did not mention a single specific threat that would justify a need for that kind of cohesion between old and new members of the Alliance. In the meantime, he spoke at length about freedom and democracy having made gains in Eastern Europe and Russia over the last seven years." "Political, Not Military, Issue" Reformist Segodnya (10/24) ran this comment by Nikolai Zimin in Washington: "Since few expect an attack from Moscow any time soon, the advocates of NATO expansion use political, rather than military, arguments.... For both Clinton and Dole, NATO expansion is a way above all to help establish market-economy democracy in former communist countries, a policy, observers say, which has already begun to pay off. To please Washington and get the nod from NATO, those countries try to put old strife behind them and improve their record on ethnic minorities." "Will Moscow Adopt Lebed's View?" Georgy Bovt noted in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily (10/24): "Russia has not changed its negative stand on NATO enlargement. But the West has been interested even more in what the black sheep--if retired-- of the Russian establishment said. General Lebed, in an interview for Reuters, brushed aside Clinton's speech as an electoral ruse. And he added that he saw no reason for a conflict. NATO will now wait until a similar view prevails in Moscow." "Russia In NATO?" Vladimir Nadein filed from Washington for reformist Izvestia (10/22): "Addressing Russian MPs, U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry made no slip. It might well be that William Perry for the first time expressed in public that which had long been a latent idea--Russia's admission to NATO.... France and Germany insist that NATO refrain from moving eastward before fully settling relations with Russia, meaning a special agreement.... Supposedly, Clinton will go even further. It looks as if the idea of inviting Russia to NATO, formerly referred to the unforeseeable future, may become a businesslike proposition." "Primakov: We Favor Specific Accord" Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov held in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (10/22): "Russia's stand is not only that of utter defiance of NATO's enlargement; Russia is ready for a productive dialogue with its members to develop the 'rules of conduct' that would be acceptable to all. We can apparently talk of a document defining Russia-NATO relations. But signing it is not an aim unto itself. Not being of a strictly declarative nature, it must contain as many specifics as possible.... Of course, such a document is not to be used to screen NATO's expansion, on the one hand, and simulate Russia's admission to the Alliance, on the other. We know only too well that speculation of Russia possibly joining NATO is deceptive and serves propaganda purposes." "Whence Threat To Russian Interests" Anton Surikov wrote in neo-communist Pravda (10/17): "We must admit we do not have the military, political or economic means to stop Eastern Europe from joining NATO. Lebed was right when he said that falling into hysterics over this matter makes no sense at all. But it would be unfair to pretend that all is well. We should use the expansion of this militaristic product of the Cold War to show this nation from where a threat to its interests really comes.... Even today, in our present condition, we can, and must, resist NATO plans and other Western anti- Russia actions. Using force toward this objective, though possible, is extremely undesirable. Diplomacy, economic levers, and primarily methods from special service arsenals, seem preferable." "Expansion Spells New Division" Igor Maximychev of the Europe Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences held in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (10/15): "If Russian concerns were unheeded, NATO's enlargement would lead to a new split of the continent, with the military alliance on one side and Russia on the other. The commitments the West and the rest of Europe made under the Paris Charter in November 1990 would openly be violated. The current transition period would give place to 'cold peace' with elements of a resurgent confrontation destructive for all. The only escape from the gloomy scenario is to create an effective foundation of a European security system in advance of NATO's enlargement. Big NATO must not be allowed to torpedo a big Europe. This continent must have a single future." AUSTRIA: "NATO: Dinner With Four Vegetarians" Conservative Die Presse (10/4) ran a piece by Karl-Peter Schwarz, who participated in the security issues conference in Ireland: "It was the first time that a NATO conference, called by the U.S. mission to NATO, took place on neutral soil, in Malahide, not far from Dublin. The conference's main topic was NATO eastward expansion and its consequences, but discussions also focused on the relationship between NATO, the Western EU and the four neutral EU countries Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Austria. 'If four vegetarians are among your guests for dinner,' joked WEU Secretary General Jose Cutileiro, 'There might be several dramatic changes in the kitchen.' "In spite of all arguments, NATO members agree on the principle that NATO remains the main pillar of the European security architecture. There is no room for exceptions such as WEU membership without NATO entry. Today, neutrality is nothing but an obsolete concept and a meaningless left-over of the bipolar world. Acccording to the NATO members assembled in Dublin, all European countries are obliged to make their contribution to Europe's security. Whoever wants to participate in building a collective security system in Europe, needs a seat and a voice within NATO. [In the Irish case], where strong anti-British and anti-American resentment predominates...the four most important political parties in parliament [are] calling for a referendum as the precondition for giving up neutrality. It is also remarkable that Ireland is the only neutral country which refused to participate in the Partnership for Peace program.... Austria is part of a neutral wedge extending from the Ukraine and Slovakia to Switzerland and deeply into NATO territory, interrupting the north-south connections. To develop the east-west links between Italy and Hungary across Slovenian territory instead, considerable amounts of money are being invested into Slovenia. These flows of investment go past Austria; the Austrian economy thus misses business deals worth billions of shillings." BELGIUM: "A Date, But No Names" Michel Rosten stressed in conservative Catholic La Libre Belgique (10/23), "It is the first time that a date is mentioned by the White House which avoids mentioning the name of its invitees." Rosten remarked that the choice of Detroit as a venue for the address "was not innocent because the area is inhabited by many immigrants of Eastern Europe origin." He added: "Anticipating this speech, Republican candidate Bob Dole had addressed the inhabitants of Frankenmuth a little earlier....to reproach the president for having dragged his feet for three years about the enlargement issue.... And in order to pre- empt any criticism, he reiterated his request that Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic be admitted inside NATO as of 1998. It is doubtful that Bob Dole's initiative--he is nosediving in opinion polls--will impress U.S. public opinion.... The Dole project is not consistent with the policy of the administration which intends to spare Russia and to sign a 'charter' with her." CANADA: "NATO Enjoys A Renaissance" Former Canadian secretary of state for external affairs Barbara McDougall wrote in the leading Toronto Globe and Mail (10/25): "If there were any remaining doubts about NATO's recent rebirth, those doubts were put to bed this week by U.S. President Bill Clinton. In his first (finally!) major foreign policy speech of the election campaign, he devoted more than a third to the relationship between the United States and Europe, focusing on NATO, its successes and potential.... But the issues facing NATO today go beyond expansion.... France's agreement to return to the fold is still subject to a settlement of the command issue. Finessing Russia's call for a supplementary organization of which it would be a member...will require considerable diplomacy. Ensuring that Turkey is not marginalized in the new NATO will be critical to stability in the southeast." "NATO Needs Russia" The liberal Toronto Star (10/15) stated, "NATO must not be perceived as rapidly expanding its firepower at Russia's expense. As NATO grows, it should provide Moscow with the psychological security blanket it needs to accept that growth. How to boost Russia's confidence? The Kremlin seeks a bigger role in 'Partnership for Peace.'... They should be encouraged.... Beyond that, Moscow needs assurance that NATO won't store nuclear weapons, or carry out a major military buildup." CROATIA: "Croatia Must Get On The NATO Train--Now" Government-controlled Vjesnik asserted (10/24): "Through his speech, Clinton...wants to show who is playing the main role in NATO itself. All other members, who have their own ideas about the useful reconstruction of the Alliance, must in the end listen very carefully to what comes from the other side of the Atlantic. Since the United States will not renounce its dominant role in NATO in the upcoming decades, it is now almost certain that what Clinton announced will come to pass by 1999: Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hunqary will be the first new members. [The] second round should, of course, include Croatia (and it is worth fighting for it with our own forces). With its geopolitical advantaqes, and its strong and well-trained army, Croatia should not wait another decade, i.e. until a distant 2006 or even 2010. It is a favourable fact for us that the NATO train is on its way, that it has a schedule, and that it is collecting passenqers. It is very important that we board it before it reaches full speed." CZECH REPUBLIC: "U.S. Flagship Sets Course" An editorial in right-of-center Mlada fronta DNES (10/24) observed, "In contrast to European caution, President Clinton has outlined a clear goal to enlarge NATO in 1999.... The NATO headquarters knows well that when the United States makes a decision, the other Allies follow, even if they murmur with displeasure.... Therefore, Europe may become the biggest problem in pursuing Clinton's goal. Although the West European countries speak about enlargement of 'the sphere of stability and security' to the East, so far, they have carefully avoided setting the date. Not all of them believe that Russia will put up with NATO enlargement and they consider all possible consequences for their interests. But the Alliance is like a fleet of battleships. If each crew sets on a different course, the entire fleet can sink to the bottom of the sea after a mutual collision. Therefore, a flagship must set a common course." ESTONIA: "The Answer To One Of Most Important Questions" Estonia's largest, central-right Postimees (10/24) held, "Clinton's answer to the question 'when' is one of the most important questions since talks about the Alliance's expanding started in 1990. Till now there has been answer only to two questions: Why and how. We also will know by spring the answer of who will be new members.... "But still for the Baltic states and some other Eastern European countries, it will be an open question about security guarantees. Clinton's words, that 'the United States will cooperate on security issues with those who will not be included in first round of expansion,' are not very clear. The United States is cooperating also with Russia on security issues. And (a recent U. of Maryland) survey about Americans' opinions on suitable states for accepting into NATO is nothing to be glad about. Fifty- four percent of Americans support the Baltic states' being accepted into NATO and 52 percent of Americans support Russia's joining NATO." HUNGARY: "Good News" Influential, liberal Magyar Hirlap (10/24) said, "On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Hungarian revolution of 1956, the Hungarians could at last hear good news.... Although (Clinton) did not mention specific countries for full membership, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are expected to be at the head of the line. It is not the United States alone that is to decide about new NATO membership, but its Western Allies cannot ignore the opinion of the United States.... "The value of Clinton's decision is not to be diminished; moreover, we should be happy that this foreign political issue, so important for us, has become a focus of attention in an American presidential campaign, traditionally so indifferent towards these issues.... This speech, however, carried a message not only to the countries of Central Eastern Europe, but also to Moscow, suggesting that Washington was willing to cooperate in the hope of a peaceful future. But it is especially important for Hungarians, now commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1956 revolution, to see that the United States is not going to sacrifice them on the altar of superpower interests." THE NETHERLANDS: "NATO Enlargement Increases Security" Calvinist-left Trouw held (10/25): "The die is cast: The United States wants the first Central and East European countries to have the opportunity to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1999. And if the Americans want this, then this will happen. Fifty years after the establishment of NATO and 10 years after the fall of the Wall, a number of former enemies will be joining the Western alliance. This in itself is a positive step: The old animosity has disappeared and new friends are joining in looking for joint security. There is one discord: Russia is strongly opposed. The Russian fear for an even larger and more powerful NATO is understandable. For most Russians, expanding the alliance is nothing more and nothing less than that the old ideological enemy is moving toward the Russian border. This is mainly an emotional argument.... Expansion is mainly meant to offer protection to countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.... Russia is very unstable at the moment.... The country itself is no longer a serious threat to NATO.... But Moscow still has nuclear weapons. The country may be on its way to real democracy, the developments are hard to predict. It is understandable that the neighboring countries are seeking protection against that.... And so, in this sense, NATO enlargement not only increases the safety of these countries, but also that of Russia. For if the collapse of the Soviet Union taught us one thing, then that is that negotiation and conflict control with one big block is more difficult than with separate members. NATO enlargement increases stability." "'Containment,' 1999?" Influential, liberal-left De Volkskrant (10/24) expected that the president's speech will cause quite some commotion in Russia: "The Russians--rightly so--do not believe anything in the NATO pep talks that says inclusion of former Warsaw Pact countries will only increase stability and in this way also serve Russia's interest.... Even though NATO does not like to confirm this, in fact the expansion plans are just a new version of the 'containment' policy supported by George Kennan in his famous telegram from Moscow." NORWAY: "Will Norway Be Model For New NATO?" In independent tabloid Dagbladet, Norwegian Foreign Policy Institute researcher John Kristen Skogan speculated (10/15), "Recent overtures from Russia have spurred renewed interest in the so-called 'Norwegian model,' in which a NATO member introduces self-imposed restrictions on its own membership, as Norway has done with regard to its base- and nuclear policies. Although such self-imposed restrictions might be a viable and prudent option for a new NATO member, their essential autonomy and conditional nature would be missing if such a compromise were the result of a Russian inducement; Norway's restrictions are enacted by the Norwegian government alone, without interference or influence of other NATO countries." POLAND: "What About Our Neighbors?" Jan Skorzynski wrote in influential, centrist Rzeczpospolita (10/25), "There is every indication that Poland will find itself in the first group of the countries which will be offered membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We can congratulate ourselves on achieving this important, national goal, but one should also remember about those neighbors of ours who, for the time being, will not receive such satisfaction. Polish foreign policy does not end in an integration with institutions of the West. Brussels plays an important role in it, but also Vilnius, Minsk, Kiev, and Bratislava. Warsaw--not only because of its sentiment, but also because of its own interest--should be concerned to leave none of the neighboring countries in the no-man's zone, lest our eastern border draw the line between the land of plenty and security, and the land of misery and anxiety. Thus far, the governing coalition has devoted much attention to Russian reactions to our entry into NATO, but one should consider thought to how it will be received with Poland's complacent neighbors. It is very good that Aleksander Kwasniewski proposed in London that, parallel to a special charter with Russia, NATO make a partnership agreement with Ukraine. Support for Kiev's stipulation can yield better results than Poland's too clear a showing of understanding toward Moscow's sensibilities." "Clinton Has A Chance To Create United Europe" All Polish media noted that Clinton clearly set the date for the admission to NATO but did not mention any country by name. Headlines nevertheless read: "In NATO In 1999" (Gazeta Wyborcza) and "We Will Be In NATO Before 1999" (Zycie). Polish TV led with the story, with public Channel 1's "Wiadomosci" news (10/22) airing this: "Clinton, apparently, accepted President Kwasniewski's analysis: Ronald Reagan helped end the Cold War; George Bush helped destroy the Berlin Wall; the present American president has a chance to help create a united Europe." "We Can Congratulate Ourselves For This Success" Center-left Gazeta Wyborcza (10/23) asserted in commentary by Ernest Skalski, "We already know the date of our entry into NATO and this is a crucial factor. In America, the talk is about the point of no return; in Europe--about crossing the Rubicon. President Clinton, but also Bob Dole in the event he should win the elections, cannot withdraw from such a trumpeted declaration. In particular, any blackmail attempt on the part of Russia cannot be efficient. After years of our efforts and the moments of doubt, we can congratulate ourselves on this success on a historic scale. The efforts of the subsequent governments of the Polish Republic have contributed to this success, but the main reason for the growing acceptance of Poland in the international structures are the democratic changes triggered in 1989. Now it is only the continuation of the reforms that is the condition of fulfilling the promises made to Poland." ROMANIA: "Clinton Speech Hardly Encouraging" Independent Adevarul commented (10/24): "President Bill Clinton's speech hardly encourages countries like Romania.... Analysts believe his speech was purely electoral, with Clinton seeking to win the votes of the many Americans in Michigan who come from Central Europe. In fact, it offers few reasons for optimism to countries like Romania and Slovakia." "Disappointment" Sensationalist and pro-opposition Ziua held (10/23): "Clinton and Dole also fight over NATO's expansion; after the Republican candidate mentions Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, the White House leader calls for delaying the process.... Clinton's speech on NATO expansion...disappointed many Americans of East European origin. According to the president, NATO's enlargement process will be initiated only at the end of 1999. In his characteristic slippery and ambiguous style, presidential candidate Clinton did not name the countries which could be included in the first integration wave. Dole, who is for expansion beginning in 1998, has already expressed his confidence in the candidacies of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary." SPAIN: "Looking Presidential" J.V. Boo remarked (10/23) in conservative ABC from Washington: "The speech (Clinton's) on NATO expansion allowed Clinton to look presidential and to don the commander-in-chief's uniform during the final days before the Nov. 5 elections. Americans feel good about the interest of Central European countries in taking refuge under the wings of Washington." EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC CHINA: "U.S. Proposed Timetable For NATO Expansion" Washington correspondent Weng Xiang told readers of official, Communist Youth League China Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnian Bao, 10/24), "The timetable put forward by the United States for inducting new members indicates that the United States has made up its mind to go forward with NATO enlargement.... The United States will have to assume certain military risks and also will have to pay an economic price for pursuing the expansion plan." ##