News

U.S. Department of State
95/12/05 Secretary NAC Intervention
Office of the Spokesman



                          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           Office of the Spokesman

                              Brussels, Belgium
                              December 5, 1995


                                 INTERVENTION
                                      BY
                    SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
                        AT THE NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL 


     Mr. Acting Secretary General, distinguished colleagues.  It is an 
honor to speak to you on behalf of the United States.

     Let me begin by congratulating Javier Solana on his selection as 
our new Secretary General.  Minister Solana has made a signal 
contribution to Spain's leadership role in Europe and its distinctive 
role in securing the peace in Bosnia.  He and Prime Minister Gonzalez 
have also demonstrated leadership by making a strong transatlantic 
relationship such a high priority of Spain's EU Presidency.  I have been 
honored to serve with him as a fellow NATO foreign minister.  I am 
confident he has the vision and the strength to guide NATO at this time 
of unprecedented challenge.

     For NATO this is, without exaggeration, a moment worthy of being 
called "historic."

     In fact, we have just heard an announcement that adds to the 
history being made this week.  Let me be the first of our Ministers to 
welcome what Minister de Charette has just said.  The steps he has 
announced bring France more directly and fully into important aspects of 
the military side of the Alliance.  It is particularly significant that 
France will now again be a full member of the Military Committee.  It is 
also most welcome that Defense Minister Millon's presence in meetings 
such as this will become the rule, not the exception.  Always a strong 
and loyal ally, France has been playing an important role in NATO's 
adaptation to its new post-Cold War tasks.  Today, it has taken a 
further critical step, one that will increase the strength and 
effectiveness of the Alliance.

     The Alliance has also just approved its largest and most 
significant operation ever, and it has done so in the cause of peace.  
The mission in Bosnia will help to ensure the stability of Europe by 
helping to end the worst European conflict since NATO's creation.  It 
will unite over two dozen nations in Europe and North America, including 
Russia, in a coalition of power and principle that only NATO could bring 
together, in a mission that only NATO could undertake.

     Today, the Alliance will also take the next step in our gradual but 
steady process of outreach and enlargement to the east.  This process 
will encourage and consolidate the remarkable democratic gains that our 
new partners are making.  It will help us move toward a Europe in which 
brutal conflicts, such as the one we are now resolving in Bosnia, become 
a thing of the past.

     Today's decisions reaffirm our conviction that NATO remains 
fundamental to stability and to peace on this continent.  By acting on 
that conviction, we will ensure that for the United States, for Europe, 
and for the Alliance that unites our strength, the next 50 years will be 
as successful as the last.

     NATO was formed in the shadow of the Soviet threat.  Meeting that 
threat was its primary goal for almost half a century.  But its founders 
also created NATO to be a permanent alliance that would meet emerging 
threats to our security and deter new ones from arising.  

     Likewise, our predecessors did not see NATO as a static 
institution.  The Alliance has always been open to new members that 
shared its principles and that could contribute to its goals.  It has 
always been dedicated to the integration of as much of Europe as would 
eventually become free.

     Our alliance helped assure the victory of democracy throughout 
Europe -- but that is not all it has done.  In its first half century, 
it helped to reconcile nations that had long been divided by conflict, 
thus making European integration possible.  It provided a secure 
environment for war-torn economies to rebuild.  And it grew from its 
original 12 members to 16, bringing new nations into our transatlantic 
community of democracies.  What NATO did to strengthen the bonds within 
our community complements what it did to protect our community. 

     Today, NATO is fulfilling its enduring mission by meeting new 
challenges.  It is helping us overcome what are now the most immediate 
threats to the stability of Europe:  the fragility of democratic 
institutions in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, the 
potential resurgence of old territorial disputes, and the exploitation 
of ethnic and religious tensions.  

     It is in the former Yugoslavia that these new threats have appeared 
in their most dangerous and deadly form.  And among all Western 
institutions, only NATO has had the strength to bring the brutal war in 
this region to an end.  Without NATO's determined efforts, including its 
air campaign, there would not have been a peace agreement in Dayton.  
Moreover, the parties made it clear that they would reach a settlement 
only if NATO agreed to lead a peace implementation force.

     In less than two weeks, the Presidents of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 
Croatia, and Serbia will gather in Paris to sign the peace settlement.  
Shortly thereafter, our soldiers will begin to deploy to Bosnia by land 
and by air, so that the parties will have the confidence they need to 
carry out the agreement.  Advance teams are already on the ground to 
prepare for the arrival of the main force.  

     NATO rightly refused to fight a ground war in Bosnia.  But now we 
have a chance to secure the peace, and we are seizing that chance.  This 
will be a noble mission, unique in the history of Europe.  It will be a 
defining challenge for this Alliance.  It will have profound 
consequences for our interests today and for our hopes for the future.

     Most immediately, it means that the killing in Bosnia can stop for 
good.  It means that the children of a European country will be able to 
walk to school and play in the streets without having to fear a sniper's 
bullet or a falling mortar shell.  

     NATO's mission is precisely defined and realistic -- to implement 
the military aspects of the Dayton agreement.  It will not be NATO's job 
to guarantee Bosnia's recovery from four years of violence.  But our 
troops can give Bosnia an opportunity to rebuild, an opportunity to find 
justice, an opportunity to flourish as a single, sovereign state.

     The deployment of IFOR means that this terrible war will not 
spread.  Ever since the violence began, we have faced the real 
possibility that it would destabilize a region where shifting frontiers 
and ethnic tensions have long been a cause of conflict among great 
powers.  A wider war would directly threaten those members of the 
Alliance that border this volatile region.  As a threat to Europe's 
security, it would also be a threat to America's security.  Ending such 
a war would be far more costly and dangerous than the operation we are 
launching today.

     The deployment of IFOR also meets a fundamental challenge to NATO 
and to its mission of protecting Europe from war.  It brings an end to a 
war that for four years has been an affront to the values and a threat 
to the interests of each member of our Alliance. 

     Our NATO troops in Bosnia will be joined by soldiers from many of 
our new partners to the east.  In the last two years, we have held 
numerous exercises together under the Partnership for Peace.  We have 
marveled that soldiers once trained to fight each other in war were 
training together to prepare for missions of peace.  Now that training 
is paying off in a real mission with enormous stakes.  

     We are determined that NATO will continue to reach out to new 
partners and new challenges.  That is the future of our Alliance in a 
Europe that must become more integrated.  Our comprehensive strategy, 
from the Partnership for Peace, to the process of enlargement, to our 
new relationship with Russia, is not an abstract vision.  It is meant to 
help us deal with real world problems such as the war in Bosnia.  And 
our mission in Bosnia will be its first true test.

     It is important and gratifying, for example, that Russia is playing 
a role in IFOR.  Our Secretary of Defense, William Perry, has met with 
Russian Defense Minister Grachev four times in the last seven weeks to 
hammer out the operational details of Russia's participation.  In 
Bosnia, we will demonstrate in the most tangible possible way that NATO 
and Russia can work together constructively on behalf of stability in 
Europe.  And we will reaffirm the inclusiveness of our approach to 
European security.

     We must continue to strengthen the NATO-Russia relationship.  The 
Partnership for Peace offers strong prospects to continue building 
cooperation with the Russian military and civilians alike.  We look 
forward to Russian and Allied troops participating in joint exercises, 
while IFOR is in Bosnia, and beyond.  And we welcome General Grachev's 
recent expressions of support for an enhanced Russian role in the 
Partnership.  NATO has also developed a political framework for its 
future relationship with Russia.  I want to encourage Russia to respond 
positively.  This relationship is vital to building an integrated Europe 
at peace.

     Last May, we also recognized that Ukraine is a linchpin of European 
security.  As a result, NATO is also developing a relationship with the 
Ukraine that will be similar to the ties we are developing with Russia.  
I am pleased that Ukraine has participated in several major land and sea 
exercises in 1995, and that Ukraine has declared its willingness to 
serve with us in IFOR.

     At last December's NAC, we launched the first phase of NATO's 
enlargement.  The NATO enlargement study, which the alliance recently 
completed, will form the foundation of our enlargement effort.

     The study confirms that potential members must meet the same 
obligations as each existing member of the Alliance.  We have made it 
clear to interested Partners that they will only be admitted to NATO if 
they continue to consolidate democratic institutions, establish firm 
civilian control over their militaries, and respect international norms 
at home and abroad.  By participating in IFOR under NATO command, many 
will begin to demonstrate that they are willing and able to meet NATO's 
considerable obligations.

     Our strategy is producing many other positive results.  From 
Romania to the Baltics, the prospect of NATO membership has been a 
powerful argument for continued democratic reform.  It was an important 
incentive for Hungary and Slovakia to sign a treaty guaranteeing respect 
for borders and minority rights -- a treaty we expect to be fully 
carried out.  These results demonstrate the wisdom of our course.  
Indeed, to lock in these kinds of gains, enlargement must move forward.

     Today, we begin the second phase of the process of NATO 
enlargement.  Beginning in early 1996, those Partners who wish to pursue 
membership will hold intensive consultations with the Alliance.  Their 
countries will learn quite specifically what will be expected of them 
and their armed forces if they become members.  And NATO will assess 
what each potential member will be able to contribute.  At the same 
time, the Alliance will consider what internal measures it will take to 
prepare for enlargement.  In particular, we will examine the resource 
and staffing implications.  

     We believe that this process should take us through all or most of 
next year.  We should take on the question of the next steps at our 
North Atlantic Council meeting in December, 1996.  What is important is 
that we remain or our steady, deliberate course.

     We will also take new steps to strengthen the Partnership for 
Peace.  The Partnership will be a critical proving ground for partner 
countries wishing to join NATO.  We will adopt a program of practical 
work that will strengthen ties.  For some countries, this program will 
be a work plan toward membership.  For others, it will deepen their 
long-term partnership with the Alliance.  The Partnership for Peace will 
remain a permanent and significant part of Europe's new security 
architecture.  

     Since its launch nearly two years ago, the Partnership has exceeded 
all expectations.  In 1995, ten major exercises have been conducted in 
locations as diverse as the Black Sea waters of Bulgaria and Romania, 
off Denmark's Jutland coastline, the plains and forests of the Czech 
Republic and Hungary, and the bayous of Louisiana.  At least a dozen 
major Partnership exercises of increasing complexity are scheduled for 
1996, drawing on the land, sea and air capabilities of virtually every 
Ally and partner country.

     NATO is also taking a set of steps to strengthen the Partnership 
for Peace and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in all their 
dimensions.  I am pleased that this ministerial will agree to move 
forward in five specific areas, consistent with the proposals I set 
forth in Noordwijk last June:

     First, we will complete work with our partners through the North 
Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) on principles for civilian and 
democratic control of the military.  Through the Partnership for Peace, 
we will develop concrete guidelines and actions to implement them.  
Progress in this area will help interested partner countries prepare for 
NATO membership, while making an important contribution to democracy 
across the region.

     Second, we have agreed to establish a joint defense planning and 
review process committee to foster deliberative consultations between 
Allies and partners.  We will encourage partners to apply  the planning 
and review process to all elements of their armed forces, not just those 
performing peacekeeping and humanitarian tasks.  We hope that the 
committee can contribute to the interoperability of partner and NATO 
armed forces, and to the adaptation of partner military doctrines to 
NATO's. 

     Third, we will establish a stronger, more substantive role for 
partners in the planning of Partnership exercises.  Such a role will now 
become a standard, permanent feature of the exercise planning process.  
It will help us conduct more complex and challenging exercises that meet 
partners' needs, while improving our capability for joint action.

     Fourth, we will involve Partners more routinely in the substantive 
activities and consultations of the North Atlantic Council (NACC) and 
NATO senior committees.  This will help us extend the kind of 
consultative and practical cooperation undertaken in the Planning and 
Review Process to non-military areas of the Partnership.  It will also 
advance our goal of deepening the Partnership's political as well as its 
military character.

     Finally, we have agreed to increase our bilateral funding and 
improve its coordination in support of the Partnership.  I placed a 
special emphasis on the urgency of additional resources at our last 
ministerial, and I am pleased that we have agreed to move forward.  
Although Partners will remain responsible for making their own 
contributions to ensure their participation, it is essential that NATO 
members do more to sustain the Partnership's success.  I also look 
forward to the report due next spring that will recommend ways to 
realign NATO budgets and staff to meet future Partnership needs.

     Let me stress the importance of helping our Partners achieve 
greater compatibility with the Alliance.  We should encourage other 
Partner countries to build on the examples set by Poland and Hungary by 
developing "national NATO compatibility plans".  These plans would focus 
their efforts to reform military and defense structures in ways that are 
consistent with allied standards.  Developing and implementing such 
plans will be of clear benefit to countries wishing to prepare for NATO 
membership.  It will also strengthen the ability of other Partner 
nations to participate in peacekeeping and other joint missions.

     The United States is determined that the Partnership for Peace 
sustain the remarkable momentum it has achieved since its inception.  
The durability of the Partnership can be complemented by giving greater 
vitality to the NACC as a political framework for relations between the 
Alliance and its partners.  The NACC should move beyond its solely 
consultative role to become a more results-oriented forum.

     Besides setting guidelines for civilian control of the military, 
the NACC could also work to encourage good neighborly relations between 
partner countries.  This could lead to joint Partnership exercises 
designed to complement the confidence building measures underway through 
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  Political 
cooperation of this kind can be another way to help prepare Partner 
countries for membership in NATO, and for all partner countries to 
deepen their security.

     Let me turn briefly to another issue that we must resolve if we are 
to solidify the comprehensive new European security architecture we are 
building.  The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty is a landmark 
model for security cooperation, and critical to a stable and secure 
Europe.  Under the Treaty, over 50,000 pieces of military equipment have 
already been destroyed.  Confidence has been boosted by this reduction 
in arms, and by the openness with which it has been achieved.  Indeed, 
the CFE treaty provides dramatic evidence that the Cold War is over.

     But the continued and complete fulfillment of all CFE obligations 
is essential to strengthening the security of all states party to the 
Treaty.  The United States has welcomed the agreement reached last month 
in Vienna by all 30 CFE states specifying the elements of a solution to 
the flank problem.  We must finalize a solution to the flank issue in 
the next several months.  We should intensify our work in Vienna and 
agree to send policy-making officials, with decision-making authority 
from national capitals, no later than mid-February.  These officials 
should press for a cooperative solution that reinforces the integrity of 
the Treaty and the security of all the states party to it.

     Finally, let me reaffirm the importance the United States attaches 
to a stronger European defense identity that will support greater 
operational flexibility for European operations and greater burden-
sharing between European and North American allies.  We support 
improving coordination and cooperation between NATO and the Western 
European Union.  And we continue to support the concept of Combined 
Joint Task Forces-- and we hope to reach final agreement on it soon.  
Making progress on these fronts will contribute to the process of 
European integration, which the United States has supported for half a 
century and will continue to support as we approach a new century.

     I observed at the outset that this is a time of defining challenge 
for this Alliance and its future.  More than that, it is a positive 
turning point for the United States and Europe, and for the relationship 
that we are destined to share.  Over the past year, some have questioned 
whether we would drift apart, whether the ties that bind us would 
inevitably fray in the post-Cold War world.  The events of the end of 
this fateful year prove them wrong-- profoundly wrong.

     Two weeks ago, we reached the agreement in Dayton-- an agreement 
that we would not have reached without steadfast military and diplomatic 
cooperation between the United States and its European allies.  On 
Sunday, President Clinton completed his fifth trip to Europe as 
President-- a trip on which he reaffirmed our ancestral ties to Britain 
and Ireland, reinvigorated the peace process in Northern Ireland, and 
reinforced the determination of our Bosnia-bound soldiers training in 
Germany.  On Sunday in Madrid, he stood with the Prime Minister of Spain 
and the President of the European Commission to launch an ambitious 
agenda of cooperation between the United States and the European Union.  
And next week, the eyes of the world will be on Paris when the 
settlement of the bloodiest war in half a century of European history is 
signed.

     We can be proud of these achievements.  We can be proud of the 
commitment and cooperation that made them possible.  We have 
demonstrated once again to ourselves and to the world that our common 
effort makes this a better world.  Today, as we move forward together, 
let us have confidence in this great Alliance and in the common purpose 
that unites our two continents.

     Thank you very much.


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