Title: Full steam ahead for the NATO invitees.
Subject: The paper will focus on short and long term benefits and costs to NATO and the new members as well as the military implications.
Author(s): Nikolaus W. Behner; Yvan P. Boilard (Faculty Advisor)
DTIC Keywords: MILITARY MODERNIZATION, NATO
Abstract: Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, the new NATO invitees, have made remarkable progress in transitioning to Western-style democracies and free market economies. Each countries' challenges differ, but they share a common thread. After decades of communist control and centrally planned economies the transition they are presently undergoing is difficult and slow. Political and economic aspects are intertwined and, like Poland, whose economy has had the most success, stability and a growing prosperity are the prizes. Politically, parties in each country are still struggling for an identity. The communist party, though no longer dominant in these countries, remains viable and continues to yield considerable influence. Economically, each country is pressing ahead with privatization and a loosening of government control. At the same time however, financial corruption and a lack of fiscal oversight are proving to be major stumbling blocks. Militarily, when compared to NATO standards, these countries have large amounts of equipment ready for the museum as opposed to the battlefield. Yet despite these challenges, each remains focused on meeting the expectations NATO had set with a goal of formally joining the organization in 1999. The first of many hopeful nations to be included as NATO invitees, they are on their way to meeting their goal.