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
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.
EDITOR: Mildred Sola Neely
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
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."
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
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."
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
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."