ACCESSION NUMBER:302892 FILE ID:EUR411 DATE:09/09/93 TITLE:EXPANDED NATO MEMBERSHIP "RIPE FOR DISCUSSION" (09/09/93) TEXT:*93090911.EUR *EUR411 09/09/93 * EXPANDED NATO MEMBERSHIP "RIPE FOR DISCUSSION" (Senator Lugar in Hudson Institute address) (600) By Jim Shevis USIA Staff Writer Washington -- United States Senator Richard G. Lugar (Republican-Indiana) says the question of expanded membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is "ripe for discussion, and I believe it must be discussed." Lugar told an audience of government policymakers, high-level diplomats, corporate executives and journalists he hopes the United States will put the membership issue on the agenda at the NATO summit meeting scheduled in Brussels around the end of this year. "If there is not U.S. leadership on this, it won't happen," said Lugar, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Lugar made his remarks in a September 8 address at the Hudson Institute's annual national policy forum here. The Hudson Institute is a nonprofit policy-research organization headquartered in Indianapolis that focuses on national and international security issues. Recently returned from a two-week trip to NATO countries and countries in Eastern Europe, Lugar advocates strong U.S. participation in revitalizing NATO by adding new member states and redesigning its mission. In his speech, Lugar spoke of his meetings with presidents and foreign and defense ministers in Croatia, Macedonia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany and France, as well as with senior NATO and U.S. military officials in Naples and Brussels. He said he also visited American troops in Macedonia, and Americans in Croatia. Lugar noted that the 15-nation NATO was founded at the end of World War Two because of a threat from the Soviet Union. "The Soviet menace was held at bay and receded," he said. "Now, the threat comes in other forms." "We must learn the sobering lessons of Bosnia, and make plans now to forestall an unraveling of the stable Europe we have come to take for granted," said Lugar, who is widely regarded as one of the Senate's leading foreign policy experts. "Western diplomatic and military continuity are not the only potential casualties if we do not think ahead together promptly," he said. "Domestic prosperity in the United States depends upon greater exports across open seas to friendly allies." Poland is a "logical" future NATO member because of its location and success in transitioning from a command economy to a market system, Lugar said. Russia has signaled that it has no objections to Poland joining the alliance, he said. 1 Hungary and the Czech Republic also are likely candidates for membership, he said. While the question, "What does Russia think of this?" is heard about an expanded NATO membership, "the question most of our allies ask is, 'What does the United States think of this?,'" Lugar said. "For there cannot be security there in Europe without Americans there," he said. Following Lugar's address, Director R. James Woolsey of the Central Intelligence Agency presented the Hudson Institute's James H. Doolittle award to Paul H. Nitze for his "outstanding contributions to the national security" of the United States over the past five decades. Among his achievements, Nitze headed the U.S. negotiating team at the Geneva arms control talks in the 1980s and helped found the Committee on the Present Danger, a nonpartisan group formed in 1976 that argued a strong U.S. defense capability was needed to balance a massive Soviet arms buildup. Previous Doolittle award winners were former President Ronald Reagan, former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger and industrialist David Packard. Since his State Department retirement in 1989, Nitze has been diplomat-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. NNNN .