NATO Enlargement - Where We Came From and Where it Leaves Us


Alain Pellerin

30 May 1997

Canadian Council for International Peace and Security

The Canadian Council for International Peace and Security is an independent organization formed to promote Canadian policies in the field of international peace and security. The title is intended to reflect the many efforts that have been made over the past decade to ensure that Canada has an authoritative voice on the issues which confront Canada in the post-cold war period. The Council comprises Canadians from different walks of life who have a common interest in seeing an unbiased, informed, reliable voice in Canada on issues of peace and security.


The mission of the Council is to help develop and advance innovative Canadian policies on issues of international peace and security in keeping with Canada's internationalist tradition.

The Council promotes public debate and dialogue by providing independent views and sources of information to the Canadian government and public on matters of international peace and security.

To accomplish these tasks, the Council may issue timely policy statements on Canadian policy in the field of peace and security. At other times, it supports research proposals by endorsing the value of balanced research and viewpoints even though these may not necessarily reflect the position of the Council as a whole.

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The Canadian Council for International Peace and Security (CCIPS) wishes to acknowledge the financial contribution made by the Simons Foundation for the conduct of this study. This study should not, however, be taken to represent the views of the Foundation. The Council is also grateful to the Department of National Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the NATO Office of Information and Press for their support of this project.

The author thanks his wife Cheryl for her patience and professionalism in typing and retyping the various drafts of this study. He would also like to thank Douglas Fraser for his substantive and constructive commentary on all aspects of the text and Laurie Wright for her meticulous research. In addition, the author would also like to thank General Klaus Naumann, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, and Dr. Dmitri Trenin, from the Carnegie Moscow Centre, for their wise advice on Russia. Finally, he wishes to extend his sincere thanks to LGen (Ret'd) R. J. Evraire, Ms. Jane Boulden and to Dr. Isabelle François and Dr. Ben Lombardi from the Department of National Defence/DStratA, for their judicious advice and input in the preparation of this study.

First published June 1997

Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data

Main entry under title:

NATO Enlargement - Where We Came From and Where It Leaves Us.

(Aurora papers: 29)

ISBN 0-920357-61-X

Price: $12.00 (plus shipping and handling)

Additional copies may be ordered from:

Canadian Council for International Peace and Security

300 - 1 Nicholas Street

Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7

The views presented in this publication are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Council, its Board of Directors, Council Members, or staff, or to organizations and individuals who financially support the work of the Canadian Council for International Peace and Security.

About the Author

Alain Pellerin is a retired Colonel from the Canadian Forces. Until recently, he served as Chef de Cabinet to the Commandant of the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. Previous to his work in Rome, he was Director of Nuclear and Arms Control Policy in the Department of National Defence. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours)- Economics and Political Science from the Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, and a Master of Arts (Summa Cum Laude) - International Relations - from Boston University. He recently was awarded the Order of Military Merit (O.M.M.) by the Governor General of Canada.


APEC Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Council

CBMsConfidence Building Measures

CBOCongressional Budget Office

CEECentral and Eastern Europe

CFEConventional Armed Forces in Europe

CIS Commonwealth of Independent States

CJTF Combined Joint Task Forces

CSCE Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe

CWC Chemical Weapons Convention

DGP Defence Group on Proliferation

EAPC Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council

ESDI European Security and Defense Identity

EUEuropean Union

GDPGross Domestic Product

IFOR Implementation Force

INFIntermediate Nuclear Forces

MC Military Committee

NAC North Atlantic Council

NACC North Atlantic Cooperation Council

NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NBCNuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons

NGOsNon Governmental Organizations

NSCNational Security Council

OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

OSCEOrganization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

PARPDefense Planning and Review Process

PfPPartnership for Peace

SFOR Stabilization Force

START Strategic Arm Reduction Talks

TLE Treaty Limited Equipment

TMD Theatre Missile Defence

UNPROFOR United Nations Protection Force

WEU Western European Union

WMDWeapons of Mass Destruction

WTO World Trade Organization


The Council was encouraged to undertake a study on developments in Central and Eastern Europe by the Simons Foundation of Vancouver. Initially the study was to have been centred on the question of "The New Middle Europe and Euro-Atlantic Security." As it became apparent that the overriding political and security issue in the region was the forthcoming enlargement of NATO, the study was oriented in that direction. By 1997 some twelve states in the region had expressed an interest in joining NATO and one, Russia, voiced strong reservations.

The Council appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on 20 March, 1997. The Council took the opportunity to regret the lack of public debate in Canada before the Government took its decision to support a 'wide' expansion of NATO. The Council stressed that the invitation is consequential, in particular the security guarantees extended to new members. The Council expressed the hope that there would be more open discussion on the outstanding issues to follow.

Immediately after the Committee session the Council hosted a roundtable where the main topic for discussion was national ratification by NATO member states. A group of parliamentarians, academics, diplomats, officials and others discussed the processes and problems that would follow offers to start accession negotiations with a limited number of states. Both the discussion at the roundtable and in this paper make clear that there will be an interesting debate to come.

On 24 April the Council sponsored a one-day symposium which brought together four international experts from Russia, Hungary, the United States and Canada to discuss, inter alia, other outstanding issues such as how to identify appropriate new members; how to deal with the non-invited states; how to accommodate Russian concerns; and the monetary costs of enlargement. The symposium also provided a platform for many interested diplomats, especially from Central and Eastern Europe, to give their perspective on the issues. Additionally, on 9 May the Council, in conjunction with the Atlantic Council of Canada, helped organize a presentation by General George Joulwan, Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

The Council is grateful to Alain Pellerin for his leadership on this project and especially for the preparation of this Aurora Paper, the culmination of the Council's study. It is hoped that the paper's Conclusions and Recommendations will:

better inform the Canadian public on the challenges that will emerge following the offer, at the Madrid Summit, to start accession negotiations, and

inform and remind the Canadian government that national policy must be developed to meet these new challenges.

D A Fraser

Executive Director

30 May 1997


In January 1994 the North Atlantic Council announced that it "expected and would welcome NATO enlargement that would reach to democratic states to our East." At the July 1997 Madrid Summit NATO leaders will announce the names of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries invited to start accession negotiations with the Alliance.

In order to understand NATO enlargement and "where it leaves us" we need to understand "where we came from." This paper first reviews the political and economic history of CEE states and discusses the age

-old problems of ethnic minorities and contested borders. This background helps explain "the quest for a return to Europe" by many of the CEE states and also the geo-political centrality of Russia and Germany in any vision of a new Europe. In that light, the relevance of the European security architecture to the security concerns of the CEE states is also discussed.

What is so attractive about NATO to the "states to our East?" The paper reviews NATO's role in Euro-Atlantic security, the reasons for its survival to date; and how it is dealing with both external and internal challenges. It explains the critical role NATO plays in maintaining the transatlantic link and the process by which it has moved beyond collective defence to crisis management and peace operations. However, do these "softer" roles satisfy potential members who started their quest with "hard" security guarantees in mind?

There are "outstanding issues" that current and new members will have to deal with post- Madrid. This paper discusses: dealing with a Russia that is not pleased with former client states joining "the West"; integrating new members still adapting to democratic structures; reassuring states not offered membership in the first tranche; reconciling the priority for a " move to the East" with the different security concerns of NATO states bordering the Mediterranean; the costs of expansion and how they will be borne; and, finally, the most delicate issue, that of ratification of the offers to new members by all sixteen current member states.

This paper highlights issues of note for both the government and the public. Canada needs to:

communicate the emerging duality of NATO's roles;

ensure that NATO expansion does not create "fault-lines" in Europe;

develop a long-term strategy to reassure the 'non-invited' countries, including Russia;

advocate a clear "burden-sharing" arrangement before new members are admitted;

assure a debate in Parliament on all the issues surrounding enlargement, and

participate in developing an overarching strategic concept for the twenty-first century.