CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
"The Yalta security order was based on the unnatural division of Europe. Its end, in 1989, was a wonderful moment. A new security order has yet to be created." Javier Solana, NATO Secretary General. (87)
The Cold War has indeed melted away, and taken with it NATO's primary mission to deter and defend against an attack on Western Europe. But the usefulness of the Alliance has endured. Indeed, its members have found it to be in their mutual interest to maintain the Alliance as it continues to perform several vital security functions, both external and internal, particularly the vital linkage of the United States and Canada to European security matters, and the promotion of transparency and trust between allies. As well, the Alliance collective approach to defence has discouraged the risky and expensive renationalization of defence.
NATO has also adjusted well to the new Euro-Atlantic security environment and by doing so has demonstrated its ability to remain relevant. It has undertaken a major internal and external transformation since the 1990 London Summit. A key part of that adaptation process is the 1994 Brussels Summit decision to welcome the enlargement of the Alliance. The enlargement of NATO may be the most critical decision awaiting the July Madrid Summit, but enlargement is not an "end in itself," it is only one of the means to enhance "stability and security" in the whole Euro-Atlantic area.
Successful achievement of that goal will require, in the months and years ahead, a multifaceted approach to the outstanding issues highlighted in this study.
THE NEW NATO
We need to recognize that the NATO that is about to welcome new members from CEE is very different from the NATO of the Cold War. Collective defence remains the core of Alliance commitments yet collective defence has not been in recent years, nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future, the principal focus of NATO's activities. NATO's day-to-day activities have expanded from those of an Alliance dedicated only to deterring and defending against an attack on Western Europe - Article V missions - to those involving crisis management and peacekeeping - non-Article V missions. The danger is that these two tasks - NATO as a provider of both collective defence and "cooperative security" - and the different, though complementary roles they require, could get muddled, with the result that NATO would be perceived as doing neither task very well. The other facet of this "softer" approach to Euro-Atlantic security involves deepened NATO-Russia cooperation exemplified by the recently agreed "NATO-Russia Founding Act."
Sustaining this new approach will require an unambiguous understanding of both tasks, an appreciation of their complementarity and their differences, and a clear enunciation of what the "new NATO" stands for. Communicating the emerging duality of NATO's role, particularly to new members, will be one of the pressing tasks awaiting NATO leaders.
In their quest for a "return to Europe," and influenced by their recent domination by the Soviet Union, CEE countries wish to join NATO for the "hard" security guarantees implicit in Article V. With increased membership cohesion will likely decline, and the development of consensus within the Alliance - traditionally its strength - may become difficult. As a result, political and military cohesion could be undercut.
Reconciling the aspirations of the new members to a transformed NATO (which involves a strategic NATO-Russia relationship that in itself rekindles memories of Yalta) may be one of the Alliance's most serious long-term challenges.
If the aim of NATO enlargement [admitting Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and possibly Romania and Slovenia (Canada supports a broad membership to also include Slovakia)] is the enhancement of Europe's "security and stability," Russia's legitimate security concerns need to be addressed. Given that the integration of Russia into the Euro-Atlantic security architecture is perhaps the most pressing problem facing NATO security planners in the aftermath of the Cold War, an enlargement that alienates Russia carries enormous risks. This is particularly so when, as is the case in Bosnia, Russian cooperation is essential to the successful management of non-Article V security issues in Europe, and in reaching agreements in the ongoing conventional and nuclear arms control negotiations.
The main task of European security planners, as we approach the twenty-first century, is to find a place for Russia as was done for Germany in the post-Second World War period. If this is not achieved, Central Europe will return to what it was during the interwar period, the chessboard of the major European powers.
NATO enlargement, if not handled properly, risks poisoning the relationship between Russia and the West for a long time. Conscious of these negative consequences, NATO leaders have, in recent months, embarked in earnest on a "two track strategy" combining the enlargement of NATO to certain CEE countries with the building of a strong, and enduring strategic partnership with Russia. The security component of that partnership was codified in the "NATO-Russia Founding Act" signed by NATO and Russian leaders in Paris on 27 May. This Act establishes clear principles and arrangements for a NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council for regular consultation and cooperation on security issues of mutual interest. The Agreement also covers the military dimension of NATO-Russia relationship, inter alia the thorny issue of nuclear and conventional forces deployment on the territory of new NATO members. The signing of the "Founding Act" should ease tensions over Moscow's bitter opposition to NATO enlargement and, hopefully, form the basis of an enduring NATO-Russia partnership.
The second facet of that partnership reflects political and economic initiatives to draw Russia into institutions such as the G-7, the OECD and the WTO. The overall goal is to persuade Russia that the West is not intent on threatening or isolating it, but in welcoming it into a broader democratic and prosperous Europe
Alliance members need to continue to develop a long-term strategy toward Russia encompassing security, political and economic issues of common interest. This strategy, decoupled from the divisive enlargement issue, should be based on a realistic understanding of respective interests.
The NATO enlargement debate has primarily focused on the countries to be offered membership and on the strategic relationship that needs to be developed with Russia. Just as important in avoiding a division of Europe into a western "we" and a Russian-centred "they" will be the finding of ways to reassure the countries in between, particularly Ukraine and the Baltic States. As the enlargement process moves forward, NATO must dispel any fear that the nightmare of Yalta will be revisited.
Russia is likely to attempt to prevent a second wave of enlargement. Thus both the non-invited countries and Moscow will try, in their different ways, to force NATO's hand and win the assurances they seek. The Alliance will have to walk a fine line between keeping open the possibility of further enlargement - which the Baltic States and Ukraine wish, lest they become permanent buffer zones between an enlarged NATO and Russia - and addressing the legitimate Russian security concerns.
At the Madrid Summit, NATO leaders must strive to reassure the non-invited countries that may feel threatened by the outcome of the process. The newly created Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), the Distinctive NATO-Ukraine Partnership, a closer security relationship between the US and the Baltic States, a deepened Partnership for Peace, the development of an effective three-way dialogue between NATO, Russia and the Eastern European non-invited countries, closer association and eventual membership in the EU, and increased economic assistance from industrialized nations such as Canada, the United States, and Germany, are essential components in reassuring these countries that the West has not "abandoned" them.
Developing a long-term strategy toward the non-invited countries is far from a side issue in the NATO enlargement debate; it is front and center. Over the next few years there will be no more visible barometer of the Alliance's priorities and leadership or lack thereof.
The enlargement of NATO must remain the top priority of the Alliance. Nevertheless, for NATO to achieve its primary goal of enhancing "stability and security" in the whole Euro-Atlantic area, its enlargement needs to be accompanied by a greater outreach to the Mediterranean so that the Alliance can successfully manage the strategic challenges from that region. In the new post-Cold War strategic landscape the Mediterranean has been transformed from a backwater of Euro-Atlantic security into an area of strategic importance to the Alliance. Any conflict in the region, whether triggered by territorial disputes, political revolutions or ethnic rivalries, would have serious consequences for the Alliance.
NATO must give a higher priority to the Mediterranean region, not only because the region is of vital interest to Euro-Atlantic security, but also because issues such as the current Greece - Turkey imbroglio over Cyprus and the question of Turkey's admission to the EU may derail NATO enlargement.
OTHER SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS
Notwithstanding the important role NATO plays in the Euro-Atlantic security architecture, the Alliance is not the cavalry. It can't right every wrong, protect every minority, guarantee every border, nor should it.
Last March at the Helsinki Summit, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin declared that the potential of the OSCE has yet to be fully realized, and they underscored their commitment to enhance its operational capability. The follow-through to this statement will tell us whether high-level energy is going to be dedicated to an organization that could contribute to an undivided and democratic Europe. The EU also needs to play a more active role, since the greatest challenge to the CEE struggling democracies does not come from a military threat from Russia but rather from the sheer difficulty of pushing on with economic reforms, particularly in countries, such as Ukraine and the Baltic States, not likely to be invited in the first wave of NATO enlargement.
The Alliance can help avoid creating the sort of "security vacuum" that in Europe has historically spelled trouble, but, stretching the edges of NATO's security umbrella can do only so much. Other European organizations, such as the OSCE and EU, need to shoulder more of the burden.
The costs associated with enlargement will likely be a major issue in all NATO nations. The real question about the cost of NATO enlargement is not whether US $27 billion to US $35 billion will be enough, (these are the total numbers for the period 1997-2009 mentioned in the US Administration Report to Congress), but who will pay.
Unless a firm burden-sharing agreement is reached in advance of enlargement, there is a real risk that enlargement will take place, but that the allies will bicker over the costs and no one will bear them, with a consequent negative impact on NATO's long-term security.
Finally, the process of formally enlarging the Alliance is not a foregone conclusion. Admission of new members, in all likelihood in 1999, requires the unanimous ratification of the protocols of accession by all NATO nations. The support for the ratification may be hard to mobilize in some NATO countries, particularly in the United States. As well, the enlargement debate in the United States Senate can be expected to open up another debate on the relevance of the Alliance itself and could easily turn into a far-reaching referendum on the entire array of worldwide United States commitments.
In view of the foregoing , a communication strategy needs to be developed immediately in all NATO nations, to sensitize the public, the media and parliaments. This strategy should clearly spell out the "why" of enlargement, the security guarantees provided by Article V to new members, and the costs involved and who will bear them.
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy will be authorized, by an Order-in-Council, to sign the protocols of accession. Given the importance of the matter, these protocols should be submitted to Parliament for debate. Following the Madrid Summit, the Minister must also play an active role in communicating to the public, the media, and to Parliament, the importance of NATO enlargement.
The President of the United States will need to embrace the enlargement of NATO as a personal project and work closely with congressional leaders in developing a bipartisan position in order to secure Senate ratification.
The outstanding issues identified in this study are, on the whole, directly linked to the enlargement of the Alliance. In addressing those issues in recent months, NATO has embarked on a damage limitation operation which should satisfy the short-term concerns associated with enlargement, but does not take the place of a long-term strategic concept. The enlargement of the Alliance is only the beginning of the process.
NATO needs a vision of its role in the next century as farsighted as the Marshall Plan was fifty years ago. At the Madrid Summit NATO leaders must undertake the task of designing a long-term overarching strategic framework to bridge the gap between the probable admission of a few new NATO members in 1999 and the distant goal of creating a twenty-first century Europe "whole and free."
If readers of these chapters gain a better sense of the security concerns of the CEE nations; of how, in their view, NATO best meets their concerns; of what security guarantees they expect from NATO; of how relevant NATO is to Euro-Atlantic security; of how NATO has adapted itself to the new Euro-Atlantic security environment and finally, the outstanding issues related to NATO enlargement, the author will have successfully achieved his main goal.
87. Javier Solana, "Secretary General's Speech to the Royal Institute of International Affairs," Chatham
House, London, 4 March, 1997.