European Affairs

Extracts of Remarks     Print Email

Extracts of Remarks by:
Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense; Rudolf Scharping, German Defense Minister; Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut) United States Senate; Antonio Martino, Defense Minister of Italy; and Antanas Valionis, Foreign Minister of Lithuania
A Bigger NATO Needs New Links With Russia
Paul Wolfowitz U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense

Ten years ago, at the end of the Cold War, many people on both sides of the Atlantic said that we did not need NATO any more. Some said that the threat had gone away. Others said that America's involvement in European security was no longer needed.

Ten years later, NATO continues to be the key to security and stability in Europe, most notably in the Balkans. And now, for the first time in its history, NATO has invoked Article V, not because of an attack on Europe, but because the United States itself has been attacked by terrorists operating from abroad.

Following the attacks of September, those who might have consigned NATO to oblivion can no longer question the value of this alliance of nations dedicated to freedom. The ensuing war on terror has underscored that our Transatlantic ties are not obsolete. They are essential.

The response of NATO to September 11 demonstrates that this alliance of democracies can deal with uncertainty and uncharted territory. As we have waged this war on terror, we have been harvesting the fruit of more than 50 years of joint planning, training and operations within the NATO framework.

As difficult as it is to think about other challenges in the middle of this great effort, we must think beyond the war on terrorism if we wish to build a solid foundation for peace and security in this century. Strengthening and enlarging NATO and building a new relationship with Russia are key to that foundation in Europe.

In Warsaw last June, President George Bush emphasized the importance of "NATO membership for all of Europe's democracies that seek it and are ready to share the responsibility that NATO brings." That is as important today as it was before September 11.

Contradicting the gloomy predictions that were heard at the time of the first round of NATO enlargement, that round did not build a new wall down the middle of Europe. It did build new structures, but those structures are bridges, not walls.

As we plan for the Prague summit (in November), we should heed President Bush's call "not to calculate how little we can get away with, but how much we can do to advance the cause of freedom." All those countries that aspire to be members of NATO need to work seriously to meet the standards of membership, and the standards of membership should be kept high.

But experience has shown that NATO enlargement has strengthened security and stability throughout Europe. All countries have benefited, including Russia. Today we also have an historic opportunity to build a new relationship with Russia. Recently, the United States and Russia have engaged in a new dialogue that is fashioning a new strategic relationship.

We have made a conscious decision to move beyond a relationship with Russia centered on preserving the mutual threat of massive nuclear destruction to a relationship that is based instead on common security interests: a relationship that is normal among states that no longer consider themselves as deadly rivals. In moving toward a normal, healthy relationship, we have been able to set aside the fears of the past and plan for radical reductions in the legacy nuclear forces of the Cold War.

NATO as an alliance has a crucial role to play in integrating Russia into the framework of European security. In the Joint Statement they issued after their November meeting in Crawford, Texas, President Bush and President Vladimir Putin affirmed their determination to "work, together with NATO and other NATO members, to improve, strengthen, and enhance the relationship between NATO and Russia."

NATO has seized this opportunity by resolving to find ways for the Alliance and Russia to work together "at 20." It is important to get started with practical, concrete forms of cooperation that build on NATO's and Russia's mutual security interests. It is also essential, as NATO and Russia work together where we can, that NATO retains its independent ability to decide and act on important security issues.

But as NATO enlarges, and as NATO builds a new relationship with Russia, we must not forget that NATO is fundamentally a military alliance. And NATO's credibility and ability to prevent war depends critically on its military strength.

A key objective for the Prague summit should be to launch a military transformation agenda, one that can have profound implications. During the Cold War we sized and shaped our forces against specific geographic threats. Yet, the only Article V attack in NATO's history came from an unexpected source, in an unexpected form. What this tells us is that our old assumptions, our old plans, and our old capabilities are out-of-date. Article V threats can come from anywhere, in many forms.

Rather than trying to guess which enemy the Alliance will confront years or decades from now, or where that may occur, we should focus on what capabilities adversaries could use against us, on shoring up our own vulnerabilities, and on exploiting new capabilities to extend our military advantages. That is the essence of a capabilities-based approach to defense planning. We are in a new era, facing new risks, and we must have new capabilities.

To conclude, let emphasize that at the heart of the NATO's success and its ability to play such a crucial role in greatly changed circumstances over such a long period of time is not only its military strength but the values that are at its core of this alliance.

What former President Ronald Reagan once called "man's instinctive desire for freedom and self-determination" has brought about extraordinary and wonderful change over the last 20 years - the end of the Cold War and of the tragic division of Europe, the demise of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, on both sides of the Cold War divide. And today, the desire for freedom is a powerful force in the war on terrorism.

We Must Set a Strong Example to the World
Rudolf Scharping Minister of Defense of Germany

Since the end of the East-West con§ict, we have been faced with an ever more complex and ever less predictable challenge, and international terrorism is simply part of it. What does this mean for our armed forces and for NATO and the European Union?

I have pointed out that military interoperability within NATO is a must for the Transatlantic partners. It has come into vogue to lament Europe's weaknesses in this context.

I would therefore like to add one or two figures: The member countries of the European Union account for six percent of world population; they produce 30 percent of gross world product; they provide just under 20 percent of all UN military and police forces and observers; they assume a 40 percent share of the regular UN budget, 40 percent of the UN peacekeeping operations budget and a total of 50 percent of the UN programs budget; they provide over 60 percent of the troops in Bosnia, around 70 percent of the troops in Kosovo, over 98 percent of the troops in Macedonia, and virtually all the troops in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

If the Europeans have a weakness, and they do, it is their lack of political resolve to improve harmonization between their militaries, to improve the pooling of their monetary assets and to improve standardization in their equipment, thus making more efficient and more economic use of their financial resources.

So the frequently cited "technology gap" is the product of two developments: A lack of capability and a lack of preparedness on the part of the Europeans to invest on reasonable terms, and often enough a lack of preparedness on the part of our American friends to identify Transatlantic projects, to collaborate in implementing them and to organize the requisite technology transfer on the basis of joint technological development. We must do something to combat the causes of the problem on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Transatlantic link is also absolutely indispensable with regard to the (necessary) step-up in cooperation with Russia and other states.

We should have no illusions on either side of the Atlantic. Together, we account for 15 percent of world population. We constantly talk about a globalized world.

If we fail to maintain our interests and our values, our integration, our multi-nationality, then we will sap our own strength. But we will do something quite dangerous as well: We will jeopardize the example that European integration, the Transatlantic link and NATO can set to the world.

We will never have sufficient forces to be able to guarantee global security and global stability on our own. To do that, we will always need partners from across the Atlantic and around the world. We must have an interest in strengthening regional security structures in other parts of the world.

If we fail to use the example set by the Europeans and the Transatlantic partners to campaign for an enhancement of international security and the organizations responsible for it, as well as of intra- and inter-regional cooperation, then we will ultimately find ourselves confronted with a world that is more unstable than stable.

Four Ways to Improve the Alliance
Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut) United States Senate

The Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The Post-Cold War world ended on September 11, 2001. On that date we began a world war against terrorism, which directly responds to the newest global challenge to the swift spread of freedom - extremist Islamic terrorism. In 1946, Churchill described the Communist domination of Eastern Europe as an Iron Curtain that had descended across Europe, from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic.

Today, from the terrorist camps in the hills and valleys of Central Asia, to the sands of Somalia, Sudan and Saudi Arabia to cells in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and many other places including Europe and America, the fanatical forces of Jihad are trying to build a Theological Iron Curtain to divide the Muslim world from the rest of the globe.

But this is not, in my view, a war of Islam against the rest of the world. It is first a civil war within the Islamic world, between the militant and violent minority and the moderate and peaceful majority. We are all now caught in the crossfire of that bloody confrontation, and must therefore strengthen the moderate majority as we wage war against the fanatical minority. If the wrong side should win this civil war, the new Iron Curtain that would fall would imprison behind it hundreds of millions of people just as the old Iron Curtain did.

Fifty-three years ago, our nations answered a grave threat to our security by forming NATO. Today, I believe we can meet the new global threat of terrorism if we reform NATO, and its sense of itself, in four ways.

First, the attacks of September 11 and the response thus far in Afghanistan should settle the question, with which America once again recently §irted, of whether unilateralism can be an adequate answer to the array of threats we all face in the world today.

The answer is No. The United States has carried the bulk of the military load in Afghanistan to date, but the ongoing cooperation of coalition partners has been critical and will continue to be so. One good way for our Administration in Washington to express its gratitude for the multilateral support we are receiving from our NATO and non-NATO allies would be for it to act more multilaterally in other important areas such as global climate change.

Second is NATO's proper role and reach. For years, physical defense of member nations' home soil, as defined under Article V, has been the core of our alliance. That changed with Bosnia and then Kosovo, as NATO applied necessary force just outside its immediate borders for the common good of stability in Europe.

The awful events of September 11 prompted another evolution, as NATO invoked Article V, responding to the attacks on American soil by supporting a war against an enemy half a world away from America. Technology has collapsed geographical distinctions to the point that today, a plot conceived in North Africa, South America or Southeast Asia can pose just as serious a threat to NATO members' security as an aggressive military movement by a nearby nation. NATO must accept this new reality and embrace a more expansive geographical understanding of its mission.

Third, we must close the growing gap in armed forces capabilities between the United States and our European NATO partners. Allowing this gap to persist threatens European security, puts a disproportionate burden on the United States, and creates an awkward imbalance in our alliance.

America's military is the best in the world for a simple reason: we spend a lot to train our forces and to buy the sophisticated weapons systems they employ in combat. It's time for all NATO nations to overcome internal political resistance and place an immediate priority on upgrading their capabilities. And together we should develop new mechanisms within NATO to assure more effective war fighting together.

Fourth, NATO membership should be opened to a large number of nations. If it is, NATO can become an even more potent protector of Transatlantic and global security from threats including terrorism, a better facilitator of regional con§ict resolution, and a more in§uential incubator of democracy.

Any democratic European nation that meets NATO's criteria and is able to be a net contributor to the security of the whole should be admitted to the Alliance. I support welcoming into NATO at the Prague summit in November as many candidate nations as meet these criteria. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania have made impressive progress in that direction.

Since September 11, NATO's members and Russia have grown closer than ever. We must now also create new institutions that will engage us more consistently and beneficially with our great neighbor to the East.

Europe Must Make a More Balanced Contribution
Antonio Martino Minister of Defense of Italy

The lessons we have learned from the events of September 11 demand a systematic and conceptual examination of our security and defense policies in order to tailor them to a new and different situation.

Lesson one: terrorist threats may come from any part of the world. This means that we can no longer set geographic limits on the scope of our responsibilities, and must define a global defense and security concept to stand alongside the present regional concept.

We must uphold the legacy the Atlantic Alliance has built up in half a century of collective defense, enhanced by our ten-year experience with peace-support operations, and incorporate into it a new NATO and European Union strategy to combat terrorism.

Lesson two: the terrorist attacks have caused substantial economic damage to every country - rich, emerging and poor alike. This requires us to define more accurately another "primary public asset" that we have to defend in addition to the security of our citizens and our institutions: global market stability.

Lesson three: this entails a far larger increase in military and security expenditure than anyone could possibly have foreseen only a few months ago. The peace dividend that was to follow the end of the Cold War, which had already been put at risk by the numerous regional tensions and con§icts of the past ten years, has finally been exposed as an illusion.

At the same time, the ability to share these new costs by adopting forms of broader and more closely integrated international cooperation will obviously lighten the burden and make it more sustainable for each individual country.

Lesson four: events have shown how difficult it is to predict the threat, and how intrinsically vulnerable we are to unforeseeable events. But it is also the case that the threats tend to develop in particular areas, either because they are lawless and are ideal bases for the establishment of terrorist networks, or because they are ruled by governments that are hostile to us, or that have not yet been taught the need for peaceful coexistence.

I think it is obvious that it is our collective responsibility to bring order and good sense to these places, which is the main way we can prevent new threats from emerging. In short, the lesson is that we can no longer afford to leave "political vacuums" unfilled anywhere in the world. Such work clearly requires a well thought-out scale of priorities and a combination of diplomatic initiatives, deterrence and contributions to the development of the countries concerned.

Lesson five: the attacks of September 11 signal the risk of much more serious and destabilizing possible future threats: nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical. A prospect of this kind forces us to delineate priorities under what I would like to call the "broad prevention" concept, and take urgent measures to deal with these threats. This problem also raises the need to reorganize our systems of civil protection and international cooperation in order to manage mass emergencies more effectively.

Lesson six: NATO and the EU each within their own spheres of competence have demonstrated a formidable political cohesion and a strong capacity for operational mobilization. The lesson we have learned here is that the future development of any global security and defense system must also be based on these two pillars, and not only on ad hoc coalitions.

Once again, we are confronted by the problem of how to reduce the imbalance between the United States' military capabilities and those of Europe, because the new global defense and security tasks are on such a scale that they cannot be managed by the United States alone, and require that Europe make a greater contribution.

What are the consequences of these lessons for the development of the European security and defense environment?

Europe must become less inward-looking and more outward-reaching. This process has certainly been taking place for some time already. But so far it has been viewed in terms of exporting security to the areas that border on the European Union. Italy attaches priority to ensuring stability in the Balkans, but our national interest would also be greatly served by completing the concept of regional security, focusing pan-European and Atlantic resources on extending security within the Mediterranean area.

A debate should therefore be initiated on how to combine our regional defense mission with the new demands for a larger European contribution to the stability of a broader area of concern.

We all know that, at the present time, we lack the technical facilities we need to perform this broad security and defense mission effectively, even if we were in political agreement that we should embark upon it. But the EU must achieve such a capability without fail, by 2003. It is therefore not unrealistic to start including possible wider-ranging missions in our military-resource planning.

This leads to the issue of relations with the United States. My previous points imply that a common interest has already been established among America, Europe and Russia - an agreement on global defense and security. This being so, Europe's approach should be to work toward a more balanced relationship. Since we share identical interests and have similar economic dimensions, there must be a fairer sharing of responsibilities and costs, and hence of rights over decision-making regarding our common defense and security missions.

The strength and credibility of Europe will be achieved by establishing a less unbalanced relationship with the United States, enabling us to make a tangible and wider contribution to the world's security. It will obviously take time to acquire the capabilities that will be needed. But in my opinion, terrorism is driving us towards forms of closer European and Atlantic integration rather than towards more nationalistic security policies.

NATO must continue to stabilize and monitor the Balkans, establish permanently sound relations with Russia, step up the Mediterranean dialogue - to include the operational dimension - and embark on a reform of the structures and procedures needed to tailor its military capabilities to the new challenges and to strengthen the coordination of intelligence. The European Union must more effectively link its new military capabilities to its political, economic and development aid capabilities. And it must solidify the judicial and police cooperation that is currently being finalized.

The Candidates Want to Join a Strong NATO
Antanas Valioni Foreign Minister of Lithuania

The countries aspiring to NATO membership seek to join the Alliance because they regard it as a cornerstone of European security and a solid Transatlantic community of shared values. As countries knocking on NATO's door, we firmly believe in the Alliance's credibility as a strong and viable multinational organization, in its vital role in keeping Europe stable and linked to the United States and in its ability to adapt in a new era.

But will the enlargement of NATO strengthen or weaken the Alliance? The candidates are no less interested in the preservation of NATO efficiency than the current members. We do not want the future NATO to be a weak one. We are not going to stand by idly or passively and watch the Alliance being diluted.

Some are concerned about the possible impact of enlargement on the Transatlantic link between Europe and North America, which is essential to European security. I would argue that the admission of the present candidates will contribute to strengthening that link.

The candidates are clearly pursuing Transatlanticist policies. This bodes well for the political cohesion of the Alliance and the development of the Common European Security and Defense Policy.

Concerns have also been raised about the possible negative impact of enlargement on Alliance efficiency and decision-making. Current candidates actively contribute to the implementation of Allied decisions. The NATO candidates were unwavering in their political and practical support during the Kosovo crisis and the ongoing campaign against terror. Enlargement will free the political energies of current and prospective members for work on other issues of common concern.

What will the current candidates bring to the Alliance, how will they enrich today's NATO? New entrants will bring new capabilities, new enthusiasm for NATO and their own spirit of cooperation, which has evolved, especially over the past two years, among themselves and their neighbors.

The new entrants' integration into Alliance working proceedings will require less time and effort, because they have all gone through the rigorous training school and control mechanisms of the Membership Action Plan (MAP), the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and participation in NATO-led operations.

Candidates will also bring the solidarity and programs they developed while seeking membership. Allow me to name a few involving Lithuania:

The multilaterally supported Baltic defense cooperation projects, which will become a natural regional extension of NATO's integrated structure once Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are in NATO;

Our long-standing, bilateral relationships with virtually each and every NATO ally and non-aligned neighbor and partner. We firmly believe that NATO should further enhance its dialogue with Ukraine;

The culture of cooperation among the candidate countries within the Vilnius Group process, which we would like to continue and promote within and outside the Alliance.

The candidates will bring their own unique experience in the areas of economic, political and defense reform, democratic practices, civilian control over the military, bilateral and regional cooperation. We can share this experience with interested partners in such regions as the Trans-Caucasus or Central Asia and thus project and solidify common values, standards and practices.

The successful endeavors of the candidates could be incorporated into the Alliance's internal practices and converted from tools of membership preparation into tools of Allied action.

Last but not least, our contribution to the Alliance will include our policies promoting good-neighborly relations as well as our ability and openness to cooperate with Russia. This contribution will include, among other things, a fair knowledge of the Russian language and political culture.

As our Russian counterparts are aware, we are prepared to build further cooperative ties with that country based on the solid foundation that NATO membership will provide. It will be a relationship of the same constructive nature as Russia now shares with the two current NATO Allies on her border, Norway and Poland. We look forward to participating and contributing to the strengthening of the NATO-Russia dialogue.


This article was published in European Affairs: Volume number III, Issue number II in the Spring of 2002.

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