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New Prospects for Transatlantic Cooperation in Security and Defence

New Prospects for Transatlantic Cooperation in Security and Defence

Report [1] submitted on behalf of the Political Committee[2] by Mr Blaauw. Document 1626 - 9 November 1998.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Draft Recommendation on new prospects for transatlantic cooperation in security and defence

Explanatory Memorandum submitted by Mr Blaauw, Rapporteur

I. Introduction

II. Matters outstanding between the United States and its European allies

1. The United States, European integration and the creation of a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI)

2. Enlargement of the Euro-Atlantic institutions and their relations with Russia

3. A new political mission for the Atlantic Alliance and a new strategic concept for NATO

4. Euro-American cooperation in crisis management and the role of the United Nations and the OSCE

5. Outstanding issues in relation to disarmament and armaments control

6. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and anti-missile defence

7. Other issues

III. New prospects for transatlantic cooperation including the parliamentary dimension

IV. Conclusions

Draft Recommendation on new prospects for transatlantic cooperation in security and defence

The Assembly,

(i) Recalling that both Europeans and North Americans are faced with the challenges of reassessing future risks and threats likely to affect transatlantic security in the short, medium and longer term and of elaborating appropriate responses to these challenges;

(ii) Underlining the fundamental importance for Europe's security of both sides of the Atlantic partnership achieving a renewed common vision of their security partnership, enabling them to agree on a common assessment of risks and common security concepts based on an appropriate share of responsibilities;

(iii) Stressing the importance of the Atlantic Alliance summit meeting in Washington in April 1999, and of the European allies using it to introduce and gain acceptance for a common European approach to the definition of the Alliance's future political mission and NATO's future strategic concept, both of which must lead to a more balanced partnership between European and North American allies without calling into question the commitment entered into by all the allies to fulfil their obligations towards the defence of Europe;

(iv) Stressing also the need to use both next year's summit meeting between the European Union and the United States and the OSCE summit to give transatlantic relations new vision and dimension in the construction of a pan-European security system;

(v) Noting that the United States and its European allies continue to hold differing views, as do the latter among themselves, on the objective and scope of establishing a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) in the Alliance, with WEU as an essential element, and as they do on the consequences of the CFSP for the future shape of transatlantic relations;

(vi) Recalling that Europe will continue to have difficulty in becoming a partner in transatlantic leadership while it cannot speak to its North American allies with one voice;

(vii) Anxious that the difficulties stemming from United States reluctance to agree a NATO/WEU framework agreement for the transfer, monitoring, return or recall of NATO assets and capabilities in cases where crisis-management operations are to be carried out under the political control and strategic direction of WEU should be settled by the time NATO holds its summit meeting in April 1999;

(viii) Underlining the fact that WEU including its Assembly, as an integral part of the development of the European Union as provided for in the Amsterdam Treaty, should be involved in the implementation of the new transatlantic agenda and the joint US/EU action plan as far as all matters for which WEU is responsible are concerned;

(ix) Welcoming all proposals envisaging the establishment of true Euro-American political cooperation on the basis of a specific list of subjects of transatlantic interest that Europeans and Americans need to discuss;

(x) Deploring the fact that the United States, Turkey, China and Russia have all withheld signature of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Landmines, signed in Ottawa on 3 December 1997;

(xi) Deploring also that strong political differences between the US Congress and the US Administration have so far prevented the US from ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) - a development which might have unfortunate repercussions in future for India, Pakistan and North Korea's attitude towards it;

(xii) Noting with concern United States difficulties in implementing the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), stemming from an internal political power struggle between the US Congress and the US Administration;

(xiii) Concerned that the widening gap between the defence technologies of the United States and Europe might affect military and political interaction between the United States and its European allies in crisis situations;

(xiv) Concerned also that greater pressure from the US Senate on the Administration for appropriate countermeasures against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction among "rogue states" and terrorist groups is forcing the United States to impose trade sanctions on allied countries that could undermine transatlantic cohesion and solidarity;

(xv) Stressing therefore the importance of maintaining close transatlantic cooperation over export controls including those governing dual-use technologies;

(xvi) Concerned by the growing lack of interest in and incomprehension on the part of large sections of American society and Congress members of European security matters and Europe's complex system of security structures;

(xvii) Deeply regretting therefore the scant information the Council provided in its last annual report on the activities of the WEU Transatlantic Forum and, in particular, the decision not to invite the Assembly to participate in the Washington Conference organised on 30 June 1998,

RECOMMENDS THAT THE COUNCIL

1. Make a contribution to the preparation, for NATO's summit meeting in April 1999, of a concept for the Alliance's future political mission and the review of NATO's strategic concept which:

(a) makes clear that WEU's continued total reliance on NATO in carrying out its intrinsic defence obligations under Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty will depend on the continuing commitment by the United States to maintain combat ground forces in Europe in sufficient and credible numbers, and that the defence of Europe will remain a core function of NATO;

(b) develops scenarios in which crisis-management operations under European leadership in the framework of the ESDI could be more appropriate than operations undertaken by NATO as a whole and where it is in the United States' interest to make the appropriate arrangements between NATO and WEU allowing WEU to take action at NATO's request;

(c) develops a European view that seeks to facilitate the emergence of transatlantic consensus on how crisis-management operations carried out by either NATO or WEU are to be legitimated;

(d) explores the consequences of NATO's possible evolution into a more political organisation and of the development of the EAPC, the NATO-Russia Joint Partnership Council and the enhanced PfP process for: the future prospects of the ESDI and CFSP; the character of the Alliance's future relationship with the OSCE; and the future enlargement of Euro-Atlantic institutions and their relations with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other CIS countries;

2. Support proposals for a new "Harmel Report" which would not only incorporate the considerations set out in paragraph 1 but would also further the implementation of the ESDI component in the Amsterdam Treaty;

3. Ensure that WEU, as an integral part of the development of the European Union, is represented from now on at all meetings between the European Union and the United States in the framework of the new transatlantic agenda and joint US/EU action plan, in all matters where security-related questions are discussed;

4. Propose to the European Union that meetings scheduled under the transatlantic agenda and the US/EU action plan be transformed into a real Euro-American system of political cooperation offering a new dimension to the transatlantic dialogue, based on a specific list of subjects of transatlantic interest;

5. Inform the Assembly about the Council's 23 September 1997 decision on reassessment of the WEU Transatlantic Forum's activities and any action taken;

6. Issue a regular invitation to the Assembly and US Congress to attend conferences organised by the WEU Transatlantic Forum, with a view to establishing regular dialogue with the US Government, parliamentarians and representatives of American public opinion, ensuring that such events are organised alternately in the United States and Europe and are addressed by high-ranking European and American political authorities;

7. Support all measures in the appropriate framework to facilitate signature by the United States of the Convention on anti-personnel landmines and its implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Explanatory Memorandum (submitted by Mr Blaauw, Rapporteur)

I. Introduction

1. Since the Rapporteur's last report on "The United States and security in Europe", submitted on behalf of the Defence Committee[3], several new factors have emerged which are likely to affect transatlantic relations, particularly in the area of security and defence. One of them is the Berlin decision of the North Atlantic Council to develop a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) in the Alliance, with WEU as an essential element. A second is NATO's decision, at its Madrid summit meeting, to launch its enlargement process with an invitation to three central European countries to accede to the Washington Treaty in a first wave of enlargement and through the establishment of formal relations between NATO and Russia and NATO and Ukraine.

2. A third is the Amsterdam Treaty giving the European Union the power to avail itself of WEU for crisis-management operations and to establish general policy guidelines for it in such cases. The United States, which has so far expressed clear reservations regarding any form of subordination of WEU to the EU, is observing with special interest the provision of the Amsterdam Treaty that allows EU member countries with a tradition of neutrality, which are neither NATO nor WEU members, to have a say in matters concerning WEU in their capacity as members of the European Council and to participate in the decision-making process within WEU in cases where the EU avails itself of WEU for Petersberg-type missions.

3. A fourth factor is the development of US domestic and foreign policy during the second term of Mr Clinton's Presidency. Various signals are to be registered in this connection. Europe seems to feature less prominently than ever in the North American domestic debate. In his comprehensive "State of the Union" address to Congress on 27 January 1998, President Clinton mentioned Europe only once and then only as an afterthought to Asia. At the same time he underlined the importance of "new partners from Africa to India and Pakistan, from South America to China".

4. The US position regarding European integration, particularly in the security and defence area, remains ambiguous. The widening gulf between the United States and its European allies on various issues (for example China, Iran, Iraq or Turkey) is leading to a growing tendency on the part of the US Administration to take unilateral political decisions. Congress has voted legislation with extra-territorial effect against foreign, in other words European, companies dealing with countries against which the United States wants to bring sanctions (for example the "Iran-Libya Sanctions Act", the "Helms-Burton Act" - or more recently, the "Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act").

5. Relations between the United States and the United Nations remain difficult. President Clinton's decision in 1994 to give priority to US national security policy over UN multilateral peacekeeping measures is a permanent source of friction between Americans and Europeans. The need for crisis management in a number of new trouble spots such as Kosovo, and outstanding problems in relation to further enlargement of the Euro-Atlantic institutions to include central and eastern European countries, have again put Euro-American cooperation to the test.

6. Last, but not least, the United States and its European allies find themselves facing the challenge of defining together a new role and mission for the Atlantic Alliance and of revising NATO's strategic concept to enable it to deal with changing international circumstances since the end of the cold war. Furthermore, joint Euro-American positions need to be developed in areas where NATO-Russian cooperation is important - such as CFE-Treaty renegotiation, nuclear disarmament, control of weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missile defence and civil emergency planning.

7. During a visit to Washington and New York from 23-27 March 1998, the Political Committee took the opportunity to discuss the whole range of outstanding matters referred to above with representatives of the US State Department, the Pentagon, the National Security Council, Congress, the United Nations and a substantial number of research institutes and think-tanks. These contacts yielded some very useful information and elements for the preparation of the present report. Your Rapporteur was likewise able to gather further valuable information when he attended the Eleventh Multinational Conference on Theatre Missile Defence in Monterey, USA, from 1-4 June 1998.

II. Matters outstanding between the United States and its European allies

1. The United States, European integration and the creation of a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI)

8. Thanks to the publication of the memoirs of Wilhelm van Eekelen, former Secretary-General of WEU[4], we are aware of the text of a telegram dated 20 February 1991 from the then US Ambassador, Reginald Bartholomew, in which he summarised the United States' general approach to the development of a European security and defence identity. Although eight years have now elapsed since that message was sent, its contents are still valid for an understanding of the American position.

9. Referring to the development of an ESDI, Ambassador Batholomew stressed inter alia that: "While we understand that the political logic behind integration leads toward a union that ultimately encompasses security affairs, we believe that the primary yardstick against which proposals and institutional innovations need to be measured is whether they actually enhance Alliance defensive capabilities and make Europe more secure. Effectiveness in defence and security terms must continue to be the test by which suggestions for change are judged. We must work to maintain the transatlantic security ties we all agree are in our mutual interest ... In our view, efforts to construct a European pillar by redefining and limiting NATO's role, by weakening its structure, or by creating a monolithic bloc of certain members would be misguided. We would hope such efforts would be resisted firmly." ...

"... we are concerned over the proposals that WEU should be subordinated to the European Council, thereby developing a European security component - solely within the EC - that could lead to NATO's marginalisation.

In that the EC is clearly not "within the Alliance", subordinating WEU to it would accentuate the separation and independence of the European pillar from the Alliance. We do not see how this could help but weaken the integrity of our common transatlantic security and defence which has proved successful and, in our view, will remain crucial.

The EC, especially as it evolves, clearly has decision-making capacity. To the degree it becomes involved in matters of NATO's responsibility, avoidance of bloc positions may become impossible.

Such an arrangement could give non-NATO members a voice in the NATO Council via the WEU.

The reverse would also tend to be the case - that NATO would assume an implicit or indirect security commitment through EC influence over WEU for states which, while not NATO members, were part of the "European Union" and might call upon WEU forces." ...

10. As we know, in non-Article V matters at least, the Amsterdam Treaty conferred on the European Union the ability to set guidelines for WEU, which the United States wished to avoid it acquiring. As far as the question of burden-sharing between Europeans and North Americans was concerned, Ambassador Bartholomew expressed the opinion that it was "difficult to imagine operations a European pillar would become involved with that the US would not also consider of central importance" adding however that:

"We accept that outside Europe there can be a distinct and obvious role for the WEU and a different basis for transatlantic collaboration based on NATO-WEU linkage. This can be one of the most important lessons to be learned from the Gulf crisis."

Regarding European security and defence integration it seems that despite the Amsterdam Treaty the US position has not changed fundamentally. Thus the US Ambassador to Germany stressed in a speech on 4 March 1998 that WEU should retain its autonomous decision-making capacity.

11. During the Committee's visit to Washington, a State Department representative confirmed that the United States was generally supportive of gradual integration of the European Union and WEU. However, such integration could not be achieved for the present, as not all EU member countries were members of the Atlantic Alliance. Furthermore, the United States did not wish an EU caucus to be established in the Alliance. It was one of the essential characteristics of the Alliance that it was composed of individual member countries.

12. Similar positions were expressed by the US Ambassador to Germany during an informal meeting in Bonn with some members of the German Delegation to the WEU Assembly. Under this approach, the Washington Treaty would have to be totally renegotiated if the European pillar came to be represented by an integrated organisation rather than by individual countries. Concerns over the creation of a European caucus in NATO were also expressed by members of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

13. The US attitude towards the ESDI is to be seen in this general context. The essential condition under which the United States subscribes to the concept remains that it must be a process that is developed within the Alliance. However, even under those terms, strong reservations were expressed during the Political Committee's visit to the United States by certain representatives of research institutes, in particular those of the Council of Foreign Relations. Their argument could be summed up in the question: why, if NATO as a whole was able to act, was a separate identity needed? Europeans were unable to undertake crisis management on their own as the Balkan conflict had shown.

14. The emphasis constantly placed by the United States on the importance of maintaining transatlantic links through a strong Atlantic Alliance can be explained in a variety of ways. One theory is that it betrays an underlying American fear that US influence and leadership in Europe would be undermined if significant parts of the decision-making process were to take place in bodies outside the Atlantic Alliance. An alternative argument is that such an attitude reflects continuing US commitment to Europe's security, which is fundamentally in the latter's interest. It is of course warmly to be welcomed, as President Clinton once again stated in a speech he gave in Berlin in May 1998, that the United States is continuing to link its future destiny with that of Europe just as it did 50 years ago. Not surprisingly, however, alternative views abound among certain sections of public opinion and some academic circles. Thus at a meeting held on 24 March 1998, representatives of the CATO Institute in Washington tried to convince Political Committee members that Europe should defend itself through WEU. NATO would be abolished, to be succeeded by WEU. Nonetheless, the Committee returned from its trip to the United States with the distinct impression that such views were those of only a small minority.

15. During the Committee's visit to Washington, it was difficult for it to assess the position of Congress since, with the exception of Senator Edward Kennedy, it proved impossible to hold the meetings scheduled with the Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committees. Nevertheless, it would appear from remarks made by Senator Kennedy that information is seriously lacking about the development of European integration and the role of WEU in particular.

16. It should be remembered that the proposal with regard to implementation of the ESDI included arrangements to be agreed between NATO and WEU for the transfer, monitoring, return or recall of NATO assets and capabilities in cases where operations were carried out under the political control and

strategic direction of WEU. So far the United States has refused to agree to any automatic mechanism governing access to its national assets, which represent an important part of NATO assets. Negotiations on a framework agreement between NATO and WEU on use of NATO assets by WEU have so far not been finalised. On 28 May 1998, NATO foreign ministers therefore directed the Permanent Council to ensure that the necessary decisions are in place for the organisation's Washington summit meeting in April 1999. When Italy took over the Chairmanship-in-Office of the WEU Council, the country's permanent representatives stressed that the highest priority would be given to finalising the WEU/NATO framework agreement on principles governing the transfer, monitoring and return of NATO assets and capabilities. However, success will depend first and foremost on the attitude of the United States.

17. Another difficult issue for the Americans is an agreement on the modalities for WEU's participation in NATO's defence planning process, because it includes a role for non-allied WEU observer countries. Furthermore, as US Defence Secretary Cohen underlined at the last Conference on security policy in Munich, the United States is convinced that an ESDI is only possible if the European allies are prepared to do more as regards their own defence capabilities and in particular to allocate more financial resources to collective security.

18. In short, it should be noted that in terms both of the final objective and the practical implementation of an ESDI, the United States and its European allies are not yet entirely on the same wavelength. Moreover, a number of European countries also hold differing views. The overwhelming majority of European Union and WEU member countries are determined not to slacken their efforts to achieve the goal of a true security and defence dimension for the European Union and WEU's integration therein. Such a dimension would clearly lie outside the Atlantic Alliance. Even if there is little probability at present that a European defence will be achieved in the European Union in the foreseeable future, decisions are already being taken under its precursor, the CFSP, without reference to the Atlantic Alliance. At the 1997 Washington Conference of the WEU Transatlantic Forum, Ian M. Lodal, Deputy Under-Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Defense, raised the question as to whether the CFSP would help or hinder the Alliance's ability to develop a consensus. He asked in particular how the CFSP could be developed in such a way that it did not undercut that ability.

19. Should direct relations between the European Union and NATO be established at a later stage, as recently proposed by the German permanent delegation to NATO, this relationship would take on a totally new character. The United States would be confronted with joint European positions, not simply with those of individual countries. Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that giving the European Union direct responsibility in transatlantic security and defence cooperation will place that cooperation in the wider context of all the other transatlantic ties between the European Union and the United States. It is common knowledge that such relations are now more marked, at least in a number of respects, by competition and differences than by partnership and cooperation.

20. The purpose of these remarks is not to express reservations about European security and defence integration, but to point to the difficulties the United States predictably will have with it. In the absence of a major threat to the western world, much will need to be done on both sides of the Atlantic to maintain a strong and cohesive Atlantic Alliance.

21. As far as implementation of the ESDI is concerned, we are still a long way from achieving this so long as there is no agreement between the United States and its European allies on the transfer, monitoring and return or recall of NATO assets and capabilities in the context of a WEU-led operation with NATO support, on joint consultation arrangements and on the participation of non-NATO WEU observer countries in NATO's defence planning process.

22. Furthermore, there are still problems in implementing the CJTF concept and with preparations to implement the new command structure. According to the Final Communiqué issued after the North Atlantic Council Defence Ministers' meeting in Brussels on 11 June 1998, CJTF implementation is a key element of the Alliance's internal adjustment process. Furthermore, the CJTF arrangements will "facilitate the possible involvement of nations outside the Alliance in NATO-led operations and, by providing for the conduct of WEU-led CJTF operations, contribute greatly to the practical realisation of ESDI within the Alliance".

23. The specific problems still outstanding with regard to implementation of the CJTF concept are not mentioned overtly in either NATO or WEU declarations. Nevertheless, it is possible to draw inferences. On 11 June 1998, NATO Defence Ministers welcomed Spain's decision authorising its integration into the Alliance's new military structures. It is clear too that France's decision, yet to be acted upon, to return to NATO's military structures plays an important part in US attitudes towards the ESDI. Hence the US Ambassador to NATO, Alexander Vershbow, declared at the Wilton Park Conference on 22 January 1998 that the United States hoped that "with the adoption of measures to enhance the European role and permit NATO support to WEU-led operations, France will, in the not too distant future, join Spain in deciding to fully integrate its military forces into the new NATO command structure. ... My government very much hopes that work now under way to implement the new command arrangements and establish CJTF structures will serve as the basis for a step-by-step process of rapprochement between France and the NATO military structure - a process that can lead to greater interoperability and, over time, to full integration ...".

24. Although the United States has never established a formal link between its approval of the necessary practical arrangements for implementing the ESDI and CJTF and France's return to NATO's military structures, French attitudes are undoubtedly of major influence in any US thinking. It is therefore greatly to be hoped that differences outstanding between the two countries will be settled soon.

2. Enlargement of the Euro-Atlantic institutions and their relations with Russia

25. Initially reluctant to accept the idea put forward by some of its European allies to open up NATO to central and eastern European countries, the United States eventually took the lead in NATO's enlargement process and ended up by imposing wholesale on its European partners its views about "who" and "when". The choice of candidates to be admitted in the first wave of NATO enlargement has caused controversy between Americans and Europeans, but Europe is itself divided, with some European countries supporting the American point of view. Partners on both sides of the Atlantic were agreed that the applications of three of the 12 candidates for NATO membership - Albania, Bulgaria and FYROM - should be deferred. Similarly, Europeans and Americans were universally in agreement over the accession of three countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. However, notwithstanding the consensus among them in that particular respect, a major area of contention centred on the applications of Romania and Slovenia.

26. On 12 June 1997, US President Bill Clinton announced his decision that only three applicant countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland - would be admitted to an enlarged NATO. The President chose these three countries himself, though well aware of the position of the North Atlantic

Assembly, which had come out n favour of enlargement to include five countries, and of European countries such as France and Italy which supported Romania and Slovenia's applications. President Clinton furthermore stated that the US decision was non-negotiable. The President put forward three main arguments to justify his position: it would be easier for the United States to cope with a threefold enlargement; the cost would not be excessively high and any expansion of NATO would be easier to organise on that basis. Moreover there would then be a "reserve list" of second-wave applicants; it would be easier for NATO's door to remain ajar in the future if the first wave of enlargements went off successfully and the initial three applicants could be integrated quickly. Previous NATO enlargements had hitherto almost invariably involved only one applicant and the maximum intake had been in 1952 with the accession of two new members, Greece and Turkey; lastly, limited enlargement would be less likely to upset Russia, now the NATO-Russia Founding Act had been signed and a second round of enlargement would in all probability take less time to complete, which should be reassuring to those not in the first wave.

Hence at the Madrid NATO Summit, United States allies found themselves faced with a fait accompli.

27. In point of fact, although some European countries - Germany and the United Kingdom for instance - were in favour of opening up to only three new members, the US attitude was much criticized. It looked as though the United States had abandoned the process of consulting with its allies to opt for one specific choice. The Allies took the idea of a non-negotiable US decision somewhat amiss and would have preferred a more consultative approach, more serious discussion and, in short, a more democratic and less unilateralist method of arriving at a decision, despite the fact that President Clinton would not have ruled out Romania and Slovenia had he not first been sure of having the backing of a significant minority in the North Atlantic Council.

28. The outcome of Madrid showed, over and above any disagreement between Europeans and Americans, that when it came to foreign and security policy, Europe was not of one mind. It should be added that most European Finance Ministers had made it clear that there was no question of their meeting enlargement costs in excess of NATO's normal budget. It was therefore difficult to make out a case to the American Congress for five applicants and then refuse to accept the cost. The crux of the summit was therefore whether or not Romania and Slovenia would be mentioned by name in the final communiqué and whether the latter would include a timetable for the second wave of enlargement. The United States did not want there to be mention of Romania and Slovenia, both to avoid raising false hopes and giving specific commitments to particular states. However it was forced to concede. Foreign ministers had to find a formula acceptable to all concerned, which showed clearly that members wanted the door to remain ajar.

29. Since the Madrid Summit differing views have emerged between delegations as to how the text is to be interpreted. Those in favour of enlargement beyond the first three countries understand the reference to the April 1999 summit as an undertaking to open accession negotiations with Romania and Slovenia at that point in time, while the others emphasise that all that is involved is a review of the enlargement process, without further commitment as regards the future.

30. Furthermore, the question of how the membership applications of Bulgaria, Slovakia and the three Baltic states - as well as those of Albania, Bulgaria and FYROM - should be dealt with remains open. So far there is no evidence of any real US-European consultation mechanism on these issues since the US Senate ratified NATO's enlargement to include Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. It was therefore very useful to learn more about US thinking on future relations with central and eastern Europe in a briefing of the WEU Assembly's Political Committee given by a representative of the National Security Council in Washington on 23 March 1998.

31. There it was suggested that US interests are focused on two main areas: north-eastern areas of Europe, including the Baltic states, and south-eastern Europe where reference was made to Bulgaria, FYROM, Romania and Slovenia as stable, democratic countries. In terms of north-eastern Europe, the US-Baltic Partnership Charter concluded on 16 January 1998, does not give any firm US security guarantee to those countries. However, the United States specifies in that document that the shared goal of the partners is the Baltic states' full integration into European and transatlantic security and defence institutions. Furthermore, in reiterating OSCE declarations to the effect that each state has an inherent right to individual and collective self-defence as well as the right freely to choose its own security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, the US lends weight, through the Charter, to the three Baltic states' efforts to join NATO. No European organisation or European NATO member country has signed a similar commitment towards the Baltic states. Moreover, it is difficult to identify any coherent European approach to the security of the Baltic region, nor any common Euro-American thinking in this regard.

32. According to the National Security Council, US cooperation with the stable democracies in south-eastern Europe should not be regarded as a substitute for but as complementary to their future integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.

33. Such statements from the Committee's US government contacts appeared to suggest that the United States is keeping an open mind about candidates for further NATO enlargement and that no country is excluded in principle, notwithstanding the fact that Romania and Slovakia were not specifically mentioned. The State Department representative made clear that the US Administration does not support some of the ideas put forward in Congress, according to which enlargement of the European Union should precede that of NATO. Both processes should go hand in hand. In sharp contrast to the US Government representatives' firm commitment to proceed with NATO enlargement was the attitude expressed by several members of major research institutes with whom the Political Committee held comprehensive discussions during its stay in Washington and New York.

34. Fundamental reservations about the concept of NATO enlargement were expressed, with various arguments voiced for instance by representatives of the Council on Foreign Relations, the CATO Institute and to a lesser extent of the CSIS. Whereas the CATO Institute laid emphasis on the danger of

confrontation with Russia, the Council on Foreign Relations held the view that support for Russia was more important than any NATO enlargement. It was interesting to observe the reaction of the State Department to the question of whether the United States would be interested in a special status in WEU if that Organisation were to grant Russia such status. In his reply, the State Department representative pointed out that the respective situations of the United States and Russia were entirely different. WEU had a formal link with NATO and NATO membership was a condition for a country to become a full member of WEU. The United States already had a link with WEU through NATO and would not consider an invitation to Russia issued by WEU as an appropriate development. On the other hand, WEU should use its associate partner status and NATO its enhanced Partnership for Peace links to harmonise the enlargement policy of both organisations.

35. It is not easy to determine the rationale underlying the US approach to relations with Russia. The United States has always been keen to emphasise that NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. In a speech on the subject of NATO expansion given in Washington on 9 February 1998, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright acknowledged that no part of Europe faced an immediate threat of armed attack, but added that "this does not mean we face no dangers in Europe ... there are still questions about the future of Russia". What therefore, according to the US, should a democratic Russia's place be in the international security architecture?

36. Thus far the signals from the other side of the Atlantic are ambiguous. On the one hand, from the outset the United States never ruled out the possibility that Russia might even one day become a member of the Atlantic Alliance. In any event its representatives have observed from time to time that the question remains open[5]. On the other, the US Government was quick to reassure Congress that the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and Russia would not give the latter either a say in or a veto over decisions taken in NATO and that the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council would be a forum for explaining - not negotiating - NATO policy. The United States has, however, established a comprehensive system of bilateral contacts with Russia as the principal successor country of the Soviet Union, considered by the US to be the only power likely to be able to mount any kind of challenge to its leadership in the world, which has remained uncontested since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. This situation has meant that the United States tends to deal bilaterally with the Russian Federation on a number of important international issues, without involving or consulting its European allies.

37. Europe, however, is faced with the challenge of Russia's steadfast efforts to become integrated into European organisations, the intention being clearly to reduce American influence in Europe and become involved as much as possible in the European decision-making process. While it is obvious that Europeans and Americans have to decide for themselves how they want to shape their relations with Russia, it is equally obvious that both sides have to take account of the consequences the nature of such relations will have for transatlantic ties and cooperation. At present, consultations on ties with Russia between Europe and America take place mainly in the framework of the Atlantic Alliance, and their subject matter relates primarily to areas governed by the Washington Treaty. The issue is whether there is enough Euro-American dialogue on Russian questions going on outside the NATO consultative machinery.

38. The new Transatlantic Agenda signed on 3 December 1995 between the European Union and the United States underlines the determination of the transatlantic partners to strengthen their cooperation in order to consolidate democracy and stability in Russia, Ukraine and other newly independent states. It continues: "An enduring and stable security framework for Europe must include these nations. We intend to continue building close partnership with a democratic Russia". These intentions are however very vague. According to the joint US/EU action plan agreed at the same time, annual high-level consultations between the European Union and the United States will deal with the problem of consolidating democracy, stability and the transition to market economics in Russia. However, nothing concrete is planned in terms of harmonising European and American approaches towards Russia in the area of foreign and security policy.

39. However, a proposal for creating real Euro-American political cooperation has recently been put forward[6]. Such an approach seems not only useful but necessary and the EU/US Transatlantic Agenda could be an appropriate framework for such cooperation. The question of political and security ties with Russia should become one of the most topical subjects for discussion. But it also raises the matter of whether WEU would be involved in such a dialogue in relation to security and defence matters. The stronger the ties between WEU and Russia, the greater the need for WEU/US dialogue in that connection. Such dialogue could, for the time being, be developed through existing channels between WEU and NATO but should not rule out direct contacts.

3. A new political mission for the Atlantic Alliance and a new strategic concept for NATO

40. It would seem that both American and European thinking as regards development of a political role for the Atlantic Alliance is still in its formative stages and agreement on sound joint concepts is still some way off. In particular it would appear that major differences can be detected within America's own internal debate. According to the US Ambassador to Germany, John Kornblum, NATO is rapidly developing into a pan-European security organisation. US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott's endorsement in March 1998 of Russia eventually joining NATO[7] is in line with this approach. However, in his address to the Wilton Park Conference on 22 January 1998 the new US Ambassador to NATO, Alexander Vershbow, was much more cautious in limiting himself to describing the then official United States position:

"By 1996, the main lines of President Clinton's vision for NATO were in place. The Alliance's military structures would be adapted to increase flexibility to meet new threats and to afford a greater role for European members of the Alliance. The Alliance would admit new members and pursue the Partnership for Peace to extend stability outward. And finally, the Alliance would do both while maintaining a robust, integrated military capability based upon consensus and the transatlantic link."

41. The European approach to a new political role for the Atlantic Alliance is marked in particular by the fact that Europe is mainly a regional power which in general pays attention to international challenges only inasmuch as they put Europe's own territory at risk. The United States is a world power and sees every international conflict in relation to its own perception of international order. There is therefore still a great deal to be done to harmonise European and American views on the future political role of the Atlantic Alliance - particularly in connection with the United Nations and OSCE.

42. More specific progress has been made in elaborating a new strategic concept for NATO. At its summit in Madrid in July 1997, NATO decided to review the Strategic Concept adopted in 1991 to ensure that it was fully consistent with Europe's new security situation and challenges. In an article published in December 1997 in the International Herald Tribune[8], two senior analysts from the Rand Corporation proposed that a revised NATO strategy should focus on the following issues:

"First and foremost, the Alliance needs to redefine its strategic purpose now that the cold war is over and forge agreement on the threats to these objectives and how to deal with them.

It has become abundantly clear in an era of globalisation and interdependence that defence of territory is no longer synonymous with security. NATO needs to cope with a broader and more complex range of threats to peace, security and prosperity, in particular the security of Gulf oil supplies and "rogue state" attacks on NATO territory.

Second, new guidelines for NATO's force planning and military posture will be needed to implement the new strategic concept. While Article 5 obligations should remain a core security function, if the Alliance puts greater emphasis on force projection beyond NATO territory it will face a host of thorny political, military and budgetary issues.

What goal and resource commitments should the Alliance set? What is the appropriate balance between US and allied military contributions for new missions in an enlarged NATO and beyond NATO territory?…

The United States and Europe need a reformed and rejuvenated NATO to maintain peace, prosperity and stability from the Atlantic to the Urals. Moreover, in an area of budget cuts, troop reductions and multiplying demands on US forces around the globe, the United States will need to rely increasingly on its NATO allies to coordinate policies and contribute assets on a range of issues."

43. However, when the US Senate ratified the first wave of NATO enlargement on 30 April 1998, it imposed a number of firm conditions concerning NATO's future Strategic Concept, as follows:

"The Senate understands that the policy of the United States is that the core concept contained in the 1991 Strategic Concept of NATO ... which adapted NATO's strategy to the post-cold war environment, remains valid today, and that the upcoming revision of that document will reflect the following principles:

(i) First and foremost a military Alliance. NATO is first and foremost a military Alliance. NATO's success in securing peace is predicated on its military strength and strategic unity.

(ii) Principal foundation for defence of security interests of NATO members. NATO serves as the principal foundation for collectively defending the security interests of its members against external threats.

(iii) Promotion and protection of United States vital national security interests. Strong United States leadership of NATO promotes and protects United States vital national security interests.

(iv) United States leadership role. The United States maintains its leadership role in NATO through the stationing of United States combat forces in Europe, providing military commanders for key NATO commands, and through the presence of United States nuclear forces on the territory of Europe.

(v) Common threats. NATO members will face common threats to their security in the post-cold war environment, including:

the potential for the re-emergence of a hegemonic power confronting Europe;

rogue states and non-state actors possessing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and the means to deliver these weapons by ballistic or cruise missiles, or other unconventional delivery means;

threats of a wider nature, including the description of the flow of vital resources, and other possible transnational threats; and conflict in the North and Atlantic area stemming from ethnic and religious enmity, the revival of historical disputes, or the actions of undemocratic leaders.

(vi) Core mission of NATO. Defence planning will affirm a commitment by NATO members to a credible capability for collective self-defence, which remains the core mission of NATO. All NATO members will contribute to the core mission.

(vii) Capacity to respond to common threats. NATO's continued success requires a credible military capability to deter and respond to common threats. Building on its core capabilities for collective self-defence of its members, NATO will ensure that its military force structure, defence planning, command structures and force goals promote NATO's capacity to project power when the security of a NATO member is threatened, and provide a basis for an ad hoc coalition of willing partners among NATO members. This will require that NATO members possess national military capabilities to rapidly deploy forces over long distances, sustain operations for extended periods of time and operate jointly with the United States in high intensity conflicts.

(viii) Integrated Military Structure. The Integrated Military Structure of NATO underpins NATO's effectiveness as a military Alliance by embedding NATO members in a process of cooperative defence planning and ensuring unity of command.

(ix) Nuclear posture. Nuclear weapons will continue to make an essential contribution to deterring aggression, especially aggression by potential adversaries armed with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. A credible NATO nuclear deterrent posture requires the stationing of United States nuclear forces in Europe, which provides an essential political and military link between Europe and North America, and the widespread participation of NATO members in nuclear roles. In addition, the NATO deterrent posture will continue to ensure uncertainty in the mind of any potential aggressor about the nature of the response by NATO members to military aggression.

(x) Burden-sharing. The responsibility and financial burden of defending the democracies of Europe will be more equitably shared in a manner in which specific obligations and force goals are met by NATO members."

On the fundamental importance of collective defence, the Senate declared that:

"(i) In order for NATO to serve the security interests of the United States, the core purpose of NATO must continue to be the collective defence of the territory of all NATO members; and (ii) NATO may also, pursuant to Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty, on a case-by-case basis, engage in other missions when there is a consensus among its members that there is a threat to the security and interests of NATO members."

With regard to defence planning, command structures and force goals, the Senate declared that:

"NATO must continue to pursue defence planning, command structures and force goals to meet the requirements of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty as well as the requirements of other missions agreed upon by NATO members, but must do so in a manner that first and foremost ensures under the North Atlantic Treaty the ability of NATO to deter and counter any significant military threat to the territory of any NATO member."

The Senate also required that "Not later than 180 days after the date of adoption of this resolution, the President shall submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report on the Strategic Concept of NATO."

44. This means that any report would need to be submitted no later than November 1998, well before the Atlantic Alliance takes a decision at its summit in April 1999. In a discussion with members of the North Atlantic Assembly on 26 May 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the US President's former security advisor, believed that the firm position taken by the Senate was merely the starting point for major debate and not necessarily binding on the US executive. Furthermore, it should be remembered that the revision of NATO's Strategic Concept is only one aspect of the wider debate on redefining NATO's new role and mission.

45. As the State Department representatives explained to the Political Committee in Washington on 25 March 1998, the US Government is considering NATO's new mission both in the perspective of the creation of a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) and in that of developing the OSCE, which is also to organise a summit in 1999. The occasion will be used to hammer out a European Security Charter, an undertaking the United States would support. According to the State Department representative, the essential basis of the Helsinki Final Act needed to be changed, but it was not quite clear in which direction.

46. According to articles that have appeared in the press[9], proposals have been put forward in NATO to proceed with a "dual-pack" approach: it would update its 1991 document on NATO's Strategic Concept and at the same time adopt a highly political document - a "Washington Declaration" - containing a comprehensive vision of NATO's future. In the opinion of the two senior analysts from the Rand Corporation referred to in paragraph 42, such an approach runs the risk of "producing a strategic concept that ratifies the status quo and a Washington Declaration long on visionary rhetoric, but divorced from NATO's force planning process". They therefore think it would be better for NATO to mandate the drawing up of a post-cold war version of the Harmel report. The Rand Corporation analysts feel that Harmel II "would take a fundamental look at NATO's future and articulate a bolder, less inhibited vision for the 21st century, while establishing a direct link to NATO's force planning process. Instead of trying to negotiate a new vision by consensus in the strategic concept, likely leading to a messy debate and a compromised document, Harmel II could be mandated at the Washington summit or perhaps even launched immediately and approved at the summit".

47. As to the European approach to the definition of a "new NATO", there is no evidence that NATO's European members have already worked out a common vision in this respect, nor that they have the intention to do so. However, both the elaboration of NATO's new political mission and new strategic concept are of vital importance and have implications for Europe as a whole and for the development of the ESDI with WEU as an essential element.

48. If the ESDI is to make political sense, it goes without saying that WEU should make a contribution to defining NATO's new political role and to the revision of the strategic concept to be adopted at NATO's April 1999 summit. The decisions reached by NATO on that occasion will have an important impact both on future transatlantic security and defence cooperation and on WEU's role as defined in Berlin and Madrid. A WEU input into NATO preparation for the 1999 summit meeting document is essential in order to clarify the wider role and responsibilities Europe can assume for its own security and to establish guidelines for a future division of labour between NATO and WEU. According to the WEU Secretary-General, the ESDI as such "is an aspect of transatlantic burden-sharing and of Europeans' shared interests"[10].

49. A WEU input into the development of a new political and strategic concept for NATO will not only constitute an important contribution to the strengthening of transatlantic cohesion; it will also help draw together the various ideas and positions put forward so far in a number of member countries. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for establishing an inventory of all outstanding questions to be settled to enable NATO and WEU to face future challenges and risks. Concerning WEU's thinking in this respect, the aspects described below should be noted.

50. According to NATO Secretary-General, Javier Solana[11], NATO's future emphasis will mainly be on collective security and comprehensive crisis management. At the same time, WEU's Secretary-General, José Cutileiro, stated that "WEU today is a politico-military tool at the disposal of European countries for crisis-management operations"[12]. In line with NATO's Berlin decisions, he specified that WEU would "go into action in cases where Europeans ... wish to address a particular crisis and North Americans - for whatever reasons and fully understanding that European decision - will not wish to participate directly and take the military lead".

51. Whether such cases continue to be hypothetical or not will depend on the direction in which NATO evolves and what the consequences of the "new NATO" are for United States leadership. It will, for instance, have a significant impact if NATO becomes a political organisation as its Secretary-General has announced, and if preventive diplomacy is included among its activities. So far the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam have empowered WEU to act at the request of the European Union. But is it not also conceivable that it could act at the request of NATO?

52. Some European analysts point out that the review of the Alliance's Strategic Concept should specifically deal with the future cohesion of the Alliance. One of them, Rob de Wijk, from the Netherlands Clingendael Institute for International Relations[13], suggests that:

"... In the future NATO will have to deal with limited risks which will require limited responses. These limited risks will be a continuous test of unity within NATO because the question is whether all the allies would be prepared to make a contribution to regional collective defence and crisis management or peace-support operations outside the treaty area."

53. If NATO is able to request WEU to engage in crisis management, the Alliance's cohesion is not called into question. At the same time this approach would avoid another problem to which attention has been drawn by your Rapporteur but also, in particular, by the WEU Secretary-General, namely the tendency among European nations to set up ad hoc coalitions for crisis management, as occurred last year with Albania[14], rather than availing themselves of WEU.

54. It has been suggested that, as a consequence of the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties, the European Union is the hub of European collective will - therefore, WEU should derive its political momentum from the European Union - and that such momentum makes WEU a meaningful crisis-management tool. However, it is recognised that this is not a sine qua non for sending WEU into action. As experience shows, it is not always the case that a decision can be reached in time by the 15 EU countries for the European Union to avail itself of WEU in a given crisis. Furthermore, there is as yet no firm political resolve within the European Union to have recourse to WEU.

55. If NATO is increasingly to become a political instrument for crisis management and given that the Alliance, under American leadership, was the institution which finally took the decisions necessary to put an end to the war in Bosnia, it would be very useful if it were possible in certain cases for it too to give political momentum to WEU, by requesting it to take action for instance. Such requests would be political and would not constitute any kind of subordination of WEU to NATO authority. Decisions to act would be taken by the WEU Council. However it would be very useful to complete the range of instances in which WEU could take action. The case where Europeans wish to address a particular crisis and North Americans understand their decision without wishing to participate, may not be the only one. There could also be the case where North Americans themselves want Europeans to act.

56. If it were possible for them to put forward such a request through NATO, which would accordingly get in touch with WEU, the cohesion of the Atlantic Alliance would be as little affected as by a European decision to take action in a given crisis. Conversely, such an option would actually strengthen transatlantic cohesion and circumvent what might perhaps be difficult discussions withn the Alliance. When elaborating terms of reference for the "new NATO" and its new strategic concept, the possibility of NATO availing itself of WEU for crisis management and conflict prevention should be included, with WEU's agreement. This would be an important contribution towards implementing the concept of interlocking institutions.

4. Euro-American cooperation in crisis management and the role of the United Nations and the OSCE

57. Another question that interests the United States, NATO, all countries participating in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and WEU is the way in which crisis-management organisations such as NATO and WEU need formal legal authorisation from the United Nations before they are able to act. As Jan Petersen, the Norwegian Chairman of the North Atlantic Assembly's Political Committee rightly points out,[15] the NATO-Russia Founding Act stipulates generally that any actions undertaken by NATO or Russia, together or separately, must be consistent with the United Nations Charter and the OSCE's governing principles. However, according to the "basic elements" document of July 1997 in the CFE Treaty adaptation negotiations, equipment thresholds in Europe can be temporarily exceeded by "missions in support of peace only under a mandate from the United Nations or the OSCE".

58. It can be seen that, in the present discussions on possible intervention by NATO in the Kosovo conflict, not only are opinions among NATO member states divided on the question of an explicit United Nations mandate (the United States strongly supports the view that a mandate is not necessary), there is even dissent within the departments of certain European member governments. This is hardly surprising in view of the fundamental importance of this question for future crisis-management operations. According to reports in the press[16] these problems were at the heart of the discussions in Washington w 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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