Click here for the full text.
Department of Defense
Office of International Security Affairs
Washington D.C. , 2001

United States Security Strategy for Europe and NATO
Building a New European Security Architecture

Partnership for Peace

President Clinton's Partnership for Peace initiative was the centerpiece of the January 1994 NATO Summit. This initiative sought to go beyond the dialogue and cooperation already underway in the NACC and to forge a real partnership with the new Eastern democracies as well as other European states, such as the former neutrals, willing and able to participate. The Partnership will expand and intensify political and military cooperation throughout Europe. Participating states will work within PFP in concrete ways to promote transparency in defense planning, democratic control of the military, and joint planning and training with NATO military forces. Over the long term, a key objective is to develop partner capabilities to operate effectively with NATO forces in such fields as peacekeeping, search and rescue, and humanitarian assistance. Those who participate actively will begin developing the standard operating procedures, the habits of cooperation, and the routines of consultation that are the lifeblood of an effective military relationship.

Within the Partnership each participating state will be encouraged to pursue its relationship with NATO at a pace and scope determined by its own capabilities and interests. To join PFP, the first step is to sign the Framework Document approved at the 1994 Summit. A partner then outlines its interests in PFP and advises NATO of what it plans to contribute. Essentially, while NATO develops an overall Partnership Work Program, each partner "creates" an individual program tailored to its own needs. This is formalized in an agreed Individual Partnership Program which the partner and NATO work out on a bilateral basis. The overall work program and individual programs will then be updated on an annual basis. As this process evolves, we expect that some partners, through a process of self-differentiation, will become fully ready to join the Alliance as effective contributors to NATO's common security.

In its first year, PFP has evolved from a promising idea to a bold reality. Important developments include the following:

As of April 1995, 26 nations have joined PFP including all of the former Warsaw Pact nations and their successor states, except Tajikistan, and most of the former neutrals. Several have full-time representatives at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

A Partnership Coordination Cell has been established at Mons, Belgium (the location of the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe) to carry out the military coordination and planning necessary to implement PFP programs. Most partners have full-time liaison officers there.

After developing an initial Partnership Work Program for 1994, the Alliance has approved a much more ambitious program for 1995 -- including hundreds of training, planning and consultation activities involving almost all of NATO's principal committees.

Most partners have already concluded agreed Individual Partnership Programs, and the first updating of these programs is now underway.

Three exercises involving forces from partners and NATO countries were held last fall in Poland, the Netherlands and the North Sea. Over ten more complex field exercises and over 100 related events are scheduled for 1995, including several exercises in partner nations and a U.S.-hosted peacekeeping exercise at Fort Polk, Louisiana in the summer of 1995. In addition, there will be numerous bilateral exercises with partner nations "in the spirit of PFP."

A PFP defense planning and review process, similar to the Alliance's force planning system, was launched in January 1995. This will be a key means for achieving the goal of developing partner forces that can operate effectively with NATO forces. Fourteen partners have elected to participate in this process. Most have already responded to a PFP survey, sharing data on their overall defense programs and identifying shortfalls in the interoperability of their forces. The Alliance has already begun to agree on interoperability objectives for each participant, which will be refined and further developed in subsequent iterations of this process. 

PFP is already having a significant effect on partner nations. For example, some partners are submitting their Individual Partnership Programs to their parliaments for approval --establishing legislative oversight of military policy for the first time in recent history. Some are also beginning, with bilateral assistance as well as guidance from NATO, to organize most if not all of their armed forces around NATO planning concepts. Perhaps most important, PFP is already succeeding in extending eastward the zone of stability that NATO has helped to establish within the Alliance. A case in point is Hungary and Romania. These two nations, which have long-standing historic grievances, are using their cooperation with NATO to improve their bilateral security relationship.

Successful implementation of PFP's many objectives requires adequate funding. Many partners lack the resources to take full advantage of what NATO is offering. While partners are expected to pay their own way to the maximum extent feasible, we must ensure that adequate funding is available at NATO and in national bilateral channels to maintain the momentum of PFP.

Overall, the United States considers the Partnership an integral and lasting part of the new European security architecture. As the Alliance has made clear from the outset, participation in PFP will not guarantee admission to NATO but is the path to membership for countries wanting to join. For some, PFP will be an essential tool in the demanding task of preparing themselves to meet the responsibilities of full NATO membership. PFP also provides a valuable framework for evaluating the ability of each partner to assume the obligations and commitments of NATO membership -- a testing ground for their capabilities. 

PFP will have an equally important role to play for those partners not initially admitted into the Alliance or that do not wish to become NATO members. For them PFP could be their key link to the Alliance for many years to come. A robust and vigorous PFP will provide them with critical reassurance that NATO is concerned with their security as well as providing a structure for increasing close cooperation with NATO -- in itself an important relationship for continued stability and security in Europe. Hence, for the foreseeable future, the dynamic interaction between NATO members and non-members through PFP will be an essential part of our overall efforts to move beyond the competitive alliance systems that have long plagued European history and to extend eastward a "zone of stability" to Europe as a whole.

NATO Enlargement

Another key element of the new European security architecture will be NATO enlargement. In the communique of the Alliance Summit in January 1994, NATO Heads of State and Government stated that they "expect and would welcome NATO expansion that would reach to democratic states to our East, as part of an evolutionary process, taking into account political and security developments in the whole of Europe." This initiative in part responded to the strong interest in NATO enlargement by several of the new democracies of Central Europe. As President Clinton has said, the question is not whether enlargement will happen, but when and how.

This Summit commitment to enlargement was given additional impetus at the NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting in December 1994. Specifically, the Foreign Ministers accepted a U.S. proposal to launch a study of "how NATO will enlarge, the principles to guide this process and the implications of membership." This study is scheduled for completion in mid-1995, and the results will then be briefed to interested PFP partners. At their December 1995 meeting, the Ministers will assess the discussions with partners and decide on the next steps.

There is general agreement within the Alliance on several key points regarding NATO enlargement. These include the following:

NATO enlargement should contribute to stability and security in the entire Euro-Atlantic region and not pose a threat to any nation.

Enlargement should be gradual, deliberate, and transparent -- not secret.

There is no timetable or list of nations that will be invited to join NATO. The answers to the critical questions of who and when will emerge after completion of the current phase of this process.

Each nation will be considered individually, on a case-by-case basis.

The decisions as to who joins NATO and when will be made exclusively by the Alliance. No outside nation will exercise a veto.

All members, regardless of size, strength or location, should be full members of the Alliance, with equal rights and obligations. 

As NATO proceeds with enlargement, the United States will seek to ensure that NATO continues to adhere to the principles that have made it the strongest and most successful Alliance in history. The first of these is commitment to democratic values. Although specific criteria for membership have not been determined, certain fundamental precepts reflected in the original Washington Treaty remain as valid as they were in 1949. New members must be democratic, have market economies, protect freedom and human rights inside their borders and be committed to responsible security policies outside their borders. As President Clinton has stated, "countries with repressive political systems, countries with designs on their neighbors, countries with militaries unchecked by civilian control or with closed economic systems need not apply."

A second key principle is the need to preserve solidarity. NATO, even with an enlarged membership, must continue to work by consensus. New NATO members will not be expected to agree on everything. But they must be willing to hammer out differences on security matters in a spirit of cooperation. For the maintenance of Alliance unity, a commitment to building consensus is essential.

Third, NATO must remain committed to an effective collective defense. New members must be prepared to defend the Alliance and have the capable, professional military forces to do it. At the same time, NATO must be prepared to come to the defense of any new member. In the U.S. view, an important implication is that new members must commit to joining the integrated military structure of the Alliance. Participation in that structure is critical to preserve the military effectiveness of the Alliance.

A closely related principle is the need to strive toward interoperability of military forces. While full interoperability cannot be expected -- and indeed does not exist even among current NATO members -- the forces of new members must be capable of operating with NATO's forces, at least at a minimal level of efficiency. This means being open with defense budgets and plans, having common defense doctrine and procedures, and commonality on some equipment, especially communications equipment.

As previously suggested, the best way to prepare prospective members to become effective contributors to NATO is active participation in the Partnership for Peace. NATO enlargement and PFP are thus not alternatives to each other; they are complementary processes. They are both part of a mutually supporting, seamless whole that must work together to achieve our vision of an expanded Alliance coupled with a robust partnership.

Cooperation with Russia

Another key element in the new architecture is strengthening cooperation with Russia. Russia is preeminent by its size, geostrategic importance, and military potential among the states emerging from communist tyranny, and is sure to have a major influence on Europe's security. An active and constructive security relationship with Russia is critical to building a stable European future. If the West is to create an enduring and stable security framework for Europe, it must solve the enduring strategic problem of integrating the former communist states, especially Russia, into a stable European security system.

To this end, the United States and its allies are pursuing strengthened relations with Russia on a bilateral basis, as well as in various multinational fora. Russia is already involved in most aspects of the emerging architecture. It participates actively in the OSCE and worked closely with the United States in upgrading that organization. Russia has signed an ambitious partnership agreement with the EU. It is a candidate for membership in the Council of Europe and the OECD. The United States supports deeper Russian participation in the Group of 7 industrialized nations and is sponsoring Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization, successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. For the first time since 1945, Russia is participating, as a member of the Contact Group on Bosnia, in a multinational negotiating team presenting a unified position on a difficult European security issue.

As part of these European ties, the United States and its NATO allies have agreed with Russia to develop relations between the Alliance and Russia, in parallel to NATO expansion, both within PFP and outside it. The need for a special effort toward Russia is inherent in Russia's importance in European security. Indeed, if NATO expansion and PFP are to succeed in their goal of helping to ensure a more stable and secure Europe for all Europeans, a close, enduring, and cooperative relationship between NATO and Russia is absolutely essential. Of course, we face challenges in defining and developing this relationship. Although Russia has joined PFP, many Russians still harbor a negative attitude toward NATO and its policies. This reaction reflects Russian misconceptions concerning NATO's process of enlargement, and historical habits of regarding NATO as Russia's "enemy." Through cooperation with NATO, Russia will see that the Alliance is no enemy, that a stable Central Europe is in Russia's interest, and that the United States and its allies are working to avoid the divisions that existed in the past.

The first steps in building a new NATO- Russia relationship have already been agreed to in principle -- active Russian participation in PFP commensurate with that nation's importance and capabilities, and implementation of the plan for cooperation in a wide range of areas outside PFP. Beyond that, we are considering how we could establish a new longer-term NATO-Russia relationship in time, through some type of formal agreement. The precise nature of such an agreement, as to form and content, remains to be determined. It could well involve substantially enhanced consultation procedures on issues affecting European security. It would also likely involve mutual guarantees of peaceful relations. In the months ahead, we hope the Alliance and Russia can achieve an understanding on the direction in which the NATO-Russian relationship should evolve.

The goal of such an arrangement will be to ensure, without compromising either NATO's or Russia's right of independent decision, that each is fully aware of the other's concerns and that there are no "surprises" on issues of mutual concern. We intend to develop such an arrangement in parallel with progress on NATO enlargement. However, neither Russia nor any other nation outside the Alliance will have a veto over that process. Enlargement and development of the NATO-Russia relationship are complementary yet separate priorities.

EU Integration and Expansion

An expanded European Union will be another important element of the new European security architecture. For more than forty years both Democratic and Republican Administrations have supported peaceful European integration. The EU not only has achieved deeper economic integration, but also has taken significant steps toward strengthening its political and security identity.

The Maastricht Treaty in 1991 provided for a Common Foreign and Security Policy and requested that the WEU elaborate and implement decisions and actions of the Union which have defense implications. The EU has already designated certain areas, such as humanitarian aid for Bosnia and the Middle East peace process for joint action. The EU's intergovernmental conference in 1996 will review Maastricht Treaty provisions and discuss, inter alia, options for developing the WEU's relationship with the EU and institutionalizing issues related to further EU expansion. In January 1995, the EU accepted Austria, Sweden, and Finland as new members.

The West Europeans' desire for a European security and defense identity has led to deeper relations between NATO and the WEU. EU members that are members in NATO form the strong European Pillar of the Alliance. The new CJTF initiative, as discussed above, will allow the use of NATO assets in "Europe-only" WEU contingencies.

Future expansion of the EU and WEU can be integral to strengthening security and stability in Europe, but there is a need for complementarity with the process of NATO enlargement. Divergence in WEU and NATO membership could lead to asymmetries in the security commitments of the two organizations and create "backdoor" security guarantees for non-NATO members.

Strengthening OSCE

Security in Europe today means resolving conflicts, many of them centuries old, before they escalate into warfare as Bosnia has. This is why we have strengthened mechanisms formerly associated with the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We are also making vigorous use of its norms, ensuring full implementation of its commitments, and increasing political and material support for its conflict prevention activities. The OSCE is not only the "Conscience of Europe," it is also the only pan-European security body. This provides it with a special role as a unique forum for addressing issues important to its members.

Under the leadership of the United States, a significant evolution of the OSCE, beyond the adoption of a new name, was started in December 1994 at the Budapest Summit. OSCE members developed a comprehensive framework for the future of conventional arms control, established uniform non-proliferation principles among the 52 member nations, and pledged greater political and material support for the High Commissioner on National Minorities, the preventive diplomacy missions, and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Furthermore, Russia and the OSCE as a whole agreed to merge negotiating efforts on the difficult issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and to provide an OSCE peacekeeping mission there once a political agreement is reached. All of these achievements are important steps on OSCE's path to becoming a more meaningful organization with greater capabilities, operating without regard to old Cold War dividing lines.

These decisions complement our efforts at NATO, and the efforts of the European Union to pursue cooperative, integrated security structures for Europe. The OSCE, NATO, and the EU each have unique, necessary roles. The functions as well as the structures of the OSCE, NATO, and the EU are entirely different, and shall remain so; each will retain its separate authority, even as their roles complement each other. We must also develop new methods to identify and deal with future potential "Bosnias" by addressing at an early stage the causes of conflict. We are bolstering the OSCE so it can prove its worth in this area, as the CSCE did in spreading democratic values and legitimizing human rights.