U.S. Permanent Representative on the North
"The Coming Europeanization
of NATO" Address to the Cicero Foundation
Paris, 12 December 1996
Opening Address in the International Seminar for Experts "The Coming Europeanization
of NATO", organised by the Cicero Foundation in the series Great Debates
in Paris on 12-13 December 1996
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As I was traveling to this conference. I reflected
on why the Cicero Foundation would have that name. I think, as the Chairman
has told me, it's because Cicero himself was a great European and a great humanist,
and he wrote in one of his essays something I think can characterize what we're
all trying to do, today, in what we call the trans-Atlantic region. Cicero wrote
that "everyone ought to have the same purpose, to identify the interests
of each with the interests of all." This is what we're trying to do. In
fact, for the first time in modern European history, and maybe in all of European
history, we who are Europeans - and we Americans consider ourselves, for this
purpose, to be Europeans - have a chance to fulfill Cicero's injunction.
Cicero also said that justice is the "queen of virtues." He was a
person who was absolutely inflexible on the idea that no good could come for
any person from doing harm to another. This is another principle that has had
a 2,000-year experiment here in Europe, and we are still working to try to fulfill
it. Of course, one also remembers Cicero as a person who justified the assassination
of Julius Caesar, but we will pass over that lightly, when we think about this
great man's role!
I have been asked to speak this morning about the strengthening of the role
of Europe in the Atlantic Alliance. I will recall an incident about three months
ago to illustrate where we're going. I spoke at a conference in Brussels on
"Security in the Baltics," on the relationship between the Baltic
states and the NATO. We had a couple of foreign ministers and some ambassadors
and defense ministers from the Baltic states, and the conference organizers
were determined that they should understand the importance of NATO and their
relationship to NATO. There was a great explanation of what NATO does. The remarkable
thing, however, was that the conference was sponsored by an institute from Sweden!
It was very much playing its role, as do all the Nordics. Indeed, Sweden and
Finland, along with Austria - countries which have traditionally been neutral
or non-aligned - now have very close relationships with us. About two months
ago, we even took the U.S. NATO Mission into the true holy of holies, when it
comes to preserving neutrality, namely to Dublin, to sponsor a conference on
PFP. And last night at 6:00 o'clock, we had another historic event, which I
am sure will revise the calculations people have had for centuries, when Switzerland
joined the Partnership for Peace. So we have moved forward on engaging neutral
and non-aligned countries in NATO's work.
We are achieving a lot of NATO. And I do not think it is strange for an American
to be asked about the Europeanization of NATO because we Americans are, as we
have been for so long, very strong supporters of European integration. In fact,
during the last 50 years, we have often been accused of being somewhat romantic
about the subject of European integration.
This is, I think, a very important moment to hold your conference, because,
during the last two days, we had our Foreign Minister's meeting in Brussels.
Today, as well, is what we call in NATO parlance Day D-plus-356. This is the
356th day since NATO - all 16 Allies, plus 13 members of the Partnership for
Peace - have been assuming the responsibility for implementing the military
parts of the Dayton Accords for Bosnia. And as of this morning, thank God, there
has not been one single combat fatality in that operation, which, I think, speaks
mightily to what is possible when we all work together, not just at 16, but
everyone else. In fact, every single country in Europe outside of the former
Yugoslavia supports what we are attempting to do in Bosnia, and therefore there
is no room for any mischief-maker who would choose to go beyond Dayton and look
for support, whether to Russia or to anyone else. It does not exist.
The day before yesterday our ministers approved the continuation of the engagement
in Bosnia, the so-called SFOR, the Stabilization Force, for another 18 months.
Again, it will be NATO-led, but again, it will include each and every country
that wishes to participate. This decision, let me underscore, was taken by all
16 countries, with no country dissenting, because at NATO, with our current
membership and with our future membership, we take all decisions by consensus.
We also decided hold a summit in Madrid on the 8th and 9th of July 1997, which
will do a number of things. First, we will agree to take in the first countries,
as NATO members, since Spain joined in 1982. We will also ensure that the door
to NATO membership remains open for other countries. The United States has said
the door will remain open so long as there are European countries ready and
willing to bear the burdens of NATO membership.
Yesterday, we also agreed to enhance the Partnership for Peace (PFP), which
has been the fundamental building block for engagement of the 27 Partner countries
in the security of the West and in the work of NATO to an unprecedented degree.
We agreed the day before yesterday to create a new Atlantic Partnership Council
(APC), which will replace the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) and
merge it with PFP. We agreed two days ago to empower the NATO Secretary General
to open negotiations with Russia on a direct, special relationship with Russia,
leading, perhaps, to a NATO-Russia charter. And yesterday morning at 8:30, with
16 NATO ministers and the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Primakov, agreed to
these negotiations. We expect them to start in January, and we hope they can
come to fruitful conclusion by the NATO summit in July.
Yes, we have also been moving forward with internal changes at NATO - adapting
the Alliance, including its significant Europeanization and added responsibilities
for our European allies, within the context of Atlantic security.
Three Basic Precepts
At NATO, we have been operating on the basis of three precepts. These were
hard-won. They were not advanced at the beginning, but over the last several
years we have learned that they are significant.
First, security in Europe still matters. History did not come to an end in
1989. In some ways it was the reverse - namely, the opportunity for history
to be reborn, particularly in a number of countries for which history was frozen,
some in the late 1940s, some even earlier than that.
Thus security matters. Second, within that proposition, many institutions have
responsibilities. The Cicero Foundation is, itself, deeply engaged with NATO
and with the European Union. There is the OSCE - the follow-on to the Helsinki
Final Act. There is the European Council in Strasbourg. And there is the Western
European Union, about which I will say a good deal. But at heart, European security,
now and for the foreseeable future, must turn in its most fundamental scope
upon NATO and its future. This is, however, a new NATO, a NATO that is open,
a NATO that offers opportunities for any country in Europe to have some form
The third proposition, which goes to the heart of our topic today, is that
NATO works when the United States is deeply engaged and is prepared to lead.
Of all the ideas that were launched at the 1994 summit and that will be brought
to fruition, we hope, at the summit in Madrid next summer, one very important
idea, the NATO-Russia charter, was invented here in Europe. Every other idea
we are pursuing was invented in the United States. We don't like that any more
than Europeans do. In the United States, we believe that the greater Europeanization
of NATO, the greater taking of responsibility and authority by European allies,
is mutually healthy and certainly healthy for our institutions. But, let me
underscore, this has not yet happened. Whether it was Bosnia, or the future
of NATO, or the future of the Western European Union, we discovered that the
United States again had to play a decisive leadership role in order to make
these things happen. I say that not as an act of pride.
I say it as an act of commitment of my country to the freedom, the independence,
and the security of the Continent for the fourth time in this century, just
as we were committed three other times in this century.
NATO has embarked upon four great goals. The first is to keep America here,
and we are here. I think it is remarkable, for example, that in our recent presidential
election, President Clinton gave one speech on foreign policy. It was about
NATO. And in his first press conference following his election, he listed four
major priorities for U.S. foreign policy. Number one was NATO and helping to
build a Europe without barriers and with deepened security for the future. And
if you look at the distinguished team of people that he has appointed to lead
American foreign policy, it is deeply steeped in European issues. We had a leader
in American foreign policy for a number of years who was a German, Dr. Kissinger,
and then a Pole, Dr. Brzezinski. Now we are moving slightly south and east and
we have a Czech in Ambassador Albright to lead American foreign policy. And
let me tell you, Europe is going to be the centerpiece.
The European Security and Defence Identity: A European
But we do want to see a rebalancing of the Alliance. We would like to see more
European responsibility, and we are very strong supporters of a European Security
and Defense Identity, at least in part in support of a Common Foreign and Security
Policy of the European Union.
Two great decisions were involved. The first decision was taken by President
Clinton at the Brussels Summit, now just a little under three years ago. We
have always been strong supporters of the Western European Union and of a strong
European pillar of the Alliance. That was true during the Cold War as it is
today. During the Cold War, however, we were ambivalent. To put it most simply,
we wanted a strong European pillar, but we wanted it to be firmly and clearly
under U.S. guidance, for a very simple reason: because of the nuclear confrontation
with the Soviet Union and our belief that it was essential to have central direction
of the Western component of confrontation with the Soviet Union. So we wanted
a strong European pillar, but we wanted it to be very much within the framework
of American thinking.
By 1994, however, not only had the Cold War come to an end, but also the nuclear
confrontation was over, and the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact no longer existed.
The reasons for American ambivalence had gone away, and we reversed policy:
to support without ambiguity or ambivalence the European Security and Defense
Identity, for several reasons. First, it helps keep Europeans thinking about
security. One way to make sure that we stay here in Europe, if this is what
our friends and allies want, is to show the United States Congress that our
friends and allies are pulling their weight in terms of defense, in terms of
defense spending, and in terms of commitment to security. A strong ESDI can
help do that.
Second, a strong ESDI supports European integration, which helps to preserve
the peace here in this part of the Continent; it helps to lead to the transformation
of the countries of Central Europe; and it helps achieve the grand purpose of
finally - and we hope forever - providing stability and certainty and confidence
in the part of Europe which, to borrow Professor McKinder's thesis, is the region
which has dominated issues of war and peace throughout this century.
We recognize also that there is continuing value in ensuring that all the countries
in the western part of Europe, including Germany, are deeply embedded within
Western institutions. This is a fundamental German foreign policy goal, as carried
through in this generation by Chancellor Kohl.
In addition, a strong ESDI is a good insurance policy, just in case my country
on some issues decided not to be engaged. I don't believe that's going to be
true, but I can't prove that to you; and having an effective ESDI is an insurance
policy just in case there is that problem.
The Rapprochement of France to NATO
That was the first great decision. The United States therefore offered to make
available from NATO resources direct material support for the Western European
Union on the basis of a fundamental concept: that forces and other assets within
NATO could be made available on the basis of their being separable from NATO
but not separate from it. This is a very complicated thought but one which ultimately
will have a great simplicity and provide, we think, a great strength. To that
end, we proposed a new device called Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters
- the CJTF-HQ. To put it simply, the CJTF is a device for NATO to be able to
relate to the future in relatively small packages, rapidly, flexibly, effectively.
In fact, the CJTF provides something of the model for what we are doing today
with IFOR and, in a week and a half's time, with SFOR in Bosnia.
That was the first great decision. It did not, however, have a real chance
of becoming effective because we did not have a proper, effective answer from
the European side of the trans-Atlantic connection until a year ago, December
5th, when the French government took a basic decision and Foreign Minister de
Charette presented it at NATO headquarters. This was a fundamental transformation
of French policy in regard to the Atlantic Alliance. Some people say it reversed
Gaullist policy of 1966. I would say, rather, it was carrying that policy a
step further; frankly, I believe that, if De Gaulle were still in power, France
would have done this a long time ago. One of the problems was that De Gaulle,
who had initiated a policy, was not around to use his same logic to undo that
policy and to fulfill his own purpose.
What did the French do a year ago? They said they wanted to continue to pursue
a European Security and Defense Identity; but instead of building it outside
of NATO and in competition with NATO, they would build it inside the Alliance.
Instead of seeing this ESDI as working against the trans-Atlantic association,
it had to be in confirmation of that association. Instead of attempting to undercut
the role of the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe - SACEUR-it would be to confirm
the role of that strategic commander. Instead of trying to create two NATOs
- one to do what we call Article V operations against external aggression and
one for all other operations which we call non-Article V - there would be one
NATO, a seamless web throughout its full continuum of potential operations.
We all welcomed this decisive development by the French government. We welcomed
it, and we have been working to bring it to fulfillment. As President Chirac
has said many times, if and when we complete the transformation of NATOs internal
structures - and I believe the question is "when," not "if"
- this will lead to the full reintegration of France within the military structures
of the Alliance. Already, France has retaken its seat on the NATO Military Committee.
You may also notice that, about two weeks ago, Spain voted to change its status
from the one France now has to become a full member of the military side of
At Berlin and in Brussels last spring, we decided to take this effort another
decisive step forward. Today, we have arrived at the following, all agreed at
NATO, subject to final completion of all elements of our internal restructuring.
We now will make plans for implementing them. We will, however, do one set of
plans, not two, so that if a contingency has to be implemented, it can be done
by NATO or it can be done by WEU - either one. We won't do two set of plans.
NATO Assets for the WEU?
We will then designate a series of NATO officers who could, if WEU undertook
an action, leave their NATO jobs and go to work directly for WEU. Let me underscore
something very important. If, in a particular command situation in NATO, part
of the Alliance is to be transferred for WEU use and American staff officers
are involved, they will take part, as well. American staff officers will work
for WEU. We have no problem
At NATO we will also identify other assets within the Alliance which could
be transferred, en bloc or in particular, for the use of WEU. We've even taken
a step further. Because there is no command structure at WEU, we have decided
- again, subject to the completion of everything else we're doing - that the
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander-Europe can function as the Strategic Commander
for WEU. He will, under SACEUR's direction, be in charge of planning and of
preparations, so that if, indeed, there is a transfer of NATO assets to WEU,
this man can go along as the Strategic Commander. Maybe WEU will want to choose
someone else, but this individual will be available.
This arrangement means several things. It means that, for the first time, WEU
will have a real capacity to act. It means that WEU will have this capacity
without government's having to build a second set of offices, officers, headquarters,
and forces. This was part of the deal struck with the United States: that we
were prepared to see a material part of NATO used by a different institution,
in order to reduce the pressures on governments here to build a separate set
of costly institutions, which, frankly, wasn't going to happen, anyway.
But we have insisted on several things, all of which are agreed. The first
relates to who will act. As far as we Americans are concerned, if anything serious
is happening here in Europe in security, we want to be involved, and we will
be involved. But that means through NATO, which is another way of saying that,
if something happens, NATO should have first choice. If NATO decides not to
do something, or if some members of NATO - particularly the United States -
decided not to be involved, that is the time at which WEU could, if its members
wanted to, come into action.
We also insisted - and this was agreed at Brussels last June - that everything
that is done in this regard needs to respect the integrity of the chain of command.
This means that, during regular operations, everything we do at NATO for WEU
has to be done in a way in which NATO can continue to operate. It also means
that, if we transfer to WEU these forces, assets, headquarters, personnel, and
commanders, NATO also has to be able to continue to function. That is why no
NATO officer who would be transferred would, if he or she left the "day
job" to do the "night job", would enfeeble NATO in its capacity
to act. We also have insisted, and everyone has agreed, if there is an overriding
need for NATO to reclaim its assets that will be done.
But with those qualifications, NATO is now moving forward expeditiously to
implement this new relationship with WEU. It is part also of what we call our
Long Term Study, which is a change in our military structure. At the moment,
at NATO we have 65 headquarters left over from the Cold War. When we complete
this effort, we hope to be down to about 22 or 23 headquarters. This will be
a radical transformation of the Alliance. Today, we have four levels of command;
tomorrow we will only have three. Getting this process done is also deeply instrumental
to the capacity for transferring assets to WEU, if it comes to that.
Let me make two fundamental, additional points. We recognize that a key reason
WEU has asked for this arrangement with NATO is because the countries which
belong to WEU have not purchased and are not prepared to purchase many of the
items of equipment they might need in order to act. These include three categories:
first, large transport aircraft, where there is some European capacity but not
that much; second, satellite-based communications - for example, in IFOR in
Bosnia, of the 45 satellite channels that are being used by the military, 43
of them belong to the United States, not to NATO; and third, certain highly
sophisticated forms of intelligence. A large percentage of these three items
belong not to NATO as a whole - an institution which has very few common assets
- but to the United States. We have indicated, however, that, if all the processes,
procedures, and arrangements I've talked about are done properly, thoroughly,
completely, and intelligently, then if it comes time for WEU to act, if Americans
assets are needed, and if we are asked, the chances are very likely that we
will also say "Yes." We do this even today in regard to various actions
by European countries in Africa and elsewhere, as we did in Rwanda and Burundi
about two years ago.
Let me make a final point about WEU and this new relationship. It is to ask
the question: Will it ever happen? I'm not sure it will; not, however, because
will-power is lacking on our part; and not because there will be peace and stability,
automatically, and no need for anyone to act. Rather, it is highly likely that,
if there is a requirement for such action, and the United States is asked to
take part, the answer will be "Yes" and, therefore, NATO will come
into play and not WEU. We in the United States are pleased to be in the forefront
of helping to make this happen.
One reason that these new NATO-WEU arrangements have not yet come to fruition
is that there is a disagreement within the Alliance about the proper distribution
of command headquarters and positions within the Alliance. This is, I think,
a normal and natural process of redistributing tasks, duties, authority, and
responsibility, and there is a dispute now over the one command in Naples -
the Commander-in-Chief of the NATO Southern Command. If you look at the glass
on the table in front of me, you might say that this glass is half full or half
empty. But with regard to everything I am talking about today, the glass today
is 99 percent full. I am confident - I say this even here in Paris - that between
now and the NATO Summit next July, we will work out the last one percent. But,
then, the issue will be whether the Europeans states will have the political
will to make WEU effective. Will the European states have the will to create
a common foreign and security policy? Will they have the will to assume possible?
I am an optimist here, too, but here I think the future on these questions is
a good deal more cloudy than in the areas I've discussed.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to share with an extraordinary
group a bit of my thinking on what we're doing at NATO.