In 1996, Europe was still in the process of adjusting to the revolutionary changes of the previous decade. In terms of war and peace, Bosnia had been the only site of military conflict (not counting the serious fighting in the former Soviet Union, especially in the Caucasus region). NATO military action against the Bosnian-Serbs stopped the fighting and paved the way for the Dayton Accords, a plan for peace and stability effected by a 60,000-strong NATO Implementation Force (IFOR). IFOR encountered relative success and some frustrations, especially with the Serbs, but in the minds of most Europeans the relevance of NATO in the post-Cold War period was now without question. Moreover, U.S. engagement and leadership were fundamental to this outcome and Washington continues to be heavily involved in NATO's continuing reform and engagement with countries which were formerly neutrals or Warsaw Pact adversaries.
In political terms, questions of enlarging NATO and the European Union (EU), and of revamping their internal structures, were at the top of the European agenda. The EU is also preoccupied with establishing a full monetary union and creating a single currency. All these projects raised major issues of finance and of maintaining effective decision-making processes. NATO enlargement faces the further risk of damaging relations with Russia, thus requiring a high degree of political and diplomatic skill on NATO's part. The European Council, the Union's highest decision-making body faces the task of marrying enlargement ("widening") with the updating of the Maastricht treaty's political and institutional innovations ("deepening"), all of which are being discussed at the "Intergovernmental Conference" (IGC) which is in continuous session in 1996. In many ways, NATO enlargement and EU enlargement are connected and overlapping problems. Indeed, U.S. policy (such as the Atlantic Initiative) seeks to underscore this linkage. NATO and EU enlargements are seen by both Europeans and Americans as parallel tasks, developing on parallel tracks albeit with different timetables.
The economy is the dominant domestic issue in 1996 and European nations face hard choices in:
Ethnic Groups in Central and Eastern Europe
In Western Europe, gross domestic product (GDP) levels are registering at best modest growth in the big countries; the German economy, still dealing with the costs of German unification, has fallen into a technical recession. German unemployment has risen to 11 percent, rivaling the 12 percent rate in France. The big EU governments are straining to meet the "convergence criteria" that the Maastricht Treaty sets for admission to the single European currency union to be decided in early 1998. The new Italian government under Romano Prodi is trying to cut budgets and reduce deficits at least to resemble its German and French partners.
Most of the former Warsaw Pact countries show equally disappointing economic results, with certain exceptions for Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. GDP patterns have moved irregularly, as central eastern European countries have introduced market reforms at different paces with varying rates of success. Like certain EU governments, some of the central eastern European countries have tended to undertake short-term policies and cutbacks in budgets and programs, modified in response to public opinion, labor aggressiveness, demonstrations, or elections.
The end of the Cold War resulted in significant cuts in military equipment spending throughout Europe, with the marginal exceptions of Greece and Turkey. Some governments have tried to encourage industries to convert from defense material to capital or consumer goods; other governments have tried to find new export markets, particularly in the Middle East and Asia. These attempts have had mixed success, but a common result has been increased competition among various national industries, often pitting NATO allies against each other.
In a number of European countries, weak governments have been unable to effectively deal with the general economic downturn and ailing defense industries. Germany and France since the presidential elections reflect stable political majorities in power but face some of the worst economic indicators and increasingly intransigent publics. On Europe's rim, from Spain to England and Turkey to Italy, there are mostly coalition-based, newly elected governments from polarized electorates or, in London, a highly unpopular government that faces a major reorientation after elections scheduled for mid-1997, at the latest. Public approval ratings in these countries are uniformly low while expectations for continued support for social services remain extremely high. In addition, the new freedom to travel across the old Cold War boundaries has resulted in unexpected and unwanted movements of people. Countries that earlier emphasized the rights of asylum seekers during the Cold War are now pulling up the gangplanks because the scale of immigration and the costs of social integration have become too great.
GERFAUT, the support-escort version, and TIGER, the anti-tank version of the Franco-German combat helicopter.
Moreover, uncontrolled or unchecked immigration invariably impacts on crime. For example, the relatively small illegal immigration base in Switzerland produces over 50 percent of the country's violent crime. The end of a number of former police states has brought a new level and sophistication of criminal activity to many parts of Europe. Relatively open borders invite smuggling that is often controlled by ethnic or national groups of criminals, which local police seem powerless to stop. Criminal activity, now linked in the minds of many Europeans with terrorism, further drains government coffers. European security concerns, which formerly emphasized external threats and a military response, now focus in the mid-1990s on domestic problems that require strengthened police forces. The "third pillar" of the Maastricht treaty with police and judicial matters is slowly taking shape to deal with these problems on an EU-wide basis.
The EC's Maastricht Treaty in 1991 created the European Union and projected a full monetary union (EMU) at a very propitious time: Domestic climates were good, there was genuine optimism over peace dividends and relations with Russia, and Bosnia was not yet a European tragedy of major proportions. Now the state of the economy, inter-European competition, declining defense expenditures, immigration problems, and crime are currently shaping the debate over integration.
The outlook is that Europe, preoccupied with unemployment and slow economic growth, lacking politically strong governments and strong leadership, and lately distracted by a poorly handled agricultural crisis in Britain will not do much more than fine-tune the original Maastricht I treaty. A successful launch of the Single European Currency process even with relaxed criteria would be a very significant EU success. A revised treaty, scheduled to be completed by July 1997, will have to be flexible enough to allow for a successful ratification process by all fifteen EU members, several of which approved the more general Maastricht I by only a narrow margin. The new treaty will probably include stronger machinery to address common problems and achieve joint agreement on issues like crime and immigration. The IGC will probably avoid the reform of agricultural problems because the likelihood of any compromise is remote. At the same time as the EU is deepening, the reasons for expansion into Central Europe seem sufficient to ensure a broader EU albeit with a delayed timetable.
The WEU will serve as the structure for organizing European-only missions out of the NATO area using "separable but not separate" logistics, communications, and intelligence assets from NATO along with U.S. unique capabilities. The key agreement is that NATO's North Atlantic Council (NAC) will decide such missions, meaning that the American government will have, in principle, a veto right and, at the least, a continuing large role in all European security decision-making. Thus Chirac's new orientation of French policy and the decisions in Berlin define NATO's role in European-only security operations, how NATO and the WEU will operate, and what the future American role is expected to be.
For the time being, it is unclear whether the WEU should remain a separate organization or merge with the Union. Belgium, one of the more committed integrationists in Europe, took over the WEU presidency for six months in July 1996 and can be expected to further develop the WEU's operational capabilities as budgetary support allows. Probable steps include:
French RAFALE B01.
The WEU will play a prominent role in the European and Defense Identity (ESDI). At the June 1996 North Atlantic Council (NAC) Ministerial, it was decided that ESDI would be built within the NATO alliance. The decision to build ESDI within rather than outside NATO was made possible by President Chirac's radical steps to downsize and reconfigure French military forces, to open the door for the French to return to NATO's central military command institutions, and to welcome American leadership in European security issues where only the Americans could lead. As of late 1996, French officials were indicating that France could be headed for a total return to the NATO integrated command structure, assuming suitable reforms of NATO internal workings.
Unlike the WEU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) derives both its legitimacy and weakness from its single class of membership. The fifty-three participating states cover the northern hemisphere of Europe and North America. From 1975 to 1990, the OSCE, then known as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, served as an important channel of East-West communication and was instrumental in providing confidence-building measures, resolving humanitarian issues and establishing codes of conduct relating to international law and human rights. Because the OSCE was recognized as a regional organization under the UN Charter, every country could join it, every country had a veto, and no country could be expelled from it. All parties therefore remained at the conference table, and the organization functioned using moral pressure and consensus. In recent years, the OSCE has undertaken a number of steps to transform itself from a Cold War consultative forum to an operational European security organization relevant to post-Cold War developments.
Beginning with the 1990 Paris Summit, the OSCE restructured itself and established a revamped organization with an annual council meeting of foreign ministers, a standing committee of senior officials, and three institutional centers: an Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw, a Conflict Prevention Center in Vienna, and a secretariat in Prague. It took on a mandate to undertake peacekeeping operations with the option to call on NATO, the EU, the WEU, or even the UN Security Council for assistance if the situation warranted. In spite of NATO Allies' differing views on the closeness and form of the NATOOSCE relationship and on whether the OSCE's principal focus should be human rights or security, the OSCE now plays an active role in arms control, the enforcement of sanctions and several ongoing crises:
But while the OSCE can be a legitimizing structure in fact-finding missions, constructive dialogue, and conflict prevention, the organization cannot stop civil wars or international aggression. Its lack of resources, limited crisis response capabilities, requirement for consensus, and various centers of operation reduce its effectiveness.
Bosnia is discussed at greater length in the chapter on the Balkans. For the purpose of this chapter, two key questions arise with the final outcome in Bosnia still so uncertain. First, are conflicts such as the one in Bosnia the rule or the exception for the future? Second, what chance is there that the Bosnian conflict may still spread? There is some agreement that such a conflict will not be repeated in other regions in Europe outside the former Soviet Union because Bosnia's historical, religious, and multiethnic complexity make it so unique. It also seems likely that at least in the short term, the conflict will be contained although developments in Kosovo bear close watching. But, more important, the events in Bosnia and the response by Americans and Europeans have established several important trends. The conflict in the former Yugoslavia tested the relevance of European security organizations and their new doctrines on such issues as peacekeeping, crisis management, and the projection of stability with the following results:
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are downsizing and restructuring their military industrial base with an emphasis on multinational consolidation, which will reduce inter-European rivalries and ultimately lead to increased competition with U.S. defense contractors. European countries are likely to make significant new investments only in military equipment directly associated with NATO membership requirements or needed to replace obsolete lines of hardware. Finance was a significant factor in France's 1996 major reform of defense and military structures, including the turn back to NATO ordered by President Chirac. Among those countries aspiring to be NATO members, there will undoubtedly be special requests for assistance to finance major equipment purchases.
Polish soldiers unload from a U.S. Air Force C141 for participation in Exercise Cooperative Nugget '95 at Fort Polk, LA, August 1995, the first PFP exercise on U.S. territory.
Western European governments are increasingly cooperating in multinational joint ventures to spread out budget and research costs, allow for greater sharing of industrial benefits, and guarantee markets. There are over 100 French-German cooperative efforts. One of the largest involves building the Tiger attack helicopter which has finally reached the production and delivery stage. The major European allies are also planning a Future Large Aircraft (FLA) to replace their own manufactured C160 and the U.S.-made C130 heavy transport aircraft although Chirac's military downsizing and German budgetary cutbacks could threaten this project. For the Navy, there is a long-standing consortium to produce a new frigate, but unresolved conflicts over design specifications have led to serious delays. Similarly, the plans to develop a new armored vehicle involving the United Kingdom, France, and Germany are still in the discussion phase. Long standing industrial defense rivalries, shifting military budgets, and differing national defense requirements limit multinational cooperation despite official intentions.
In general, the NATO allies are:
A dominant security issue in Europe in 1996 was how to match the decline in resources devoted to security and defense affairs with the burgeoning and new requirements tasked to the military establishment. In most of the central and eastern European countries, military budgets have declined to little more than 1 percent of GDP even as new democratic governments have ordered defense ministries and command staffs to adjust as quickly as possible to NATO standards. Moreover, certain central and eastern European countries are experiencing strong political pressure, sometimes with subtle industry support, for major investments in one or more lines of Western military equipment, whether or not defense doctrine justifies the investment.
Economic pressures and expectations of a peace dividend have resulted in similar reductions in NATO Allies' expenditures, although overall levels remain much higher proportionally. Peacekeeping in Bosnia requires mixes of support logistics, mobility, intelligence, and communications that are costly and not a part of Cold War military structures. Legislators, facing domestic pressure, are often hesitant to fund changes and start new procurement programs. Meanwhile, entrenched bureaucracies and industries defend expensive defense items that are often less relevant in the new environment.
Country by country, NATO allies and other western European countries have cut their military budgets:
Britain was the first NATO ally to move to a fully professional army in the 1960s and now most western European nations plan to reduce or end conscription. Belgium ended the draft in 1995, and the Netherlands is scheduled to do so at the end of 1996.
NATO countries that retain the draft have reduced the required time in uniform to as little as nine months, making meaningful training and specialization almost impossible. Despite significant reductions in the military budget since the Berlin Wall came down, conscription in Germany will continue as a tool for integration of the five new eastern provinces and as part of the post-World War II tradition to maintain a citizen army. Conscription time has been reduced, however, to as little as ten months.
The southern rim region--the region from North Africa through the Middle East--is viewed as potentially the most troublesome for NATO as a result of such factors as:
The geographic proximity of all the countries around the Mediterranean feeds these fears and increases the likelihood that political leaders will see the need to militarily intervene to effect an outcome, protect cities and citizens, or prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In particular, Libyan efforts to acquire surface-to-surface missiles of extended range and reports of Libyan interest in developing its chemical weapons arsenal are sources of profound concern to defense planners in NATO headquarters and to NATO Mediterranean capitals.
The current struggle between Islamic extremists and the Algerian government has aroused especially intense worry in France. Five years of domestic violence have caused tens of thousands of casualties with no end in sight. A radical Islamic victory now seems less likely than before but still remains a possibility. It would have enormous repercussions in Algeria and might also threaten and possibly transform the political landscape of neighboring Morocco and Tunisia. In its wake, hundreds of thousands of Western-oriented Arabs and Berbers would flee to southern Europe, where substantial unemployment, illegal immigration, and attendant social problems already exist. Efforts by France and other European countries to enter into a dialogue with southern-rim countries on economic and security problems were launched at Barcelona in November 1995 but yielded only limited results by late 1996. NATO has also undertaken conversations with moderate governments in northern Africa to explain new NATO activities and concerns.
The Mediterranean Basin
Of all the NATO allies, Turkey is currently the most vulnerable for both domestic and external reasons. There is an ongoing war with elements of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which is largely confined to Turkey's southeastern provinces but could have major repercussions. As it is, terrorism has been a constant threat in many parts of the country resulting from the PKK campaign using indiscriminate bombings to establish a breakaway state. Expanded cooperation between Israel and Turkey could have problematic results if the Arab-Israeli peace process breaks down. Turkey is the linchpin of NATO's southern strategy by virtue of its geographic position near the new southern states that border Russia. Until this year it has been a moderate and secular Muslim state in contrast to the religious extremist pressures in the region, which might otherwise force themselves into Europe's backyard.
Unfortunately, the formation of its latest government, led for the first time by a member of Turkey's Islamic political party, brings further uncertainties. Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the pro-Islamist Rafeh party, won a slight plurality in the l995 parliamentary elections with 21.4 percent of the vote in a crowded field. In late June 1996, he took over the government as Prime Minister in a coalition with the conservative secularist and former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller. Erbakan's success was more a result of squabbling and ineptitude on the part of Turkey's other secular politicians or Ciller's fear of corruption charges than of widespread popular support. Nevertheless, an Erbakan-led government makes it difficult to maintain that Turkey continues to be a solid NATO ally with secular and pro-Western policies. Erbakan's first foreign trip abroad to Iran where he signed a $23 billion long-term natural gas agreement on August 12, l996, may help satisfy Turkish industrial requirements but only reinforces skeptics that Erbakan is anything but an Islamic conservative who will reorient Turkish foreign policy.
This new direction in domestic politics comes at a time when Turkey's young and growing population base means that over 600,000 males annually reach military age, a number second in the alliance only to that in the United States. By maintaining the size of its Armed Forces relative to the declining force levels of other NATO states, Turkey has been allocated one of the more senior military positions in the reorganization of Allied Command Europe. The vulnerability of Turkey contrasted with its increasing importance underscores the challenge of solving outstanding issues with its erstwhile NATO ally and neighbor Greece.
Throughout the twentieth century, the relationship between Greece and Turkey has ranged from open warfare to a state of continual but noncombative hostility. In 1996, armed warplanes, ships, and troops faced each other across disputed lines in numerous contested locations. Several lives were lost along the border of the contested zones in Cyprus in confrontations between civilians and military forces. The tiny, uninhabited island of Imia or Kardak in the Aegean was the focal point of another military flare-up. The possibility of incidents remains so high that friends of both states concerned with maintaining regional peace and stability must constantly engage in defusing minor crises and confrontations in order to avoid real and deadly conflict. The membership of both states in NATO has decreased chances of war, but the ongoing Greek-Turkish disputes have caused the alliance itself serious harm.
Greek-Turkish relations worsened because the collapse of the Soviet Union and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact removed a common threat, leaving the two countries relatively free to pursue their national objectives within NATO regardless of the damage to the alliance. In addition, internal political instabilities have led Greece and Turkey to use the disputes for domestic political advantage and have made the two governments less flexible. The disputes that affect NATO primarily revolve around the Aegean Sea:
The challenge for the NATO Allies is finding nonconfrontational resolutions to these issues. Cyprus will clearly form part of the solution. A multilateral approach may be preferable to unilateral action. Ideally, any initiatives within the context of the new NATO should be accompanied or paralleled by activities in the framework of the EU and its widening integration. The worst scenario is to let the situation continue as it stands in 1996.
Enlargement of European institutions may create economic and security problems for those nations who are not invited to join the early in the enlargement process.
The expansion of consultative institutions such as the Council of Europe are relatively unproblematic. But the various Central and East European candidate countries cannot all be absorbed at once into NATO and the EU. Nor are NATO and the EU prepared to cast aside political, military and economic standards in gestures of solidarity. Differentiation among candidate countries is thus unavoidable. A first group is likely to be admitted to NATO before the year 2000. The result could be misperceived as a drawing of new lines in Europe, feelings of exclusion, what some east Europeans are already calling a "new Yalta." The U.S. and the current members of NATO wish to avoid any such a misperception.
For both NATO and the EU, enlargement is not a contest. New memberships will be a rolling process with no arbitrary cap. Not-yet-admitted states must eschew both resentment of new member countries and blame of NATO. NATO and the EU must, simultaneously, keep control of enlargement. Distinct negotiations with each candidate are required, rather than creating a list of criteria whose fulfillment would amount to automatic admission. The Baltic states present a particular problem. They might meet a list of criteria for NATO membership. Yet for historic reasons, their NATO candidacies could provoke a uniquely hostile Russian policy. Baltic admission to the EU (with its indirect security guarantees), is one possible compromise.
Altogether, NATO (and EU) enlargement and a new special NATO/EU/Russian relationship are likely to go hand-in-hand. More intense development of Partnership for Peace (PFP) structures--including development of a new Atlantic Partnership Council proposed by the U.S.--plus elaboration of the EU's structure of Association agreements are ways to show that NATO and EU enlargement are processes, not contests, whose goals are stability and prosperity, not the drawing of new dividing lines in Europe.
The demise of the Soviet Union and the end of divided Europe in 19891991 posed the question whether the NATO Alliance, having prevailed, would continue. Half a decade later, after American leadership of the Bosnia military intervention with NATO-led forces, and after French President Chirac's call for a permanent U.S. role in European security and French agreement to build a European Security and Defense Identity within rather than outside of NATO, the question seems answered. Every non-NATO European country seeks entry into or association with NATO.
The most virulent European flashpoint remains Bosnia. Beyond this, the main potential danger is some large crisis involving Russia and Europe. Boris Yeltsin's convincing July 1966 electoral victory against an atavistic communist opponent provided some assurance that, while the people of Russia are suffering, there seems to be little desire to divert attention from their problems with a re-nationalized, aggressive regime.
Finally, serious debate is growing about EU political economies: whether, among the EU countries planning to join the Single European Currency in the first round, the budget and deficit-cutting involved in meeting the five Maastricht "convergence criteria" for EMU are not creating unacceptably high unemployment and artificially low economic growth. This is now the cutting edge of the economic and welfare-state problems discussed at the beginning of this chapter.
During the Cold War, the paramount U.S. security interest in Europe was deterring and defending against Soviet attack. That security interest protected an Atlantic political, economic and cultural community of shared values. Even without the Soviet threat, Europe is a region second to none in America's interests.
Europe and the U.S. are deeply bound by the ties of common values, alliances of long history, shared popular and high culture, and common ancestry--more so, still today, than with any other world region. In security matters, America's oldest, most reliable partners are European countries. NATO can be understood as an outgrowth of this community of values and interest. It is first of all a political alliance for democracy and open markets, and a military alliance second. Sustaining this alliance remains among America's deepest interests.
At stake in the debate about NATO enlargement is how to guarantee the stability of Central and Eastern Europe--to discourage adventurism there without provoking Russia into new hostility to the U.S. In such a case Moscow might coerce or rally its neighbors into a new anti-Western bloc. The U.S. interest is to promote enlargement while avoiding any redivision of Europe into blocs, one in the West and one based on Russia. Any such new drawing of lines--sometimes referred to as a "new Yalta"--would mean resumption of a cold war on a lower scale.
The Atlantic alliance offers the U.S. important leverage in shaping the post-Cold War system of international economic and political relations. In financial terms, the East-West Cold War cost the U.S. on the order of six trillion dollars. Though the U.S. is the world's remaining superpower, it cannot bear alone the various costs of protection of international stability, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, and the promotion of sustainable economic development. In addition, the continued presence of American military forces in Europe both anchors European security and provides a useful staging area for response to crisis in other regions, especially the Middle East. France and Britain, with long experience in Africa, are well-placed to contribute to sometimes urgent peacekeeping and relief operations. Economically, coordination between European governments, the European Union and the U.S. is essential to common vital interests of stable exchange rates, a sound international financial system and low inflation.
Europe is one of the U.S.'s largest markets, where the success of American exporters produces a trade surplus. Guaranteed access to the European market is clearly a vital American interest, and American policy-makers would be seriously concerned by any Fortress Europe tendency which would discriminate against American firms. Despite conflicts from time to time, fair trade and open capital markets have been the norm.
The U.S. approach to promoting stability in Europe centers on:
NATO's decision-making process in the political headquarters in Brussels works too slowly to permit the type of rapid response required in crisis management, if there is no U.S. leadership, consensus is almost impossible to achieve. Permanent representatives are limited in the amount of intelligence they receive and dependent on instructions often received with considerable delay. Consensus requires unanimity and few things are now more important than confronting potential crises with earlier agreed positions and the right mix of military resources. Declining budgets have made resources a major issue and weak economies have promoted competition in upgrading material assets instead of cooperation. Europeans feel threatened by the much bigger U.S. military industrial giants which seemingly dominate certain European markets and shut out competition in the United States.
Current U.S. Defense Department steps to seek out European suppliers for specific military contracts should reassure European Allies. The United States has also taken the lead in one symbolic multinational cooperative effort, the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). A successful MEADS would demonstrate that both sides of the Atlantic could compromise on an important industrial venture that links key components of the electronic and space industries. However, Chirac's first round of defense cuts will end France's participation in MEADS, removing 20 percent of the development costs and sending the program back to the blueprint stage.
Although NATO detractors argued in the early 1990s that the organization had outlived its purpose, the fall of the Berlin Wall did not end the requirement for suitably robust and multinational military forces to confront threats to the peace and security of the Euro-Atlantic community. Moreover, it is misleading to consider NATO solely a Cold War creation. The 1949 Washington Treaty establishing NATO signifies common principles of democracy, liberty, and the rule of law. Neither the ideological threat of communism nor the Soviet Union are mentioned. The concept of Europe is not defined in the Treaty as West or East. NATO's success during its first forty years should be judged as much on what it helped create--a prosperous West Europe, whole and free--as what it stopped: an expansionist and hostile ideology. Whatever steps NATO now takes throughout the rest of Europe to promote wider peace and security are in consonance with the original Treaty.
In the new, restructured NATO:
NATO has a more multinational command structure with sufficient flexibility to rapidly develop and staff new organizations to run new operation. In this first phase of change, the Alliance has demonstrated unity of purpose.
PFP is not, as critics say, a substitute for NATO enlargement or a mere mechanism to breathe new life into NATO. It can better be described as the most ambitious military cooperation effort ever undertaken by any alliance in history and, ironically, involving mostly former adversaries. Its successes have been achieved during a period of significantly reduced resources and just at the time when NATO deployed at sea, in the air and on land in Bosnia. PFP has resulted in new structures and forms of activity based on the values in the Washington Treaty which are now a permanent part of the security landscape of a Europe undivided and free. The true genesis of PFP is not NATO enlargement but NATO engagement. Partnership for Peace was a natural extension of the first post-Cold War NATO Heads of State meeting in 1990, which directed NATO military commands to begin cooperating with former Warsaw Pact nations as a confidence-building measure. Subsequent to PFP's formal launching at the Brussels Summit in 1994, the Partnership Coordination Cell (PCC) at SHAPE headquarters was established to manage joint training and exercises. Since France was not represented in the SHAPE integrated military command but was involved with PFP, a compromise was reached to have the PCC at SHAPE but not in SHAPE. Terming the Partnership organization a cell rather than a center satisfied those in the alliance who preferred a slower-paced NATO outreach.
The response from central and eastern Europe was overwhelmingly positive. PFP allows each partner government to set its own pace and range of cooperation with NATO. The first training exercises demonstrated to new Partners how much they had to do to achieve a minimum level of compatibility with NATO forces. In addition, by assigning military liaison officers to deal directly with NATO officers at SHAPE under a political framework document signed by foreign ministries, PFP established new working relationships between military and diplomats in the field and ministries of foreign affairs and defense in partner capitals. This relationship, a necessary part of NATO's requirement for an appropriate balance of civilian-military affairs in a democratic context, never existed in Warsaw Pact countries.
During 199596, PFP has become a permanent security structure linking the NATO Allies with all countries in the Euro-Atlantic community north of the thirty-sixth parallel. These 26 PFP members include all the former Warsaw Pact signatories and Soviet republics. The only exceptions are Ireland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, and the warring states in the Bosnia conflict.
The PCC is both the nucleus of an expanded NATO and a headquarters for Partner countries to develop interoperability. With the participation of France, NATO staffed the PCC with officers responsible for coordinating training in search and rescue activities, humanitarian missions, peacekeeping operations, and other missions as agreed by the North Atlantic Council. Under the direction of a Danish two-star officer, the PCC has become a driving force in military cooperation.
Against the background of a vital and robust PFP, NATO enlargement takes on a different perspective. Under PFP, NATO has engaged its former adversaries with a web of political and security relations and activities not possible in the early 1990s:
The formerly neutral countries of Austria, Finland and Sweden have rapidly become active and enthusiastic players in
the partnership process and their contributions are as important politically as they are militarily. The very accession of Finland and Sweden to the Partnership for Peace framework document, accompanied by declarations that neither intended to formally apply for NATO membership, was a useful spur to Russia in its own deliberations whether or not to join PFP. Moreover, Sweden and Finland had already divided up certain peacekeeping training functions between themselves and their other Nordic partners Denmark and Norway, and all this was now made available to new PFP Partners. Austria makes a special contribution to PFP resulting from the country's geostrategic location and long-standing participation in numerous UN peacekeeping missions. Although Switzerland has not yet joined PFP, it has closely followed PFP developments and seems prepared to sign an unprecedented logistics agreement with NATO which promotes compatibility, a major PFP goal.
Operation Joint Endeavor has diverted resources and attention from PFP while, at the same time, it has underscored PFP's importance. Twelve of the seventeen non-NATO countries deployed under IFOR are Partner countries. All but Russia have used their PCC liaison officers as the liaison to IFOR. The training and exercise schedule of PFP resulted in better prepared troops subsequently deployed under IFOR.
As NATO begins the process of admitting new members, the continuation of a robust PFP program will be absolutely necessary to maintain the pace of engagement with those countries still aspiring to membership or those who wish to remain good Partners. An active PFP minimizes the possibility that new dividing lines will be drawn in Europe. It remains an ideal mechanism to strengthen NATO's relationship to Russia although Russian military forces have not yet participated with any frequency in PFP exercises. Ultimately, for those countries who utilize PFP to the maximum extent possible, the issue of full NATO membership may become less meaningful.
NATO's engagement with its Partners under PFP is so extensive and the desire for membership of some Partners is so compelling that NATO's formal enlargement is a foregone conclusion. But the timing and conditions are yet to be fully resolved and questions remain concerning: