The Further Development of
Partnership for Peace
Ambassador Robert E. Hunter
United States Permanent Representative to NATO

I think that it is extraordinarily remarkable that the Thirteenth NATO Workshop is not remarkable. It is only one of many recent opportunities for a full range of people from the West and from the East to become deeply engaged in a wide ranging debate. There may still be limits on the NATO map, but there are no limits on discussion and no limits on participation. What is remarkable is that the Workshop took place about two hundred meters from where the Warsaw Pact was signed in 1955. It is also important to note that this Workshop includes not just government officials but also representatives from the private sector. The private sector has a very special role in enabling us to maintain our Alliance and to prevent what we call the "renationalization of defense." It is industry in the 16 current NATO nations that will help to denationalize the Central European security structures and help them all to work together.


Before I begin talking about the changes NATO is now undergoing, let me first review what happened in NATO over the last six years. During that time, NATO became acknowledged as the instrument of security in Europe, one in which the United States was deeply engaged and prepared to lead when our friends and Allies in Europe wanted us to. NATO also built a clear and coherent architecture, as well as the foundation for a European security structure that can endure in the future.

First, 16 countries do see NATO as the bedrock for security in Europe. Security continues to matter. NATO is the key player in making it happen. Second, NATO works when the United States is committed and when it leads. My country is doing both and will continue to do so. President Bill Clinton has taken the lead and shown the commitment. But that commitment is also shown by key members of the Republican Party, including Senator Bob Dole. Thus my country has already made its transition to a firm, bipartisan commitment to this institution for the indefinite future.

In addition, we managed to take an institution founded for a single purpose to contain Soviet power and turn it into an extraordinary organization involved in a number of challenges, including peacekeeping. All 16 Allies are now working together in Bosnia, and doing it right. We have developed a powerful underpinning for everything we do in the future.

Finally, at NATO we made the fundamental decision to become involved in Central and Eastern Europe, and we made political and strategic commitments to assume responsibilities in our common interests and our self interest. Partnership for Peace is one such commitment. Enlargement is perhaps the centerpiece commitment.


Now I am going to speak about the challenges NATO is currently facing. One of them is enlargement. We have completed all the work on the "how" and the "why." Now we must work on making sure that NATO will be as strong if not stronger when it is larger. We must also determine what countries must do to become real Allies producers and not just consumers of security when they join the Alliance.

This year we are conducting deep individual dialogues with some 12 countries, and we will soon be moving to decide which countries will be accepted first and when. As we go through this process, we must remember that it is enhancing security for Allies and Partners alike. We must also remember that, at the same time we are enlarging, we are also reaching out to Russia to try to draw that country out of its shell and into the outside world. The invitation to them and their participation in IFOR has sent a powerful message throughout Russia that, if they play by the rules, they will have a full and legitimate part to play within European security.

NATO is also fully engaged in internal adaptation. Based on a long term study of our command structure, we have made the choice to downsize and to modernize. We are continuing to develop the Combined Joint Task Force concept, mostly for use by NATO but also for use by the Western European Union (WEU). And we are working on the European Security and Defense Identity, so that we can eliminate any conflict between a transatlantic system of security and a European one. This difficult, last piece of the architecture fell into place or rather was pushed there, if I may say so in Berlin in early June.


We are now confident that NATO's future is clear. The architecture is complete, and much of the foundation has been laid to give us a secure future. Partnership for Peace is a critical part of that future. I want to underscore the point that Partnership for Peace is not a second-class substitute for enlargement. It is a first-class instrument for creating real, permanent security for current Allies, Partners, and new Allies as well. It is an essential part of NATO's strategic perspective and of the European Atlantic security space. Indeed, it is the tool that creates military structures within the NATO security family and enables new countries to be part of NATO. As Ambassador von Richthofen of Germany mentioned at the Workshop, it is the device whereby countries newly accepted to NATO will be able to stand up before the parliaments of the 16 NATO countries and demonstrate that they are ready to bear the full costs and obligations of the Alliance.

Partnership for Peace also gives us the opportunity to maintain an association with everyone who is ready, willing, and able to work closely and carefully with us. We are determined to make the difference between being an Ally and a robust Partner as small as possible razor thin if we can make it. For example, while Partners will not receive Article V guarantees, they will receive constant engagement with us and the equivalent of Article IV consultations. They will not join the integrated military structure, but they have already joined us in IFOR in Bosnia, and they will train with us, exercise with us, and take part in expanded tasks with us. And while they will not have a vote at the North Atlantic Council table, they will be Partners within the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and they will be able to join various NATO committees. In effect, they will be integrated into just about every functional NATO area, short of membership itself.

Ideas for further developing Partnership relationships are now coming from Partners as well as from Allies. One of the critical Partner ideas is a proposal by Hungary to incorporate lessons learned from IFOR to make the Partnership work even more effectively. This proposal will not just help PFP, it will also ensure that both Partners and Allies will be able to handle the next Bosnia, if there is a next Bosnia, even better than we did this time. The role of Partners is thus becoming deeper and broader.

Minister Birkavs of Latvia has discussed how essential it is that any decentralization within PFP still be connected strategically to NATO. We do not want the Partnership to be regionalized, but instead to enable countries that are working on their own and together to be like spokes of a wheel of which NATO Headquarters is the hub.


While I could discuss several other specific points, what they all amount to is that NATO security has arrived, and it will keep on deepening. Its growth is almost like the World Wide Web it no longer has a single author, but continues to enrich itself even as we speak.

But though NATO security has arrived, it has not completely developed; we are not there yet. We are not there because we in the Alliance are not yet taking all the practical work as seriously as we have to. To do this we must understand that we all have a stake in the success of the Partnership program.

More countries in the Alliance must also realize that they need to take part in the program more deeply, and be more willing to take the lead. Denmark, Germany, and the U.S. are already deeply engaged, but all 16 countries are not yet out there pressing for new ideas and new leadership. We need to do more "in the spirit of" PFP, and individual Allies need to do far more on a bilateral basis with individual countries in Central Europe. We also need to expand our clearinghouse process so that various efforts reinforce rather than duplicate each other.

Finally, we must put more resources into the Partnership program. My country is providing $100 million this year under its Warsaw Initiative for the second year in a row, following the commitment of President Clinton in this city two years ago to put tangible resources into the efforts by Partner states to adapt themselves to NATO. That sum is being matched by no other country. But if we are all serious particularly as we head into the critical decisions on enlargement we must have a Partnership that is up and running and well financed. Otherwise, we're going to find that none of this is going to work very well, no matter how much we want it to. The United States and other countries are going to kick into higher gear this fall to help make PFP work. All of us at NATO invite everyone to be engaged in that effort, because Partnership for Peace is the magic bullet and we must make it work.

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