North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Implications Related to Eastward Enlargement

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NATO enlargement is a key issue both within NATO and in the context of alternative future security alignments in Europe involving NATO, the European Union (EU), and the Western European Union (WEU). This paper examines the most crucial implications of the ongoing enlargement process and what has to be done prior to the very important summer summit in Madrid this year, 50 years after President Truman's Marshall Plan. The study concludes that the main issue as far as Western security is concerned is not a hasty enlargement of NATO but rather how to guarantee peaceful relations between Russia and NATO. The West must understand that the costs of Russia's being forced to move away from the West could far exceed any advantages gained through NATO enlargement. And finally, US leadership as a super-power within NATO, has never been more important than it is today to avoid polarization of European Security policy. Without broad-based, active US involvement the European security architecture will be less effective and will lose credibility. The US has the unique role as the leading security partner of the world's principal democracies and with unparalleled military assets to display influence as an international leader.

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