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U.S. Department of State
93/06/10 Intervention at NAC Ministerial, Greece
Office of the Spokesman

Intervention by
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
at the North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting

Athens, Greece
June 10, 1993

U.S. Leadership After the Cold War:  NATO and Transatlantic Security

Mr. Secretary General:  I am honored to be here in Athens to take part 
in this meeting of the North Atlantic Council.  This is the first formal 
meeting of the NAC in ministerial session since President Clinton took 
office.  I therefore want to elaborate upon the basic statement I made 
in February in Brussels on U.S. policy toward NATO and, more broadly, 
transatlantic security.

But first let me thank Manfred Woerner for his letter setting out the 
principal issues for our meeting today.  I am impressed with the 
soundness of both his analysis and his conclusions.

In meeting with you today, I am following every U.S. Secretary of State 
of both political parties over four and a half decades. America's 
commitment to the security of Europe is not bound by party, and, like 
the Treaty of Washington itself, it is not bound by time.

Among us, we have built the most successful alliance in history.  We 
should never lose sight of that stunning truth.  The values and 
interests we share remain in force--and the challenges we face remain 

Above all, safeguarding the security of our countries and maintaining 
stability throughout Europe remains the core responsibility of NATO.  
The United States will sustain its unparalleled military strength.  We 
will continue to maintain substantial, effective forces in Europe--about 
100,000 troops--to ensure our ability to meet our solemn security 

Beyond Europe, we are revitalizing the American economy, forging a new 
partnership with Russian reform, working for peace between Israel and 
its Arab neighbors, creating a new framework for our relations with 
Japan, pressing for reform in China, finding new ways to protect the 
global environment, and promoting human rights and democracy worldwide.

The end of the Cold War is making American leadership even more 
important--and we accept the challenge.

Along these lines and as I indicated to the Secretary General this 
morning, President Clinton proposes that there be a summit meeting with 
his fellow NATO Heads of State and Government before the end of this 
year.  He sees such a meeting as an important opportunity to assess with 
his colleagues how to continue to strengthen the alliance, and to adapt 
its agenda to the challenges of the post-Cold War world.  We would be 
interested in hearing your views and discussing how we can obtain 
maximum use from such a meeting.

For the past few years, NATO has been setting its course for the future.  
But there has been an important continuity in our mission:  to keep the 
peace; to promote the freedom and security of our member states and 
peoples; to reinforce unbreakable links across the Atlantic.  And there 
is an important new mission:  to help the emerging democracies to the 
East share in the benefits we have gained from this alliance.

The entire international community continues to search for effective 
means to end the killing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, bring about a lasting 
and equitable peace, and guarantee that this tragic conflict does not 
spread.  In pursuit of these goals, the United States and other Security 
Council members agreed in Washington on May 22 on a Joint Action 
Program.  It represents a step forward, seeking to increase pressure on 
those who have stood in the way of peace in Bosnia.  We all recognize 
that these are interim steps, not a comprehensive solution to this 
tragic situation.  A negotiated settlement--that is agreed by all three 
parties and implemented in good faith--remains our goal.  And let me 
state again that new and tougher measures remain on the table, should 
they be needed to reach that goal. 

NATO is already supporting the Joint Action Program through enforcement 
of the No-Fly Zone and sanctions enforcement in the Adriatic.  NATO can 
and should make several decisions today to demonstrate unity and purpose 
on this issue--including further support of the Joint Action Program.

As you know, last Friday the UN Security Council enacted Resolution 836, 
creating "safe areas."  Resolution 836 authorizes UN member states to 
use air power to support UNPROFOR troops in implementing the safe areas.  
I believe NATO should join us in protecting UNPROFOR personnel with air 
power if they are attacked and request assistance.  The United States is 
already committed to this, and we want to join our efforts with those of 
other allies in a NATO operation.  Such an operation should be based on 
the structure already in place for No-Fly Zone enforcement.

As an additional contribution, the United States is prepared to provide 
airlift to nations contributing troops to UNPROFOR's safe area 
operations if they need this assistance.

Further, as a means to increase pressure for a settlement, we should 
press our Eastern partners for enforcement of the UN sanctions against 
Serbia.  We should strongly endorse all efforts to enforce sanctions in 
the region.

These sanctions must be unrelenting.  Everyone should understand that 
the United States will insist on the isolation of Serbia and Montenegro 
from the community of nations until all UN requirements are met.  Pariah 
status is the price that must be paid for the aggression that is taking 
place.  Sanctions are also possible against Croatia if it supports 
aggression and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  

We recall well the pledge trumpeted by the Belgrade authorities to close 
the frontier with Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The world wants them to live by 
their word--and is watching with growing disappointment as they conduct 
business as usual.

Long-term pariah status must also be attached to those guilty of 
atrocities.  We intend to pursue vigorously the indictment and 
prosecution of those who have committed war crimes in the former 
Yugoslavia.  Those who have committed such atrocities must pay for their 

This conflict must not be allowed to spill over.   We must prevent a 
wider Balkan war, which would threaten NATO allies and several emerging 
democracies.  It is essential that everyone in the region understand 
that aggression against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would 
have grave consequences. The United States will support an increase in 
the international presence in that Republic.

I am pleased to announce today that we have offered the UN a reinforced 
company team to augment the UN contingent already in the Former Yugoslav 
Republic of Macedonia.  These troops underscore the seriousness of our 
warning to Belgrade and the Bosnian Serbs.  This offer of U.S. troops to 
the UN has both symbolic and tangible significance.

Neither can we permit a crackdown in Kosovo that could lead to an 
expansion in the conflict.  The U.S. has made it clear to the Serb 
authorities that such a move will not be tolerated. NATO should also 
support an increase in the CSCE long duration missions in the former 
Yugoslavia, particularly in Kosovo.  I plan to discuss this with the 
CSCE Chairman-in-Office and Secretary General when I visit Vienna next 
Monday.  Together these steps underscore the seriousness of our warnings 
to Belgrade.

Today we must also reconfirm NATO'S readiness to assist the United 
Nations in implementing a negotiated peace settlement. Credible 
provisions for implementing such a peace settlement will be fundamental 
to its prospects for success.  The United States reaffirms its 
commitment to participate with the UN and NATO in implementing and 
enforcing that agreement, including the possible use of ground forces.

Finally, I believe we all recognize that the West missed opportunities 
to head off this horrible problem.  I hope we learn that we must work 
together earlier to help prevent conflicts before they erupt.  We must 
develop mechanisms to deal more quickly and creatively with crises.  
Further, we must give high priority to the development of peacekeeping 

Mr. Secretary General, we have been preoccupied with Bosnia. But we must 
also create the basis for tomorrow's security in the North Atlantic area 
and throughout Europe.

This alliance can succeed only if we make our political and economic 
linkages as strong as our military ties.  We must strengthen bonds 
between North America and the European Community.  Indeed, European 
security today is a compound of political, economic, social, and 
military efforts.  Preserving common security across the Atlantic 
requires us to focus not only on renewing NATO, but also on concluding 
the GATT Round. Transatlantic relations cannot be overly 
compartmentalized--either in substance or, increasingly, in 

In this new era, we must show our parliaments and peoples that we share 
burdens as we share risks.  The drastically diminished threat after the 
Cold War leads us to reduce our military spending.  But if any of us 
cuts spending to the point of imperiling the common needs of the 
alliance--even worse, if there is a free-fall in defense spending--then 
the alliance faces not only a crisis of confidence but a corrosion of 
capability.  The United States will maintain its military commitment and 
responsibilities in Europe.  But President Clinton and I must be able to 
show the U.S. Congress that the allies are doing the same.  Sharing must 
be a visible NATO principle:  sharing of burdens; sharing of 
responsibilities; sharing of decisions.

Mr. Secretary General, I believe that between now and our next meeting, 
which I hope will be a Summit, we need to achieve progress in five 
important areas.

First, we must strengthen the unique qualities of NATO cooperation.  
Never before have so many nations joined together to confront common 
challenges.  Never before have the military forces of so many countries 
worked together so effectively, both in NATO's integrated command and in 
informal arrangements. Never before have the defense industries of so 
many countries adopted the same standards and made possible such a 
multiplication of military strength.  These achievements must not be 
squandered.  We must maintain our ability to act when our interests are 

Despite the grave situation in the former Yugoslavia, there is no 
fundamental challenge to the political order in Europe that could 
produce a new Continent-wide war.  Sustaining that achievement will 
depend in part on reinforcing our alliance, our practices of 
cooperation, our robust military defenses and command structures.

If the cooperative linkages among our defense industries are permitted 
to erode as defense budgets fall, each member nation and the whole 
alliance can lose the benefits of this special "force multiplier."  
That's why the Defense Trade Code of Conduct is so important.  We must 
also continue updating NATO's common infrastructure program to ensure 
that we invest in assets essential to meeting new challenges.

Second, we must help to make and keep the peace in Central and Eastern 
Europe.  For many countries, the "unfreezing of history" has vastly 
complicated the transition from Communism to democracy.

Peacemaking and peacekeeping are most effective when they are preceded 
or accompanied by timely political efforts to reduce tensions and settle 
disputes.  NATO must be able to take political decisions for early, 
sustained, and credible engagement.  Its military leaders must have 
confidence in the ability of this Council to provide timely and 
effective political direction.  

Different member states will approach situations with different 
political sensitivities in mind, and with different peacekeeping 
structures that they might prefer.  But we should also work to develop 
core NATO peacekeeping procedures that will balance political 
acceptability and military effectiveness.  We don't need to "reinvent 
the wheel" each time NATO's peacekeeping capabilities are needed.  These 
capabilities are especially important to help new democracies succeed--
and to draw our NACC partners firmly to the West.  

Third, we must work more effectively with other institutions with goals 
similar to NATO's.  The U.S. commitment to European security will 
continue to be expressed first and foremost through NATO.  We reaffirm 
that "the alliance is the essential forum for consultation among its 
members, and the venue for agreement on policies bearing on the security 
and defense commitments of allies under the Washington Treaty."

But while NATO is central to our common purposes, it is not alone in 
pursuing goals consistent with the broadest definition of security.  The 
UN, CSCE, EC, the NACC, the WEU and the Council of Europe have valuable 
roles to play--and each should be energized.  Important progress has 
been made in developing complementary, interlocking institutions.  But 
NATO needs to build more effective links for crisis prevention, 
management and communication among them to meet new challenges to 
European security.  

With the United Nations, we should extend planning beyond ad hoc 
arrangements to a more systematic relationship.  We must also seek to 
ensure that NATO states that are not members of the UN Security Council 
are nonetheless more engaged in reaching decisions that affect their 
interests.  The United States supports the idea of establishing a 
contact group consisting of key contributors to peacekeeping activities.  

The United States welcomes the development of a European security and 
defense identity.  This will make our own commitment even more 
effective.  Such an identity can also sustain and build popular support, 
in Europe, for meeting European commitments and responsibilities.  We 
also welcome the opportunity to work even more closely with France in 
alliance defense activities, and we look forward to expanding that 

NATO must develop closer ties with the WEU.  But we should also recall 
our declared intention "to preserve the operational coherence we now 
have and on which our defense depends."  And we must act on the premise 
that although the military capabilities of the two institutions are 
separable, they must not be seen as separate.

Fourth, we must create the basis for continent-wide security.  In 
declarations of the North Atlantic Council since 1990, we have accepted 
the mandate for developing a system and practices of security that span 
the continent.  All states need to implement reductions already placed 
on Cold War weaponry and further reduce any residual risks.  And states 
left outside the security system could in time pose dangers to it.  
Outreach activities with NACC partners--and work with the CSCE--are 
vitally important.  CSCE's innovative work on crisis management and 
conflict prevention is one of the most promising security experiments 
underway in Europe today.

Securing the full benefits of ending the Cold War depends on 
consolidating the place of the post-Communist states in the community of 
democratic nations.  Western Europe has succeeded in replacing a 
thousand years of strife and turmoil in Europe with a new approach to 
security grounded in basic human values and the rule of law.  Now the 
great test is whether it can be achieved in the East.

At an appropriate time, we may choose to enlarge NATO membership.  But 
that is not now on the agenda.  

Most important, we should intensify and expand the work program for the 
NACC and broaden its mandate.  This institution has already proved its 
worth in involving post-Communist states with the West.  It can and must 
become much more.  For example, the NACC states should step up joint 
consultations, joint activities on peacekeeping, exchange of personnel, 
training in civil-military relations and joint exercises.  We are once 
again prepared to contribute $500,000 to the NATO budget to support NACC 
activities, provided other allies contribute a proportionate share.

By our next meeting, we should agree upon an expanded NACC agenda, 
designed to draw post-Communist states more closely into the structure 
of security for the heart of Europe.  At the same time, we should 
develop new ways for those European nations not in the NACC to 
participate in NATO work.

As Secretary of Defense Aspin reported to the Defense Planning Committee 
(DPC) two weeks ago, the United States is developing a strategic 
partnership with Russia, agreed upon by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin 
at Vancouver.  We want to build similar relationships, based on commonly 
shared values and principles, with all the new post-Communist states.  
In building more partnerships, we will of course work closely with our 
NATO allies.  We do not see these relationships as mutually exclusive or 
as a substitute for other bilateral or multilateral relationships.

President Clinton is also initiating a strategic partnership with 
Ukraine.  Of course, it remains important that Ukraine fulfill its 
Lisbon Protocol commitments, ratify START I, and accede to the Nuclear 
Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear state.  Ukraine and other 
newly independent states of the former Soviet Union must also be 
integrated into European institutions--such as the NACC and CSCE--as the 
best assurance of their independence, security, and territorial 
integrity.  I would be glad to report to you on Secretary Aspin's and 
Ambassador Talbott's recent trip to Ukraine in detail during the 
discussion period after lunch.  

In recent years, the West has created a series of ad hoc means of 
coordinating policy toward the post-Communist states in a number of 
areas, especially economic policy.  But as yet, we have no shared 
strategic framework to link nations across the old East-West divide.  We 
should strengthen the NAC--along with the NACC--as a central forum to 
discuss broad strategic policy.  We need to ensure that we develop an 
approach that reaches out to Russia and all the new states of the 

Fifth and finally, just as we recognize the importance of extending 
NATO's role eastward on the continent, we must intensify cooperation on 
threats to allied interests arising from beyond Europe.  We have learned 
that we must act against other threats to our common security from 
outside the North Atlantic area--whether or not the allies act together 
or through the institutions of the alliance.

We face no more urgent security threat than the potential spread of 
weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.  NATO 
governments must work to achieve the unconditional and indefinite 
extension of the NPT at the 1995 Review Conference.  But we must do even 
more.  Proliferation is the emerging arms control agenda of the 
Nineties--and we must be prepared collectively to take stronger action.  
States seeking to threaten the peace by acquiring these weapons must 
know that we will oppose them.

Our proliferation agenda must also encompass new partners. Above all, we 
should cooperate with Russia and the NIS.  All NATO governments have a 
direct interest in the rapid and safe dismantling of the former Soviet 
Union's nuclear forces.  This task is beyond the means of any one 
nation.  And it will involve much greater costs if we do not combine our 
efforts to accelerate denuclearization now.

Mr. Secretary General, between now and our next meeting, let us work 
together to achieve concrete results in each of these five areas.  Let 
us take specific steps to maintain NATO's strength, improve peacemaking 
and peacekeeping, cooperate more closely with other institutions, extend 
security cooperation eastward, and respond to threats from beyond the 

President Clinton has nominated a top-flight individual, Dr. Robert 
Hunter, to be the new U.S. Ambassador to NATO.  We are eager to have him 
join the allies on the Council very soon.  I have asked him to work 
closely with you in these key areas so that we can register progress at 
our next meeting.

Mr. Secretary General, I know that I have proposed an ambitious agenda 
for the North Atlantic Council during the next several months.  But I 
believe it is an agenda appropriate to the challenges.  We seek not to 
find new tasks to justify an old alliance, but to use this enduring 
alliance to face new tests. This agenda demonstrates that the North 
Atlantic Alliance is vital to us all.

Thank you. 


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