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U.S. Department of State
96/06/03 Remarks to the North Atlantic Council
Office of the Spokesman



                          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                           Office of the Spokesman 
 
                              (Berlin, Germany) 
 
___________________________________________________________________ 
As Prepared for Delivery                               June 3, 1996 
 
 
 
            REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                       TO THE NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL 
 
                          Intercontinental Hotel 
                                June 3, 1996 
 
 
Let me begin by thanking and congratulating Secretary-General Solana for 
the immense contributions he has already made to the Alliance in his 
first six months in office.  I also want to thank our German hosts, and 
Foreign Minister Kinkel in particular, for their hard work in organizing 
this historic Ministerial -- the first meeting of the North Atlantic 
Council in a free and unified Berlin.   
 
That we can come together in an undivided Berlin fulfills one of the 
central hopes of the founders of our Alliance.  And it reflects our own 
aspirations for a Europe in which every nation enjoys the blessings that 
the citizens of Berlin can now begin to take for granted:  a free Europe 
without walls of any kind. 
 
It was here, in the shadow of the Soviet threat, that NATO played its 
most visible and important role.  But holding the Soviet Army at bay was 
not NATO's only achievement and it was not its only purpose.  Our 
predecessors created NATO to be a permanent alliance that would meet 
emerging threats to our security and deter new ones from arising.  And 
they succeeded.  
 
Today, for the United States, NATO remains the linchpin of our 
engagement in Europe and our most effective instrument for political 
cooperation and military action with our European allies.  For Europe's 
new democracies, which have endured so many years of subjugation and 
strife, a burgeoning relationship with NATO offers new confidence in a 
secure and undivided Europe.  For the people of Bosnia, NATO has simply 
made the difference between war and peace, life and death.  Among all 
Western institutions, only NATO had the strength and credibility to 
bring the brutal war in their country to an end. 
 
NATO is thriving in the post-Cold War world because we have rejected the 
counsel of those who would have us abandon its fundamental strengths.  
In the real world, there is no substitute for a real security alliance.  
NATO is the essential and most realistic foundation upon which to build 
a secure and undivided Europe.  And the qualities that have made NATO 
the most successful alliance in history -- its core purpose of 
collective defense, its integrated command structure, and the 
transatlantic link -- must and will be preserved. 
 
At the same time, with the Soviet threat gone and freedom ascendant 
throughout Europe, NATO must not stand still.  In January, 1994, our 
leaders set a far-reaching agenda to renew our Alliance.  They called on 
NATO to assume new roles and missions in support of European security 
and to extend its reach to Europe's emerging democracies.  They also 
recognized that the Alliance should no longer be organized to meet a 
threat that no longer exists, and so they decided to adapt NATO's 
internal structures to meet new challenges.  Since then, we have 
demonstrated our resolve to realize each of these goals, and more. 
 
 NATO has established the Partnership for Peace and begun the process of 
enlargement.  In Bosnia, we have launched the largest operation in 
NATO's history.  The United States has maintained our engagement, and 
our forces, in Europe -- and we reaffirmed our commitment in the most 
tangible way by contributing 20,000 troops to IFOR.  Our European 
allies, who have provided over half of IFOR's strength, are taking on 
new responsibilities.  France has taken a historic step in drawing 
closer to the military side of NATO. 
 
Today, we are meeting one of the central challenges in maintaining 
NATO's viability for the 21st century.  We are taking a dramatic step 
forward in NATO's internal adaptation.  Our decisions will achieve two 
vital goals:  They will give NATO the flexibility to meet its new, post-
Cold War responsibilities, while preserving its fundamental mission.  
They will also strengthen the European dimension within NATO, while 
maintaining our unity of command and the vital transatlantic link. 
 
Today's agreement gives NATO the means to help provide stability 
throughout Europe -- to respond rapidly to crises that are likely to 
happen, but which cannot now be foreseen.  We are establishing a new 
Policy Coordination Group for political and military  issues.  We are 
also introducing a new command and control concept, the Combined Joint 
Task Force, for missions that involve peacekeeping.  It builds on the 
approach that was so successful during the Persian Gulf War and will 
draw from our current experience in Bosnia.  It will give NATO a 
permanent institutional capacity to plan, to train for, and to deploy 
complex operations like IFOR.  It will make it easier for members of the 
Partnership for Peace to join with NATO forces when the Alliance 
responds to emergencies.    
 
Our decisions will also allow our European allies to take on even 
greater responsibilities.  Today, we have agreed on a process by which 
we can make NATO assets available for military operations led by the 
Western European Union, and we will develop European command 
arrangements within the Alliance that preserve NATO's transatlantic 
foundation.  Under President Clinton's leadership, the United States has 
strongly supported the development of a European Security and Defense 
Identity in the Alliance.  Indeed, President Clinton has provided 
stronger support for the process of European integration than any other 
post-war American president.   
 
Now we must do the hard work that is necessary to bring these 
commitments to life.  I am convinced we can get the details right while 
preserving NATO's fundamental strength and character. 
 
I also want to stress that in a very real sense, our progress today was 
made possible by France's decision to take part more completely in the 
work of NATO.  President Clinton and I warmly welcome President Chirac's 
historic choice to pursue ESDI within the Alliance.  France has now 
rejoined the Military Committee; its Defense Minister will now once 
again participate in NATO Defense Minister meetings; its soldiers are 
playing a critical role under NATO command in Bosnia; and it is playing 
an indispensable part in our common effort to build a new NATO in a 
secure and undivided Europe.  I know I speak for all my colleagues in 
welcoming the steps France has taken. 
 
It is important to remember that NATO's internal adaptation is not an 
end in itself.  The point is to strengthen the Alliance so that all its 
members can act to make a broader transatlantic community more secure.  
That is our fundamental purpose in the years to come, a purpose embodied 
by our mission in Bosnia.   
 
When we last met, we agreed that Bosnia posed a defining challenge for 
NATO.  As we meet today, our forces, under the leadership of General 
Joulwan, Admiral Smith, General Walker and General Heinrich are deployed 
for the first time outside the area of the Alliance.  I want to salute 
them for their immense professionalism and skill. 
 
Our soldiers have come together as a single force to execute an 
extraordinarily complex assignment.  Now the armies that contested the 
war are withdrawing to their barracks, their heavy weapons are being 
placed in cantonment, and the land over which they fought has peacefully 
changed hands.  In less than six months, our troops have already 
achieved what the cynics once thought impossible. 
 
Their progress has important implications:  First, though Bosnia is 
still a troubled country, the prospect that its communities will again 
seek to resolve their disputes by force of arms is fading.  Second, 
while IFOR will stay focused on its main military mission, it will now 
also be in a position to expand its presence through all of Bosnia to 
establish a safe and secure environment for civilian implementation.  
Our troops have already supported hundreds of civil projects, including 
road, rail and bridge repairs.  They will also conduct more visible and 
proactive patrols throughout the country.  This will improve conditions 
for freedom of movement and put war criminals at greater risk of 
apprehension. 
 
We are also establishing more hopeful conditions for the people of the 
region.  Croatia and Serbia have taken important steps to open roads, to 
restore communications, and to normalize ties.  In Bosnia, IFOR reports 
that 10,000 to 15,000 people are crossing the inter-entity boundary 
every day.  Reconstruction is gaining momentum.  Work will soon begin on 
the road to Gorazde.  And this summer, the United States will begin 
refurbishing 2,500 homes damaged in the war.  We have pledged over a 
billion dollars to support reconstruction; all of us share a 
responsibility to meet our pledges in full. 
 
We have given our forces in Bosnia a precisely defined set of tasks, and 
we continue to foresee that they will complete them by the end of this 
year.  In the meantime, we must all focus on the next critical 
milestone:  holding free and fair elections throughout Bosnia.   
 
In our talks yesterday in Geneva, the three Balkan presidents joined 
together to call for elections in Bosnia by September 14, the date 
established at Dayton.  They also agreed that an exact date should be 
announced to provide a focus for the work that remains.  This is a 
significant agreement.  It is the necessary precondition to create a 
democratic government for all of Bosnia and its diverse communities.  
And it will increase pressure on the parties to meet their commitments 
to respect freedom of movement and a free media.  As the three 
Presidents made clear yesterday, "any delay in the elections will risk 
widening the divisions which already exist." 
 
I also made it very clear to the parties yesterday that indicted war 
criminals must be removed from all positions of authority and turned 
over to the War Crimes Tribunal.  There is a growing determination in 
the international community to see these commitments fulfilled. 
 
This is a difficult process and it will remain difficult.  But while the 
glass is not yet full in Bosnia, it is filling.  Let me assure you that 
the United States is determined to stay engaged to push the parties 
toward a lasting peace -- the kind of peace I believe can only be built 
one step at a time. 
 
Our mission in Bosnia is unique in another important way.  The broad 
coalition we have assembled takes the Partnership for Peace to new 
heights.  It shows us how far Europe's new democracies have come and how 
much they have to contribute as our partners to European security.  Our 
success in Bosnia will have immensely positive implications for the 
future of Europe.  This gives us yet another incentive to succeed. 
 
Today, one of NATO's greatest challenges is to help reunite this 
continent, to erase forever the outdated boundaries of the Cold War.  To 
that end, President Clinton has advanced, and NATO has embraced, a 
comprehensive strategy for European security.  It includes a robust and 
permanent Partnership for Peace.  It includes NATO's steady, transparent 
process of enlargement.  It includes support for a broader and deeper 
European Union and a stronger OSCE.  It includes building a productive 
relationship with Russia. 
 
The Partnership for Peace continues to exceed all expectations.  The 
Partnership has encouraged and assisted our Partners to reform their 
military and defense structures in ways that are consistent with 
democratic standards.  It has established the habits of cooperation that 
made IFOR possible.  This year, we are conducting over fifteen major 
Partnership exercises, from the Black Sea coast of Romania to the green 
fields of North Carolina. 
 
Last December in Brussels, we agreed to move forward in five specific 
areas to permit the Partnership for Peace and the North Atlantic 
Cooperation Council to reach their potential.  Although we are making 
good progress in each of these areas, we must work hard to implement 
these commitments in full. 
 
First, the North Atlantic Cooperation Council should move forward to 
develop standards for civilian and democratic control of defense forces.  
Second, we should make the Partnership Planning and Review Process 
conform more closely to NATO's internal defense planning and review 
procedures so that Partner and Allied forces can work even more 
effectively together in joint missions and exercises.  Third, we should 
give Partners greater responsibility for shaping cooperation programs 
through our dialogue in the NACC and NATO senior committees.  Fourth, we 
should continue to encourage greater Partner participation in all stages 
of planning exercises.  Finally, Allies and Partners alike should 
dedicate greater financial resources so that the Partnership for Peace 
can meet its goals. 
 
While we fulfill our December commitments, I propose that we consider 
several other ways to strengthen the Partnership for Peace in 
particular.  First, Allies and Partners should apply our experience in 
IFOR to future Partnership exercise, planning, and training activities.  
Second, we should consider expanding the focus of the Planning and 
Review Process beyond its current peacekeeping, humanitarian and search 
and rescue tasks.  Finally, I am pleased we have agreed to involve 
Partners in CJTF planning for possible missions that do not involve 
Article V security guarantees.  
   
For every Partner, these proposals can lead to a deeper long-term 
relationship with the Alliance.  They will also help prepare some 
Partners to share the full responsibilities and benefits of membership 
in NATO. 
 
Today, NATO is on track to fulfill its decision to take in new members.  
We are now actively engaged in intensive consultations with interested 
partners to determine what they must do, and what the Alliance must do, 
to prepare for enlargement.  Based on the results, we will decide on 
next steps in December. 
 
Already, the Partnership for Peace and our process of enlargement have 
made what was once thought impossible in Europe appear routine.  We see 
that in Bosnia, where soldiers from NATO and Europe's new democracies 
are cooperating effectively under a unified command.  We can see it in 
the steady and serious efforts so many of our Partners have made to 
place their armed forces under democratic, civilian control and to bring 
them up to NATO standards.  We can see it in the remarkable consensus 
emerging among our Partners:  that they wish to join our community of 
democracies for the same reasons we would never want to leave it. 
 
Most dramatically, we can see it in the steps our Partners are taking to 
overcome ancient disputes.  Hungary and Slovakia have ratified a treaty 
guaranteeing respect for minority rights, and we hope Hungary and 
Romania will reach a similar agreement soon.  Poland is reaching across 
an old divide to build a security relationship with Lithuania and to 
establish a joint peacekeeping battalion with Ukraine.  Like NATO, our 
Partners have recognized that we cannot promote any one nation's 
integration at the expense of its neighbors. 
 
Ukraine's emergence as a sovereign and prosperous democracy is 
especially important to the security of Europe.  That is why we value 
Ukraine's participation in IFOR and the Partnership for Peace, and why 
we want NATO and Ukraine to build an enhanced relationship.  As we 
speak, we are participating with Russia and 8 other nations in a major 
military exercise in the western part of Ukraine.  In a place that has 
come to symbolize central Europe's tragic history of conquest and 
shifting frontiers, we will help build a future in which every European 
nation is secure enough to shape its destiny.  
 
I want to commend Ukraine for reaching another historic milestone:  The 
last Soviet-era nuclear warheads have now been removed from its 
territory under its Trilateral agreement with the United States and 
Russia.  That is a powerful reminder of the benefits we have already 
gained from our cooperation with Ukraine and with Russia as well. 
 
In two weeks, the world will be watching as Russia holds its first 
presidential elections in the post-Soviet era.  Far from fearing the 
result, we should be confident that in the long run, democracy in Russia 
can only benefit Europe, America and the world.  Whatever Russia's 
future holds in store, our interests will remain the same:  to keep our 
people safe and to consolidate the gains for peace and freedom made 
possible by the Cold War's end.  Our support for the democratic process 
in Russia and our cooperation on security issues will be critical in the 
months and years ahead. 
 
Many people have doubted whether NATO and Russia could ever work 
together.  Our forces in Bosnia are proving them wrong every day.  At 
tomorrow's 16 plus 1 meeting with Foreign Minister Primakov, we will 
have an opportunity to strengthen the NATO-Russia relationship further.  
Russia can take an important step by providing a positive response to 
NATO's proposals for a political framework that includes permanent 
consultative arrangements.  I also look forward to more intensive 
cooperation with Russia in the Partnership for Peace.   
 
Another positive note for our further cooperation came last week with 
the resolution of the dispute over equipment levels permitted on the 
north and south flanks of the CFE region.  This agreement is the 
culmination of two years of negotiation -- and I congratulate all who 
participated in its resolution.  Now our efforts to build European 
security will go forward with this crucial treaty strengthened and 
setting a stable foundation for us all. 
 
At the outset, I remarked that Berlin is a fitting place from which to 
advance our hopes for the future of our transatlantic community.  We 
should remember that in the long years of the Cold War, it was our unity 
in the western half of this once divided city, and our unity in the 
western half of this once divided continent, that brought us to this 
hopeful point in history. 
 
In those years, we stood together in part because our survival depended 
on it.  Today, we are united in a time of peace, and we are taking the 
decisions we must to keep it that way for good.  There should be no 
doubt that NATO is here to stay as a guarantor of transatlantic security 
and freedom, and that we are determined to renew our alliance for the 
immense challenges to come. 
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