|FTER THE 1989 EVENTS in CEE, the changing strategic landscape attracted Europes attention. The Cold War concern about instability at the heart of a partitioned Germany and a divided continent was supplanted by anxiety over potential instability centered along two geographic arcs running along the periphery of the continent. One was the Eastern arc, running from the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe south between Germany and Russia through the Balkans to the Black Sea. The other one was the Southern arc, running through North Africa and the Mediterranean into Turkey and including the Greater Middle East region.132|
In this context, the NACC was established at the end of 1991 to provide a link between the NATO countries and the former Warsaw Pact states. It was not originally envisaged as an all-European organization with membership that would include neutral and non-aligned nations of Europe.
The PFP, initially designed to postpone the pressing requests of Central and Eastern European countries for NATO membership,134 proved its success as the provider of a tailored menu of options for engagement according to the preferences of each partner and as a unique experiment in peacekeeping (Bosnia). Both NACC (through multilateral channels) and PFP (by developing bilateral activities) laid the political groundwork for possible NATO enlargement.135
In this respect the Americans have great expectations for Germany which the present administration views as the most powerful partner in Europe due to its demographic potential, stable political structure and economic power.141 Thus, [i]n the balance between threats and capacities at the crux of security, Germany will increasingly contribute to the capacities of an alliance for common defense while driving the economic engine of Europe.142 Moreover, in order to avoid a German-Russian security competition in CEE,143 the United States had to address Germanys security concerns.144 These might be considered the essential and decisive points in understanding who, when and why in the process of NATO enlargement.
However, the appeal by the Central Europeans to erase the line drawn for them in 1945, the need to demonstrate U.S. leadership at the time when others questioned it, the domestic political consensus, and his own Wilsonian orientation toward spreading liberalism combined145 were also important factors which encouraged President Clinton to push for NATOs enlargement toward CEE after mid-1994.
The complementarity shown by Germany and the United States during the process of NATO enlargement proved that they have overcome some difficult moments in their relations during 1990-1992. Taking into account the fact that the hallmark of a special relationship is the ability to overcome crises, the two countries proved that they can remain pivotal partners (both to each other and to the international community) as long they are able to refashion in strategic terms their new security bargain.
In order to accommodate these new requirements, a layer-cake that reflected German interests was developed.
The Alliances decision to enlarge toward CEE, with NATO membership for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, will not address all the economic, political and social problems that the CEE region is facing. A complementarity between the European Union (EU) and NATO is necessary to solve the delicate problems of European security. Despite the fact that there are countless references to this complementarity in official communiques, only in the last two to three years has there been an acceptance of this principle in U.S. thinking.
The ability and determination of the United States to lead in the post-Cold War period also remain open questions. President Clinton has sounded Wilsonian themes such as: It is time for America to lead a global alliance for democracy as united and steadfast as the global alliance that defeated communism.155 But it remains uncertain whether the transatlantic security relationship will survive the absence of the Soviet threat, the presence of a united Germany, and the erosion of U.S. Cold War authority. As Mary N. Hampton has asked,
Finally, is community-building in fact possible when unaccompanied by the objective of defense against an external threat? Assuming that community-building does remain valid for the recast NATO and trans-Atlantic relations, whose community-building scheme will be applied to incorporate the former East bloc? These are central questions that must be answered in the coming years.15
END NOTES, Conclusion
133. James Goodby, Can Collective Security Work? Reflections on the European Case, in Chester A. Crocker & Fen Osler Hampson with Pamela Aall, Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1996), p. 248.
144. However, from the American perspective, one of the greatest threats posed to the U.S.-German relationship during 1990-1994 was the possibility that the mood in America might turn hostile toward CEE, at the time when the Germans were still inclined to work with Russia.
148. After 1989, it might be argued, the United Statesalso tried to limit German power in the new Europe, by encouraging German involvement in NATO and European international organizations, while at the same time working with the U.K., France and other countries in order to limit the degree of German influence over those organizations.
149. See Presidents Bush speech, Proposals for a Free and Peaceful Europe delivered in May 1989 and reprinted by the Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State, Current Policy, no. 1, June 1989, p. 179.
150. As quoted in Karen Dornfried, German Foreign Policy: Regional Priorities and Global Debuts, CRS Report for Congress, 25 October 1995 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 1995), p. 23.
155. President Bill Clinton quoted in Tony Smith, Americas Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), p. 320.