NATO's Bleak Future


© 1998 James H. Wyllie

From Parameters, Winter 1998, pp. 113-23.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the modern world's most enduring and successful military alliance, was founded in 1949. Its core task was to stop something from happening, and it accomplished that task remarkably well for an alliance of originally 12, and later 16, states. For 40 years NATO deterred the military advance of Soviet communism across West Europe. By providing military security NATO facilitated the economic developments that inhibited the political advance of Soviet communism beyond those unfortunate lands in Europe upon which Stalin imposed his ideology in the aftermath of the Second World War.

NATO fought and won the Cold War, and validated the concept of collective defense. Whatever disagreements member states may have had over other issues were relegated below the overarching common interest in defense against the common enemy. The success of NATO stands in stark contrast to the failures and immobilization of collective security, the exemplars in modern times being the League of Nations and the United Nations. Collective security, as an alternative to alliance, posits the notion that each state shares responsibility for each other state's security.[1] All are supposed to act together and take joint action against any aggressive behavior by any other members. The collective interests of all states ought to be protected against the narrow self-interests of one. But in practice such a worthy concept is found to be wanting. Not all states will agree on what constitutes aggression, or who is the culpable aggressor. How, where, and when action should be taken and who should bear the cost can immobilize decisionmaking and put great strain on goodwill. Examples of effective collective security are rare, and usually only very temporary, for instance the UN coalition in the Gulf in 1990-91.

The central fallacy of collective security is that it expects a state's desire to see others protected against any aggression to be as strong as its desire to protect itself. For 40 years NATO avoided this trap by having a limited number of members, in a limited geographical area, bound together in the face of a clear and present danger. This is not to argue that collective defense is easy. As in any association of free, sovereign states, disagreements occur. There were strains, often deep, over out-of-area problems, burden-sharing, alliance nuclear strategy, and détente. However, the sense of common purpose inherent in collective defense managed to overcome the natural strains, and NATO prevailed.

In the contemporary world there is no common threat to bind the members, yet NATO has decided to enlarge. At the July 1997 Madrid summit, invitations were issued to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to join NATO in 1999. The rationale underpinning enlargement has been subject to much debate and argument, but it remains unclear why NATO is choosing to expand into East Europe. It seems to be part of the search for a raison d'être. Together with vague notions of crisis management, peacekeeping, and peace-enforcement roles for NATO, there are claims that enlargement may be seen as a way to reinforce democracy in East Europe, or as a consolation prize for the shameful delay in granting membership to the European Union. Some analysts suggest that enlargement is essentially the consequence of US domestic politics. The coincidence of a clutch of influential high-policy makers of East European ethnic origin in the Clinton Administration with the need to secure the votes of Polish-Americans and others of East European stock may have persuaded the White House to reverse its antipathy to NATO enlargement midway through its first term when it was in deep political trouble.[2] There is no doubt that it has been the United States that has driven the enlargement process forward since 1994, with NATO Europe in a compliant role.[3]

Nonetheless, fascinating and perplexing though they may be, the diverse and uncertain motivations for enlargement are now of secondary importance; it is some of the unintended consequences that are of primary significance and constitute grounds for deep anxiety about the future security of Europe. In a flurry of diplomatic activity in the spring and summer of 1997, a number of key decisions were made. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are to become NATO members by 1999. Many others who wished to have the advantages of membership are not to be members for some time, if ever at all. The Baltic Republics, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia are prominent among those disappointed. It could be argued that in traditional security terms, those most in need were denied membership while those least in need were granted NATO protection.

To appease the Russian sense of betrayal and threat, the NATO-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security was agreed a few weeks before the Madrid summit. This grants Russia a permanent mission at ambassadorial level at NATO headquarters and a Permanent Joint Council (PJC) meeting frequently at the highest levels to consider matters of common interest. At Madrid a NATO-Ukraine Charter was also agreed. This allows a Ukrainian mission at ambassadorial level at NATO headquarters, and provides a commitment to meet at least twice a year at North Atlantic Council level. The final, major development was the creation of the European-Atlantic Partnership Council. This comprises delegations from NATO and all the "Partnership for Peace" states, and replaces the North Atlantic Cooperation Council founded as a link between NATO and the rest of Europe in 1991. This forum has more than 40 members, discusses matters of common security interest, and may be expected to validate NATO crisis management and humanitarian missions outside the NATO treaty area. It meets monthly at ambassadorial level.[4]

Debilitating Consequences

The decision to enlarge, and the related political developments, constitute a mammoth mistake. George Kennan has described it as "the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era."[5] The new NATO is smitten with crucial weaknesses. Decisionmaking was never easy in a NATO of 12, 15, and then 16 members during the Cold War. Soon NATO will have 19 members, and in a non-Cold War environment consensus will be even more difficult to achieve. The general assumption is that NATO can limit membership to 19 for some time after 1999, and it is reasonable to argue that other East European aspirants can be kept at arm's length. However, there are other European democracies which may feel, at any time, a need to be part of the new, large NATO club. It is not difficult to imagine Austria, Sweden, or Finland applying at short notice to join NATO. NATO could easily find itself early in the new century with 21 or 22 members even before the thorny issues of the membership of the Baltic Republics, Slovakia, Romania, and Slovenia are tackled.

An unwieldy NATO decisionmaking process will now be further deeply compromised by Russia and the Permanent Joint Council. The Founding Act obliges NATO "to consult and strive to cooperate to the broadest possible degree"[6] with Russia in the PJC on all issues of common interest. Section III of the act details the topics demanding consultation, and it is difficult to identify any significant item of NATO business which has been excluded. The PJC will meet monthly at ambassadorial and military representative levels. There will also be regular meetings at the levels of the chiefs of staff and other experts. The PJC must meet at least twice a year at both the foreign minister and defense minister levels.[7] These arrangements bring Russia into the heart of NATO decisionmaking.

In theory Russia cannot exercise a veto over NATO decisions, but in political practice Russia is bound to wield considerable influence over the new, enlarged alliance when NATO is obliged to discuss any controversial decision with Russia, on site, at NATO headquarters. Henry Kissinger argues that "at a minimum, Russia will have succeeded in injecting itself into NATO deliberations in a way bound to complicate purposeful Alliance action."[8] He foresees a "Never-Never Land" of NATO decisionmaking, where an enlarged North Atlantic Council, the PJC, the Ukrainian mission, and the European-Atlantic Partnership Council jostle for power. This jumble creates the prospect of European cohorts working against long-feared US-Russian condominium, or Russia playing off some Europeans against others or the United States, or France supporting Russia against American dominance within the Alliance or behavior out-of-area. The likelihood of consensus on big Alliance or wider European security-related issues is low, as demonstrated by the divergent postures of France and Russia from those of the United States and Britain over the Persian Gulf crisis of early 1998.[9]

Another debilitating consequence of NATO enlargement is the steady transformation of NATO from collective defense toward collective security. The larger NATO becomes, the greater the area it covers; and the more that the European-Atlantic Partnership Council is promoted, the more that NATO comes to resemble collective security organizations such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). A grave weakness arising from these circumstances is the dilution of the power of the United States to persuade and lead a cohesive alliance. The relegation of American influence in European security by making the Alliance answerable to OSCE has been a long-term objective of some Russian foreign policy makers. By default, NATO enlargement has delivered a variation of this foreign policy objective. Some Russian foreign policy makers, probably including President Yeltsin, do not appreciate what is happening and see NATO enlargement largely in terms of a threat to Russian interests. Others with greater experience in foreign affairs and deeper political sophistication--including most probably new Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who previously was Foreign Minister, and most certainly his predecessor as Foreign Minister, Andrei Kozyrev--must appreciate the irony of NATO enlargement weakening the Alliance.

Kozyrev made his preference for a post-Cold War collective security model for European security plain in two high-profile articles published in the West in 1994 and 1995. In 1994 Kozyrev argued, "It was the democratic principles of the 56-member CSCE that won the Cold War--not the NATO military machine. The CSCE should have the central role in transforming the post-confrontational system of Euro-Atlantic cooperation into a truly stable, democratic regime."[10] A year later, in the light of NATO's announcement of its intention to enlarge, then-Foreign Minister Kozyrev was arguing that NATO should transform itself into a pan-European organization with a permanent consultative body of which Russia would be a leading member.[11]

Nevertheless, among even the more sophisticated Russian foreign policy makers, pride has been deeply hurt by NATO enlargement. For many, the internal damage NATO is doing to itself does not compensate for the betrayal and humiliation inflicted upon Russia by NATO's move toward the east. There is a genuine perception that President Bush promised President Gorbachev that NATO would not take the place of the Warsaw Treaty Organization in much of East Europe, and with the Cold War over NATO's purpose would be in serious doubt.[12] President Gorbachev used this to convince the Soviet generals that rapid military withdrawal would not bring grave strategic disadvantages. The continuance of NATO and its enlargement is seen as a double breach of promise. This sense of grievance is compounded by the abandonment by the Clinton Administration of the much-vaunted US-Russian strategic partnership in 1994 and its replacement by a foreign policy resembling traditional balance-of-power realism. In Moscow, politicians of all hues feel that Russia has received scant strategic reward for the remarkably peaceful and cost-free winding down of the Cold War. On the contrary, NATO has attempted to exploit Russian compliance to NATO's strategic advantage. The fact that NATO has, from the perspective of its interest, politically mishandled this double-dealing does not remove the sense of resentment felt in Russia.

In response to setbacks in the European theater, Russia is seeking compensation elsewhere. Reasserting influence in the Newly Independent States to the south and recovering a leading role in the traditional Middle East are seen as ways to assert Russia's great power status and deny the United States a free hand in this region as in Europe. Since 1993 Russia has, with some success, used the military instrument in the Georgian civil war, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, and the Tajikistan civil war to shape governments and local policies to address Moscow's interests.[13] Russian diplomacy has also been very active in the Middle East, driven by former Foreign Minister and now Prime Minister Primakov, who was a Middle East expert in the final Soviet administration. Courting Iran with nuclear technology, advanced weapons sales, and moral support against the United States has been a major feature of the new Russian foreign policy in the region. Sympathy and understanding for Saddam Hussein and the renewal of old fraternal links with Libya and Syria are also notable features of this foreign policy offensive. Trade links, recovery of old debts from the Soviet era, arms sales, and, not least, posing a challenge to American hegemony motivate these policies.[14] Given NATO's realpolitik in Europe, Moscow feels no compunction about pursuing Russian national interests throughout the "greater" Middle East from the Caspian Sea to the Sahara desert.

Not allowing the United States a free hand in south and southwest Asia is also a strategic interest of China. The more stretched the United States is in the Middle East, the less energy and fewer capabilities it will have in the Asia-Pacific region. Future access to Gulf oil and other trade links are also of interest to China.[15] Spurned by the United States as a strategic partner, Russia is considering China, and a pragmatic entente is under way. Mutual interests in oil, securing borders vulnerable to militant Islam in southwest Asia, arms sales, trade links, and a common front against a rampant Pax Americana are the bases of a Moscow-Peking axis. In April 1997 President Jiang Zemin visited Moscow, and both he and President Yeltsin spoke of a "strategic partnership."[16] At the Sino-Russian summit in Beijing in November 1997, the political rhetoric proclaimed a "constructive partnership" between the two great powers.[17]

Regardless of all the institutional changes and the related international political developments set in train by the decisions of 1997, the core question about NATO persists: What is the strategic purpose of the new, enlarged NATO? Beyond grand rhetoric, NATO's key business and how it hopes to accomplish it remain obscure. Great store is being put into some kind of crisis management or peacekeeping role outside the territory of the Allies, but such business would normally be assumed to fall under the purview of a collective security organization such as OSCE and, anyway, is not the kind of business which requires an alliance of 19 members. Indeed, the use of large alliances for such measures often impedes action as consensus is difficult to achieve. When consensus is achieved it is often at a level of the lowest common denominator, after considerable time has elapsed, and the new circumstances are far removed from those when the crisis broke.[18] NATO's ability to respond to, and its role in, the Balkan wars of 1991-96, the bickering within the Alliance over the forces implementing the Dayton Accords, and the early responses to the 1998 Kosovo crisis all seem to bear out such misgivings.

Peace enforcement in Bosnia has been lauded as a demonstration of NATO success, but rather it reveals its limitations. NATO was not the decisionmaker, it was the tool of policies eventually cobbled together outside NATO. It could operate only after the great powers reached minimum agreement, and after the unilateral decision of the United States to give military assistance to the Croats and to sanction NATO bombing against the Bosnian Serbs. The Dayton Accords bear no resemblance to pre-war political arrangements. The US commitment to Dayton has been and is grudging, and the rest of Europe appears unwilling to contribute unless the Americans stay in a major way.[19] The whole Dayton exercise is predicated on Russian support and a Russian presence on the ground. For the NATO powers, on top of other defense commitments, such deployments are claimed to be a strain on defense capabilities. It is sobering to ponder that if NATO is stretched, militarily and politically, over Bosnia, then the likely role NATO could have in crises and conflicts further afield than Bosnia--for instance Moldova and Ukraine--is far from clear. In all probability, in any extra-NATO crisis around the Black Sea or the Caspian, Russia would claim local great power rights of dominant influence and use the Permanent Joint Council to block NATO intervention--in the unlikely event that the North Atlantic Council could agree on specific policy initiatives. To hang together effectively, large, expensive alliances need to be built upon grand but clear strategic purposes. Rapid, relevant responses to civil wars and societal breakdowns in areas of peripheral strategic importance for continental security are best left to limited, ad hoc coalitions of interested and well-motivated states.

Contrary Objectives

In the post-Cold War era NATO ought to have been content with quietly and modestly sustaining a zone of peace within the NATO area. It should have accepted a low-profile, secondary role in world affairs, and concentrated on reconciling the differences between the big powers among the current members within its limited geographical focus. A 16-member NATO ought to have played to the classical strengths of alliances and avoided the weaknesses inherent in expanded membership and entrenched institutionalism. During the Cold War the overriding common interest in deterring the Soviet threat maintained Alliance harmony, more or less, but now the major powers have various, often contrary, objectives driving their support for NATO.

. For the United States, NATO is now of value as an element of "Atlantic security." In the predominant Washington perspective, "Atlantic security" means American security interests on the eastern side of the Atlantic from the Barents Sea to the Indian Ocean. There may still be two commands covering this region--European Command and Central Command--but conceptually it is viewed as a strategic unit. It is clear that the Middle East is the area of strategic priority for Washington, for reasons of the Arab-Israeli peace process and Gulf security. Since the end of the Cold War the security of Europe has fallen below that of the Middle East as a matter of American strategic priorities, but NATO Europe remains important, inter alia, as the area contiguous to the Middle East and as a vehicle to assist the United States in its efforts to bring peace and stability to this volatile but crucial part of the world.

Through the 1990s Cold War arguments of burden-sharing within NATO have declined, though elements remain over the NATO force in Bosnia. However, the notion of "responsibility sharing" has grown.[20] NATO Europe is much closer and more vulnerable to the insecurities of the Middle East than is North America. NATO Europe depends more upon Gulf oil than does the United States, and European cities would be much more vulnerable to weapons of mass destruction acquired by "rogue" states than those of North America. There is a distinct and profound mood in Washington, especially in the US Congress, that NATO Europe should shoulder more of the responsibility for Middle East security by, first of all, being more supportive of American policies. Increasingly the value of NATO to the United States is being measured in such terms, and the clear reluctance of many major continental European NATO members, such as France and Italy, to support US strategic policies on containing Libya, Iran, and Iraq is posing a threat to the American commitment to NATO.

. One European country alert to these problems is Britain. It is a British strategic priority to sustain NATO as the primary European security institution.[21] To achieve this, British governments, of whatever political persuasion, know that American commitment and leadership are essential. Consequently Britain takes "responsibility sharing" very seriously, and backing the United States in the Gulf becomes a critical component of British European security policy. NATO is now important to Britain essentially as a political device to prevent the emergence of a seriously competitive, integrated, European defense organization. The Anglo-American defense "special relationship" addresses this NATO objective and, as a plank of British foreign policy valued in its own right, is served by the vitality of NATO.

. France, on the other hand, does not view NATO so benignly. Between 1990 and 1993 defense spending cuts across West Europe, economic recession, the political problems of the Maastricht Treaty ratification process, and the lamentable failure of the European Union in the Balkan wars, all thwarted French efforts to establish a Paris-led European defense organization to challenge NATO. From 1993, unable to challenge NATO from the outside, France decided to challenge it from the inside. As one notable French commentator remarked, "In order to be more European tomorrow it is necessary to be more Atlanticist today."[22] Consequently France has moved back toward NATO's integrated military command structure, for instance, with frequent participation in NATO's Military Committee and Defence Policy Committee, from which it had distanced itself since 1966. France is now intent on "reforming" NATO in such a manner as to diminish the role of the United States and overtly "Europeanize" the Alliance.

Presently it is French policy to relegate the military roles of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Defence Policy Committee, and to elevate the political role of the North Atlantic Council.[23] France is pressing for a European commanding officer for Allied Forces South in Naples, which always has been commanded by an American. France also argues for a substantive command role for the West European Union in the activities of the new NATO Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF). Paris does not want any CJTF subject to the overall command of SACEUR, who is an American general. The uneasy compromise at present is that the West European Union may have a command role of NATO assets in a CJTF in the event of humanitarian or peacekeeping operations; if combat takes place, SACEUR would be in command. For France, it is clear that NATO is primarily of value insofar as it serves as a route to a distinct European security and defense identity linked to but not controlled by the United States.

. For Germany, NATO constitutes a conundrum, one among many that make up its uncertain, brittle foreign policy and defense policy postures. Germany is faced by a range of foreign policy options, some of which are contradictory.[24] However, it appears unwilling to make any choices or to acknowledge that the Cold War is over and its foreign and defense policies can no longer be made in response to it. For 40 years the raison d'être of NATO and the Federal Republic of Germany were more or less the same thing. The Inner German Border between West and East Germany was the central front of NATO and the fault line between two ideological blocs. All that was required of the Federal Republic was to be a willing host for large NATO armies and to a keep a low and noncontroversial political profile. Today Germany can no longer remain a front-line beneficiary of multilateral security. With its increased size and capability it is now a considerable potential provider of security. There are natural expectations that the largest sovereign country in Europe west of Russia, with the world's third strongest economy, will make some meaningful contribution to the stability and security of the continent from which it draws so much of its prosperity. Additionally, the incorporation of East Germany has altered the strategic orientation of Germany. East Europe is of much greater significance to German politics and economics than at any time since 1945. The importance of the West is in relative decline.

In this context NATO's enlargement to the east may be viewed as valuable to Germany. But is it really valuable if it creates Russian resentment and hostility, or even leads to the dilution of NATO as an effective defense organization? It is in Germany's fundamental strategic interest to reach a modus vivendi with Russia over East Europe, and NATO enlargement may not have been the best way to go about it. If it does prove to have been a mistake, should Germany construct a separate strategic agreement with Russia? However, while being drawn one way or another toward the East, Germany seems to be pursuing an incompatible policy in the West. A deepening of European Union integration, particularly economic and monetary union, and a strategic axis with France raise profound obstacles to European Union enlargement to the east. With the Cold War over, legitimate questions may be raised over the continued strategic compatibility of France and Germany. Their respective views on the nature of a future European political union, on the relative strategic importance of East Europe compared to southern Europe and North Africa, and on the strategic utility of nuclear weapons are different and hardly constitute a firm foundation for a cohesive, integrated West European actor on the global stage.

Then, within Germany, there is still considerable sympathy for some kind of "Switzerlandization"; a Germany that would be a friendly, trading, "civilianized" power, committed only to self-defense. This kind of Germany would eschew the projection of military force beyond its borders and rely on moral, political, and economic influence to address vital foreign policy goals. Costs and difficulties are associated with all these options, but nearly ten years after the Cold War has ended Germany has yet to decide which course to follow. To follow elements of all for too long will bring the benefits of none, and diminish German credibility as a major power. The NATO choice is but one among many, and it no longer has the automatic priority of the Cold War years.

This condition looks set to continue despite the election of a new German government at the end of September 1998. After 16 years the conservative-liberal coalition led by Helmut Kohl has given way to a likely coalition between the large SPD (Social Democrats) and the small Green Party. Chancellor-elect Schroder has committed the new "red-green" coalition to "foreign policy continuity." In the short term this implies continued German support for NATO enlargement, European integration, and peacekeeping in the Balkans when mandated by the UN Security Council. However, over the longer term the new German government will find it increasingly difficult to sustain the precarious balance between the Franco-German axis driving European Union business and the traditional Atlanticism dominant in matters of European security. The return of the capital to Berlin next year will elevate eastern interests in German politics and complicate already tense relations with France over European Union matters such as budget and Common Agricultural Policy reforms, and with the Anglo-Saxon states over security issues in east and southeast Europe. Nevertheless, domestic issues such as labor, social security, and pension reforms have been publicly accorded priority, ahead of foreign and defense policies. NATO membership will not be in question, but most of the party managers and the rank and file of the SPD-Green coalition have little empathy for a vigorous German role in the Alliance. A pragmatic, low-profile role for Germany in NATO decisionmaking, supporting a line of least risk and cost, looks most likely. On big questions of European security, the United States will probably encounter an increasingly "civilianized," insular giant at the heart of the continent.


NATO's future is as a declining collective defense organization succumbing to the political pressures and temptations of collective security. A formal membership of at least 19, and the legitimization of deep Russian penetration into the heart of NATO affairs, will jeopardize effective NATO decisionmaking. Alliance harmony is further compromised by the absence of an overarching common interest. The major powers that drive NATO have different or uncertain priorities governing their continued loyalty. A worst-case scenario for NATO early in the next century is that of a large, wallowing "blancmange" type of organization, with 24 or so members and a host of imported East European problems. A better but hardly attractive scenario is of a creaking organization of 19 members, deterred from projecting security over the Baltics or the Balkans. Russia, half in and half out, has opportunities to disrupt NATO decisionmaking and exert influence over East European states excluded from NATO membership.

NATO should not have agreed to enlarge, but it did. It would be comforting to suggest that something can be salvaged from the approaching pile-up, but it is difficult to see what. There is a real danger of the traditional collective defense function of a zone of peace in West Europe being undermined and obscured by the lack of strategic focus and convoluted decisionmaking machinery. NATO's future is not as a coherent, vibrant, robust collective defense organization with a lucid, high objective and related strategy. It looks set to become a loose political association within which ad hoc, shifting coalitions will compete over a variety of issues not commensurate with the security of all the members.


1. See E. H. Fedder, "The Concept of Alliance," International Studies Quarterly, 12 (March 1968), for a succinct and lucid exposition on the timeless distinctions between collective defense and collective security.

2. For consideration of this view, see James Goldgeier, "NATO Expansion: The Anatomy of a Decision," Washington Quarterly, 21 (Winter 1998), 54-55.

3. See Michael Brown, "The Flawed Logic of NATO Expansion," Survival, 37 (Spring 1995), 34.

4. For texts and discussion of the agreements of spring and summer 1997, see NATO Review, 45 (July-August 1997).

5. George Kennan, "A Fateful Error," The New York Times, 5 February 1997, p. A23.

6. Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security Between NATO and the Russian Federation, May 1997, Section III.

7. Ibid., Section II.

8. Henry Kissinger, "`New' NATO Chips at Keystone of US Policy," Daily Telegraph, 11 April 1997, p. 18.

9. See Andrew North, "Europe's Sigh of Relief," Middle East International, 27 February 1998, p. 6.

10. Andrei Kozyrev, "The Lagging Partnership," Foreign Affairs, 73 (May-June 1994), 65.

11. See Andrei Kozyrev, "Partnership or Cold Peace," Foreign Policy, 39 (Summer 1995), 11-13.

12. See Victor Israelyan, "Russia at the Crossroads: Don't Tease a Wounded Bear," Washington Quarterly, 21 (Winter 1998), 55.

13. See Alvin Rubinstein, "The Geopolitical Pull on Russia," Orbis, 38 (Fall 1994), 571-76; and Maxim Shashenkov, "Russian Peacekeeping in the `Near Abroad,'" Survival, 36 (Autumn 1994), 46-69.

14. See Stephen Blank, "Russia's Return to Mideast Diplomacy," Orbis, 40 (Fall 1996); Michael Jansen, "Primakov's Progress," Middle East International, 7 November 1997, p. 6; and Dean Godson, "Soviet Union, er, I Mean Russia," Spectator, 29 November 1997, pp. 12-13.

15. See Geoffrey Kemp and Robert Harkavy, Strategic Geography and the Changing Middle East (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 1997), p. 130.

16. See Alan Philps and Graham Hutchings, "Russians and Chinese Form `Strategic Axis,'" Daily Telegraph, 22 April 1997, p. 13.

17. See Andrew Higgins, "Border Dispute Ends with a Sino-Russian Bear-Hug," Guardian, 11 November 1997, p. 14.

18. Fedder, p.84, warns of meetings in large, highly structured alliances being reduced to "consensual transactions" rather than serious policy deliberations.

19. See John Hillen, "After SFOR--Planning a European-Led Force," Joint Force Quarterly (Spring 1997), pp. 75-79; R. Jeffrey Smith and Bradley Graham, "NATO to Maintain Size of Bosnia Force," The Washington Post, 4 March 1998, p. A1; and John McCain, "Get Our Troops Out of Bosnia," Washington Quarterly, 21 (Spring 1998), 5-7.

20. See United States Security Strategy for Europe and NATO (Washington: Department of Defense, Office of International Security Affairs, June 1995), pp. 31-32; and Joseph S. Nye, "Conflicts after the Cold War," Washington Quarterly, 19 (Winter 1996), 20.

21. See Alyson Bailes, "Britain's Security Policy Agenda," RUSI Journal, 140 (February 1995), 14-15; and George Robertson, "The Strategic Defence Review," RUSI Journal, 142 (October 1997), 4.

22. Jean-Claude Casanova, L'Express, 28 September 1995, p.26, cited in Robert P. Grant, "France's New Relationship with NATO," Survival, 78 ( Spring 1996), 63.

23. Ibid., pp. 70-71.

24. See Timothy Garton Ash, "Germany's Choice," Foreign Affairs, 73 (July-August 1994); and W. R. Smyser, "Dateline, Berlin: Germany's New Vision," Foreign Policy, 97 (Winter 1994-95).

James H. Wyllie is senior lecturer in international relations and director of the post-graduate strategic studies program at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Formerly a research officer in the Defence Intelligence Staff, Ministry of Defence, London, he has also been a faculty member of the Universities of Durham and East Anglia. His publications include The Influence of British Arms (1984), European Security in the Nuclear Age (1986), and European Security in the New Political Environment (1997). Between 1992 and 1997 he wrote more than 40 articles on Middle East security for Jane's Intelligence Review. Currently he is completing a book on the condition of contemporary Middle East security.

Reviewed 6 November 1998. Please send comments or corrections to