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Dilemma on NATO's Purpose After Cold War

Submitted by admin on Sat, 09/24/2016 - 08:36

The collapse of socialistic block by the late 1990s gave rise to doubts as to timeliness of the North Treaty Alliance Organization that in fact had accomplished its mission and essential role. Realistic logic concerning military alliances, based on historic experience of the Cold War, gave reasons to believe in incapability of either military block to outlast the collapse of the other.

American and European experts and politicians who shared these ideas, adhered to the opinion of necessity to disband NATO or at least limit this organization in its claims. For instance, Germany, represented by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Hans Ditrih Gensher and backed by the Czechoslovakia, pursued a policy towards "deeper institutionalization" of the CSCE, trying to transform this forum into decisive element of new European security system. Moscow in early 1990s gave rise to the idea of "European Security Council" which would consist of the largest European states.

Nevertheless, drastic measures taken by the USA and its closest allies not desiring to turn down time-proved mechanisms of transatlantic ties in late 80s-early 90s ensured NATO's survival as defense alliance.

Except NATO-centric project, all other rival projects of European security architecture were rejected. Paris Summit demonstrated reluctance of many influential states to give preference to the CSCE in ensuring European security, while the concept of "All-European Security Council" failed to succeed due to its contradiction with processes of international relations democratization after the end of Cold War.

NATO's central role and American influence on European security could have been put into question only by development of integration processes in foreign policy and security within the framework of the European Communities converted into the European Union. Notwithstanding intense economic cooperation with the USA, Western Europe, along with South-Eastern Asia, in 1990s and especially in early 2000s wasn't very inspired by the prospect of unconditional support of the USA in carrying out their "global mission" which required huge resources and geographically broad interpretation of European countries.

The United Stated in their relying on closest European allies needed, on the one hand, to back up European initiatives in security sphere, and on the other hand, to guide its partners in necessary direction evading degradation of American-European political-military connection.

Understanding the directions of NATO reforming to maintain the organizations' vital activity emerged in American political circles quick enough. Already in 1992 Colin Powell, then chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his speech in London International Institute for Strategic Research mentioned NATO's new peacemaking tasks and switch of the alliance to more definite actions on spreading democracy and political liberalism throughout Europe. Then, the task of the American administration included elaboration of strategy for carrying out the actions proclaimed along with reaching consensus on necessity of those actions among the concerned international subjects - American allies in NATO and Central Eastern Europe as well as American domestic political forces.

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