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08 April 2003

Grossman: NATO Enlargement Will Revitalize Alliance

(Prepared testimony before Senate Foreign Relations Committee) (2010)

NATO's latest round of enlargement with seven new members will not
only strengthen democracy and stability in Europe but also revitalize
the alliance, a State Department official told the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee April 8.

In prepared testimony, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Marc Grossman urged the committee "to act swiftly and positively" when
in the coming days President Bush forwards the accession protocols to
the Senate for its advice and consent on ratification.

Grossman reported on Secretary of State Colin Powell's meetings at
NATO headquarters in Brussels April 3 and listed his three messages to
U.S. allies:

-- The United States values NATO and the transatlantic partnership it

-- "It is time to look to the future, including the stabilization and
reconstruction of Iraq."

-- The United States remains "open to a NATO role in Iraq," the
possibilities including peacekeeping, weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) security and destruction, and delivery of humanitarian

Grossman also reiterated Powell's call for NATO to consider playing
"an even greater role in Afghanistan, up to and including a NATO lead
for ISAF," the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

"No commitments were made" during the meetings, Grossman noted, and no
ally "raised objections to these possibilities."

Acknowledging that the debate in February about defense support for
Turkey "did damage the Alliance," Grossman said he agreed with
Secretary General Lord Robertson "that this was a hit above the
waterline and that NATO would recover," adding that Powell's visit to
Brussels "is part of that recovery."

The State Department official also discussed NATO policy on new
military capabilities and new relationships with Russia, Ukraine, and
countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Following is the text of Grossman's testimony as prepared for

(begin text)

Washington, DC 
April 8, 2003

NATO Enlargement
Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs 
Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

(as prepared)

Mr. Chairman, Senator Biden, Senators, it is an honor for me to be
before you today.

We are grateful for your leadership, Mr. Chairman, and for Senator
Biden's, on the issue of enlargement.

You have offered opportunities for discussion on enlargement over the
past several months. These meetings have been of value to me and to
other Administration officials. Also, I would like again to thank
Senator Voinovich for his participation in what was an historic NATO
Summit in Prague in November.

Let me begin by reporting on Secretary Powell's April 3 meetings at

The Secretary met NATO and EU Foreign Ministers together and later
with just NATO colleagues. He also met Secretary General Robertson, EU
Presidency and Commission leadership, Ambassadors from the Vilnius-10
countries and separately with nine Foreign Ministers. Twenty-one
sessions in all!

The Secretary's messages in Brussels were clear: first, we value NATO
and the trans -Atlantic partnership it anchors. Second, it is time to
look to the future, including the stabilization and reconstruction of
Iraq. The Secretary reminded NATO ministers of Deputy Secretary of
Defense Wolfowitz's presentation to the North Atlantic Council last
December, when he suggested that NATO roles could include
peacekeeping, WMD security and destruction and delivery of
humanitarian assistance. We remain open to a NATO role in Iraq. No
commitments were made. No Ally raised objections to these
possibilities. We will follow up with Allies and see what, if
anything, can be done.

The Committee has heard testimony on NATO enlargement from people
within and outside the Administration. There is broad support here and
in the Alliance for this next stage of enlargement.

For fifty years NATO has been the anchor of western security.

The end of Soviet Communism did not diminish NATO's importance.

-- The democracies of NATO made and keep the peace in the Balkans. 

-- In 1999, NATO stopped ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. 

-- NATO's just-completed mission in Macedonia has also brought order
to that new democracy.

NATO responded to September 11 [2001] by invoking Article V; an attack
on one member will be regarded as an attack on all. NATO sent AWACS to
patrol U.S. airspace, logging 4300 hours; 360 sorties, with 800
crewmembers from 13 nations.

Thirteen Allies now contribute to Operation Enduring Freedom. NATO
Allies lead the International Stabilization force in Kabul.

German and Dutch troops replaced Turkish troops in ISAF, who replaced
British forces. Lord Robertson and some of our Allies would like to
see NATO take a larger role in ISAF. As Secretary Powell said at NATO
last week: "NATO should also look at how the Alliance could play an
even greater role in Afghanistan, up to and including a NATO lead for

NATO is the central organizing agent for Trans-Atlantic cooperation.
It represents a community of common values and shared commitments to
democracy, free markets and the rule of law.

NATO is key to the defense of the United States. And so NATO must
continue to lead and to adapt.

The November 2002 NATO Summit at Prague launched a transformation of
NATO with a three part agenda: new members; new capabilities and new

New Members

My job today is to discuss enlargement, which is key to this

At the Prague Summit, NATO leaders invited seven new democracies --
Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia
-- to join NATO. In Brussels on March 26, NATO Ambassadors signed the
protocols to begin the formal process of admitting the invitees into
the Alliance. The President expects to forward the accession protocols
to the Senate for its advice and consent on ratification in the coming

I respectfully ask this committee to act swiftly and positively to
this request.

This enlargement will strengthen democracy and stability in Europe,
revitalize NATO and benefit the United States.

Enlargement will encourage and consolidate reforms in the seven
invitees, expanding NATO's geographic reach and inducting seven
committed Atlanticists, who already act as allies in Afghanistan and

The invitation to these seven states followed an intensive program of
preparation under NATO's Membership Action Plan. The Alliance worked
with the aspirants to encourage political, economic and military
reform. There is still work to do in these areas and we continue to
work daily with the aspirants on these issues. They are committed to
further reform.

These seven are committed to the trans-Atlantic Alliance. They are
Allies in the War on Terror. They have contributed to Operation
Enduring Freedom and to the International Security and Stabilization
Force in Kabul.

(Reference Military Contribution Charts)

At Burgas, Bulgaria provides basing for U.S. transport aircraft
supplying Operation Enduring Freedom. Bulgaria also sent an Nuclear
Biological and Chemical decontamination unit to Afghanistan.

Estonia sent a team of explosive experts to Afghanistan.

Lithuania deployed special operations forces to Afghanistan last year,
and this year provided a team of medical personnel.

Romania has an infantry battalion serving in Kandahar and military
police unit and transport aircraft serving Kabul.

Slovakia deployed an engineering unit to Kabul.

Slovenia has provided assistance with demining in Afghanistan.

They have all joined strong statements of support for U.S. policy and
in some cases have lent support to United States military mission in

All of the invitees have committed to spending at least two percent
GDP on defense, and as you can see, all seven already spend a higher
percentage of their GDP than almost a third of the current NATO

(Reference Defense Spending Chart)

Their publics strongly support NATO.

On March 23, Slovenians went to the polls to support NATO membership.
The Yes vote won with 66%. In Romania, Bulgaria and the three Baltic
states, support for NATO stands at above 70%.

Together the invitees will also contribute as many as 200,000 new
troops to the Alliance -- approximately equal to the number added by
NATO's last enlargement in 1999.

What of future enlargements? The door to NATO should remain open. In
his speech at Warsaw University in 2001, the President stated that,
"all of Europe's democracies, from the Baltic to the Black Sea all
that lie between should have the same chance for security and freedom
and the same chance to join the institutions of Europe -- as Europe's
old democracies have".

We welcome the continuing pursuit of membership by Albania, Croatia
and Macedonia. We will continue to consult closely with these nations
on their Membership Action Plan programs as well as with others who
may seek membership in the future.

New Capabilities

Mr. Chairman, enlargement is only one aspect of a much broader
transformation launched at Prague and now being undertaken in

The most important challenge facing NATO is building its capabilities
to face the modern threats of terrorism and weapons of mass

The gap in military capabilities between the United States and Europe
is the most serious long-term problem facing NATO.

At the Prague Summit in November, NATO's leaders decided to close this

European Allies agreed to "spend smarter," pool their resources and
pursue specialization. For example:

-- Germany is leading a 10-nation consortium on airlift. 

-- Norway leads a consortium on sealift. 

-- Spain leads a group on air-to-air refuelings. 

-- The Netherlands is taking the lead on precision guided missiles and
has committed 84 million dollars to equip their F-16's with smart

This is a good start. Follow-through will be critical.

NATO's leaders also created at Prague the NATO Response Force. We need
NATO forces equipped with new capabilities and organized into highly
ready land, air and sea forces able to carry out missions anywhere in
the world.

NATO can and, in appropriate circumstances, should undertake military
operations outside its traditional area of operations.

The NATO Response Force will be a force of approximately 25,000
troops, with land, sea and air capability, deployable worldwide on
thirty days notice. NATO leaders agreed that the NATO Response Force
should be ready for exercises by October 2004 and mission-ready by
October 2006.

NATO also needs to streamline its command structure for greater

New Relationships

The third area of transformation is the growing web of partnerships.
Who could have imagined ten years ago, when we conceived Partnership
for Peace that this program would repay such dividends in Central
Asia, when the United States found itself at war in Afghanistan?

In May of 2002, President Bush, President Putin and Allied heads of
State and Government inaugurated the NATO-Russia Council.

Since then NATO and Russia have been working on projects in key areas
such as combating terrorism, peacekeeping, and non-proliferation. The
Council sponsored an unprecedented civil emergency exercise in
Noginsk, simulating a terrorist attack involving toxic chemicals,
which brought together 850 first responders from more than thirty
allied and partner nations.

And we will continue to develop and expand our partnerships with
willing states like Ukraine or those in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Mr. Chairman, in February, the Alliance went through a bruising debate
about defense support for Turkey under Article IV of the NATO Treaty.

The Alliance did arrive at the right answer. The Defense Policy
Committee directed military assistance to Turkey to address a threat
of attack from Iraq. That military assistance is now in place: NATO
deployed AWACs planes, Patriot missiles, and Nuclear, Biological and
Chemical defense teams.

This disagreement did damage the Alliance. It is my view, however, as
Secretary General Robertson himself said afterwards, that this was a
hit above the waterline and that NATO would recover. Secretary
Powell's visit last week is part of that recovery.

Because it is essential that NATO continues to knit together the
community of European and North American democracies as an Alliance of
shared values and collective security, it would be wrong to draw the
conclusion that we should stop pushing NATO to change to address these

Indeed, we should redouble those efforts.

For at the end of the day, it is to NATO that we return to seek common
ground and cooperation on the issues facing the trans-Atlantic

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)