NATO Enlargement NATO Enlargement After World War II ended, the threat of communism captured the attention of both North America and Western Europe. A military operations group –called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)– was formed to shield Western Europe from the communistic Eastern Europe. NATO benefited for its members in four ways: it provided the defenses of all members in case an ally was attacked; it kept a spot for the U.S. in Europe; it helped each war-stricken European country recover from W.W.II; and it helped contain the Soviet Union – and communism (Ullman et al. 67).
As Western Europe has recovered from a 50-year-old war and as communism is no longer a threat to the world, NATOs role is now changing slightly, bringing a need for new capabilities on the part of NATO together with a need for enlargement. While NATO is changing its role to the world, it should also be flexible enough to change its members. The U.S. should support NATO expansion into Central Europe. By preventing future conflicts in Europe and by increasing the communication lines when addressing security problems, the enlargement of NATO would make America safer . Enlargement would put both democracy and stability in Central Europe in place with burgeoning economics that often follow the establishment of democracies. NATOs military would also be strengthened significantly.
Since both world wars took place in Europe and many American soldiers died, the United States must prevent future conflicts in Europe. As both of the Bosnian and Kosovar conflicts have proven, Europe is not completely danger-free (“The Enlargement..”). An enlarged NATO would help bring more countries into security planning. Having more countries knowledgeable about the ideas of terrorism, weapons proliferation, and ethnic cleansing, might lead to stable alliance deals (“Why NATO..”). For instance, ten major agreements among Central European nations during this decade settled border and ethnic disputes.
What is more, most of these disputes occurred to get the attention of NATOs board (“The Enlargement..”). Romania began to provided protection for ethnic minorities. Poland deepened the civilian control of the military (“Why NATO..”). NATO addressed each situation. These actions have not gone unnoticed by the U.S. either. By settling disputes now, the United States will avoid future European conflicts while obtaining security and satisfying other economic interests.
NATOs proficiency in solving conflicts has something to do with its structuring. To become a member of NATO, nations have to meet certain expectations. Part of NATOs success has to do with its selectivity. Even though many nations applied to NATO and only three were accepted, the nations who applied are trying to meet the expectations in order to be allowed in. An important facet of NATOs success has to do with its expectations.
One such expectation is the need for a stable democratic system of government (Ullman et al. 71). All twelve countries wishing to be part of NATO have been striving to gain stable governments and economies. If all the nations can achieve this, and thus are allowed into NATO, the result would be a not only larger and more efficient NATO, but a more stable and democratic Europe. Another facet of NATO that both the U.S.
and other NATO nations find appealing is the security provided by a stronger military. Obviously, enlarging NATO would add more troops to the alliance, making NATO a more efficient organization. Fore example, Poland has already been working alongside NATOs troops in Bosnia, giving them the experience needed to work efficiently in the NATO military. Poland also has the largest and most capable military in Eastern Europe (“Secretary Cohen Speech”). Hungary, too, has worked with over 95,000 U.S. military personnel through the Hungarian air bas at Taszar. The Czech Republic sent a 200-man decontamination unit to Desert Storm to help U.S.
troops. These three nations alone will add almost 300,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen to the alliance (“Sec. Cohen Speech”). Some people might think of extending the military capability of NATO as an exercise double. The truth is the only recent peace in the contemporary world has been the work of military forces (such as NATO) in the form of peacekeeping.
For NATO to choose not to enlarge means a failure to live up to its potential. The alliance has the ability to be a positive superpower to the world. As far back as the 30s, philosophers of the world began to feel the need for such an organization. Pierre Teille du Jardin wrote of one world kept in peace by a strong international force. By 1040 the leaders of the world brought that dream to reality and NATO became real.
A strong international agency, such as NATO, can bring about stability throughout all of Europe, leading to stability throughout the world, and only through enlargement can this stability occur more efficiently.