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Voice of America, 29 March 1996 (2 of 2)

From: "Ioannis V. Bousnakis" <ivb19@nfi.com>

Voice of America Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO: ITS PAST AND FUTURE BY FRANCIS RONALDS (WASHINGTON)


  • [01] NATO: ITS PAST AND FUTURE BY FRANCIS RONALDS (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/29/96
    TYPE=INTERNATIONAL FOCUS
    NUMBER=4-09026
    TELEPHONE=619-3937
    EDITOR=PHIL HAYNES
    CONTENT= // INSERTS AVAILABLE IN AUDIO SERVICES //
    [NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS INTERNATIONAL FOCUS IS BEING DISTRIBUTED IN ADVANCE TO GIVE LANGUAGE SERVICES MORE TIME TO TRANSLATE/ADAPT IT] ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS INTERNATIONAL FOCUS, A WEEKLY PROGRAM THAT PRESENTS A VARIETY OF VIEWS ON PARTICULAR ISSUES AND EVENTS OF GLOBAL CONCERN AND INTEREST. CART: THEME (UP AND UNDER ANNCR) HOST: NATO -- THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION -- HAS BEEN VERY MUCH IN THE NEWS. FIRST OF ALL, THERE HAS BEEN THE DEBATE OVER BRINGING NEW MEMBERS INTO THE ORGANIZATION -- SPECIFICALLY, FORMER MEMBERS OF SOVIET-LED WARSAW PACT -- WITH THE EARLIEST CANDIDATES BEING POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC. THIS PROSPECT HAS STIRRED CONSIDERABLE DEBATE IN RUSSIA, WHERE CAMPAIGNING IS UNDERWAY FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS NEXT JUNE. MOST RUSSIAN POLITICIANS SAY THEY OPPOSE ANY SUCH EXPANSION, EVEN THOUGH RUSSIA HAS JOINED THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE -- OR P-F-P -- AN ORGANIZATION SET UP TO FOSTER COOPERATION BETWEEN THE 16 NATO COUNTRIES AND THE 24 COUNTRIES OF EAST/CENTRAL EUROPE AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.

    NATO HAS ALSO BEEN MAKING HEADLINES BECAUSE OF ITS FIRST COOPERATIVE EFFORT OUTSIDE ALLIANCE BORDERS -- THE PEACE-KEEPING EFFORT IN BOSNIA, IN WHICH RUSSIAN TROOPS AND TROOPS FROM OTHER P-F-P NATIONS ARE ALSO PARTICIPATING.

    TOMORROW, (APRIL 4TH), IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING OF THE NATO TREATY ON APRIL 4TH, 1949. I'M FRANK RONALDS, AND TODAY I'LL REVIEW NATO'S HISTORY AND THE CONTROVERSY OVER ITS EXPANSION. CART: THEME, UP BRIEFLY, LOSE UNDER HOST HOST: AT THE SIGNING OF THE NATO TREATY, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN DESCRIBED ITS PURPOSE THIS WAY:

    TAPE: CUT ONE -- TRUMAN "WE BELIEVE IT IS POSSIBLE FOR NATIONS TO ACHIEVE UNITY ON THE GREAT PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN FREEDOM AND JUSTICE, AND AT THE SAME TIME TO PERMIT, IN OTHER RESPECTS, THE GREATEST DIVERSITY OF WHICH THE HUMAN MIND IS CAPABLE. THIS METHOD OF ORGANIZING DIVERSE PEOPLES AND CULTURES IS IN DIRECT CONTRAST TO THE METHOD OF THE POLICE STATE, WHICH ATTEMPTS TO ACHIEVE UNITY BY IMPOSING THE SAME BELIEFS AND THE SAME RULE OF FORCE ON EVERYONE." HOST: AT THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO, THE PEOPLES WHO WOULD LATER BE UNITED BY THE NORTH ATLANTIC ALLIANCE HAD HOPED THAT THEIR IDEALS WOULD BE REALIZED THROUGH THE CREATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS. BUT THEIR AIM CONFLICTED WITH THAT OF SOVIET DICTATOR JOSEF STALIN -- THAT IS, THE GREATEST POSSIBLE EXTENSION OF MOSCOW'S POWER. ROMAN SZPORLUK (SHPOR'-LUCK), A PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY, POINTS OUT THAT THE U-S-S-R WAS THE ONLY COUNTRY TO ENLARGE ITS TERRITORY AS A RESULT OF THE WAR. THE EXPANSION CAME IN THREE STAGES:

    TAPE: CUT TWO -- SZPORLUK "FIRST, IT MANAGED TO RETAIN ALL THOSE TERRITORIAL GAINS WHICH IT WON WHICH IT WAS AN ALLY OF NAZI GERMANY. IT RETAINED A PART OF FINLAND, IT RETAINED LATVIA, ESTONIA, LITHUANIA, ABOUT HALF OF POLAND, A SLICE OF ROMANIA. BUT AS AN ALLY OF THE WESTERN POWERS IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR, IT PRESERVED ALL THOSE GAINS AND GAINED ADDITIONAL TERRITORY, AT THE EXPENSE OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND ALSO A MAJOR PORTION OF EAST PRUSSIA, INCLUDING KONIGSBURG-KALININGRAD. THIRDLY, THE SOVIET UNION ESTABLISHED POLITICAL AND MILITARY CONTROL OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, WHICH DID NOT BECOME PART OF THE SOVIET UNION DIRECTLY." HOST: IN FEBRUARY, 1945, STALIN MET WITH U-S PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AND BRITISH PRIME MINISTER WINSTON CHURCHILL AT YALTA, IN THE CRIMEA. THE FIRST PROTOCOL OF THE AGREEMENT SIGNED THERE DEALT WITH THE CREATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS. THE SECOND CONTAINED A GUARANTEE THAT THE LIBERATED NATIONS OF EUROPE WOULD BE FREE TO "CREATE DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS OF THEIR OWN CHOICE THROUGH FREE ELECTIONS."

    A SPECIAL SECTION OF THE YALTA AGREEMENT WAS DEVOTED TO POLAND, WHICH HAD JUST BEEN OCCUPIED BY THE SOVIET ARMY. POLAND WAS TO HAVE "FREE AND UNFETTERED ELECTIONS", WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF POLITICAL GROUPS THEN HEADQUARTERED IN LONDON. AVERELL HARRIMAN, AMERICA'S WARTIME AMBASSADOR IN MOSCOW WHO ATTENDED THE YALTA CONFERENCE, LATER POINTED OUT IN AN INTERVIEW WITH V-O-A THAT STALIN VIOLATED THE AGREEMENT ON POLAND THE VERY NEXT MONTH BY STAGING SOVIET-STYLE RIGGED ELECTIONS:

    TAPE: CUT THREE -- HARRIMAN "AT YALTA, ROOSEVELT AND CHURCHILL TRIED TO GET STALIN TO AGREE WHEREVER IT WAS POSSIBLE. THEY GOT AN AGREEMENT FROM STALIN THAT THERE SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED IN POLAND A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY, INCLUDING THE THREE PRINCIPAL PARTIES, AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE PLEDGED TO HOLD FREE AND UNFETTERED ELECTIONS. I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN GET A MORE DEFINITE AGREEMENT THAN THAT. THE UNFORTUNATE THING WAS THAT STALIN DIDN'T KEEP THAT AGREEMENT." HOST: NOT SATISFIED WITH INSTALLING PUPPET REGIMES IN COUNTRIES OCCUPIED BY THE SOVIET ARMY, STALIN SUPPORTED A COMMUNIST INSURGENCY IN GREECE AND LAID CLAIM TO THE PROVINCES OF KARS AND ARDAHAN IN TURKEY. PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN RESPONDED IN MARCH, 1947, BY DECLARING THAT IT "MUST BE THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES TO SUPPORT THE FREE PEOPLES RESISTING ATTEMPTED SUBJUGATION BY ARMED MINORTIES OR BY OUTSIDE PRESSURES." CONGRESS SUPPORTED HIS PROPOSAL FOR A PROGRAM OF MILITARY AND ECONOMIC AID TO GREECE AND TURKEY.

    PRESIDENT TRUMAN WAS ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT THE COMMUNIST PARTIES OF WESTERN EUROPE. FINANCED AND CONTROLLED BY MOSCOW, THEY REPRESENTED A DISCIPLINED POLITICAL FORCE, ESPECIALLY IN ITALY AND FRANCE. HE CONCLUDED THAT, UNLESS SOMETHING COULD BE DONE QUICKLY TO RESCUE THE EUROPEANS FROM THE DESPAIR AND DEVASTATION OF WAR, MOSCOW MIGHT SUCCEED IN DRASTICALLY ALTERING THE BALANCE OF POWER.

    OUT OF THESE CONCERNS WAS BORN A PLAN FOR AMERICAN AID TO EUROPE. IT WAS PROPOSED BY SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE MARSHALL IN A SPEECH HE MADE AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY ON JUNE 5TH, 1947. BUT THE UNITED STATES WISHED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE ECONOMIC AID PROGRAM WAS NOT AIMED AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION OR EASTERN EUROPE. THEREFORE, SECRETARY MARSHALL INVITED THOSE COUNTRIES TO PARTICIPATE AS WELL. AVERELL HARRIMAN, WHO BECAME AMERICA'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE MARSHALL PLAN IN EUROPE, RECALLED THAT JOSEF STALIN, THROUGH HIS FOREIGN MINISTER, VSYACHESLAV MOLOTOV, REJECTED THE U-S OFFER AT A MEETING CALLED IN PARIS BY THE BRITISH AND FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTERS:

    TAPE: CUT FOUR -- HARRIMAN "ONE FORGETS THAT WHEN ERNEST BEVIN AND MR. BIDAULT OF FRANCE CALLED A MEETING IN PARIS TO CONSIDER WHAT TO DO, MR. MOLOTOV WAS PRESENT, AS WELL AS THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF EASTERN EUROPE. WELL, RUSSIA REFUSED TO JOIN. ONE FORGETS THE FACT THAT CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND POLAND STILL STAYED AND WANTED TO JOIN, WANTED TO BE PART OF THE MARSHALL PLAN, AND MOSCOW REFUSED TO PERMIT THEM TO DO SO." HOST: IN FEBRUARY OF 1948, 12 NON-COMMUNIST MEMBERS OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK CABINET RESIGNED, IN HOPES OF BRINGING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT. TO PREVENT THIS, MOSCOW ORGANIZED A MASSIVE SHOW OF FORCE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND INSTALLED A NEW REGIME COMPLETELY CONTROLLED BY COMMUNISTS. APPREHENSIONS IN THE WEST WERE FURTHER INCREASED THE FOLLOWING JUNE, WHEN STALIN ORDERED A BLOCADE OF WEST BERLIN, WHERE TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN AND FRANCE WERE STATIONED UNDER A FOUR-POWER AGREEMENT REACHED AT THE END OF THE WAR. AN AIRLIFT WAS LAUNCHED TO SUPPLY PROVISIONS TO THE WESTERN SECTORS OF THE CITY.

    THE PRAGUE COUP D'ETAT AND THE BERLIN BLOCKADE SPEEDED UP DISCUSSIONS AMONG WESTERN NATIONS ON THE FORMATION OF AN ALLIANCE WHICH CULMINATED IN THE SIGNING OF THE NATO TREATY THE FOLLOWING APRIL. SPEAKING ON THAT OCCASION, PRESIDENT TRUMAN SAID THAT THE DEFENSIVE ALLIANCE THREATENED NO ONE AND THAT IT COMPLIED FULLY WITH ARTICLE 51 OF THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER:

    TAPE: CUT FIVE -- TRUMAN "EACH MEMBER OF THE UNITED NATIONS IS UNDER A SOLEMN OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY. EACH IS BOUND TO SETTLE INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES BY PEACEFUL MEANS, TO REFRAIN FROM THE THREAT OR THE USE OF FORCE AGAINST THE TERRITORY OR INDEPENDENCE OF ANY COUNTRY, AND TO SUPPORT THE UNITED NATIONS IN ANY ACTION IT TAKES TO PRESERVE THE PEACE. WE REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO THAT OBLIGATION, AND PROPOSE THIS NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY AS ONE OF THE MEANS TO CARRY IT OUT." HOST: FOREIGN MINISTERS FROM 12 NATIONS OF WESTERN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA SIGNED THE NATO TREATY ON APRIL 4TH, 1949. ONE MONTH LATER, MOSCOW LIFTED THE BERLIN BLOCKADE. SUBSEQUENTLY, FOUR MORE COUNTRIES JOINED NATO: GREECE AND TURKEY IN 1952, THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY IN 1955, AND SPAIN IN 1982.

    A MODICUM OF STABILITY WAS ESTABLISHED IN EUROPE AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE NATO TREATY 47 YEARS AGO, BUT AGGRESSION BROKE OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLOBE, IN KOREA.

    THE AGGRESSION IN KOREA WAS SEEN AS A GLOBAL THREAT. UNFORTUNATELY, THE UNITED STATES HAD PRECIPITOUSLY DISARMED AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR. IN THE FISCAL YEAR PRECEDING NORTH KOREA'S ATTACK ON SOUTH KOREA, THE U-S DEFENSE BUDGET WAS LESS THAN SIX-BILLION DOLLARS. BUT AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF HOSTILITIES, U-S DEFENSE EXPENDITURES JUMPED TO 12-BILLION IN 1951, 20-BILLION IN 1952 AND 42-BILLION IN 1953. RESISTENCE TO NORTH KOREAN AGGRESSION WAS ORDERED BY THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL AND WAS NOT A NATO ACTION. BUT ACCORDING TO THOMAS WOLFE, THE COUNTRIES OF WESTERN EUROPE WERE ALSO SHOCKED INTO ACTION:

    TAPE: CUT SIX -- WOLFE "UP UNTIL THIS TIME, THE SCANDANAVIAN COUNTRIES IN PARTICULAR -- NORWAY AND DENMARK -- HAD BEEN VERY COLD TO THE IDEA OF COOPERATIVE VENTURES LIKE NATO. BUT IT WAS THE IMPACT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK COUP, THE BERLIN BLOCKADE AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FAR EAST WHICH HELPED PERSUADE NORWAY AND DENMARK TO COME INTO NATO. AND FROM ABOUT 1951-52 ON, NATO DID BECOME A VIABLE MILITARY ALLIANCE." HOST: IN THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED THE KOREAN WAR, THE WORLD WITNESSED MOMENTOUS DEVELOPMENTS. THE WEST EUROPEAN NATIONS LOST THEIR OVERSEAS COLONIES BUT MOVED INTO A PERIOD OF UNPARALLELED PROSPERITY. THE FREE ENTERPRISE ECONOMIES OF EAST ASIA -- PARTICULARLY JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, TAIWAN, HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE -- ALSO RANG UP REMARKABLE GROWTH. MEANWHILE THE COMMUNIST BLOC BECAME UNGLUED. FIRST YUGOSLAVIA, THEN CHINA, BROKE WITH MOSCOW. EASTERN EUROPE WAS THE SCENE OF REPEATED ANTI-COMMUNIST REBELLIONS, PUT DOWN BY SOVIET TROOPS: EAST GERMANY IN 1953, HUNGARY IN 1956, CZECHOSLOVAKAYA IN 1968. IN POLAND, THE INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION MOVEMENT SOLIDARITY SURVIVED REPRESSION.

    BUT THROUGHOUT THESE YEARS, MOSCOW CONTINUED TO CONCENTRATE ITS RESOURCES ON BUILDING MILITARY POWER. LATE IN 1979, SOVIET TROOPS INVADED AFGHANISTAN. IN RESPONSE, A BUILD-UP OF U-S MILITARY POWER BEGAN IN 1980 UNDER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER AND WAS STRONGLY REINFORCED BY PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN. WHEN THE AFGHAN MUJAHEDDIN WERE SUPPLIED WITH SHOULDER-HELD STINGER MISSILES, THE SOVIET FORCES LOST CONTROL OF THE AIR IN AFGHANISTAN, AND THEIR TROOPS WERE WITHDRAWN IN 1988. THIS WAS THE FIRST STEP IN THE UNRAVELLING OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE, WHICH CULMINATED IN THE BREAK-UP OF THE U-S-S-R ITSELF.

    JOHN LEWIS GADDIS IS A PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT OHIO UNIVERSITY. HE SAYS THAT THE U-S CONTAINMENT POLICY, FIRST DEVELOPED BY GEORGE KENNAN WHEN HE HEADED THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S POLICY PLANNING STAFF IN 1947, FORSAW THE INEVITABLE CRUMBLING OF SOVIET POWER, IF IT COULD BE EFFECTIVELY CONTAINED BY WESTERN STRENGTH. MR. GADDIS IS THE EDITOR OF A BOOK ENTITLED "CONTAINING THE SOVIET UNION: A CRITIQUE OF U-S POLICY":

    TAPE: CUT SEVEN -- GADDIS "KENNAN HAS ALWAYS TAKEN THE VIEW THAT TO SOME EXTENT THE SOVIET UNION WOULD CONTAIN ITSELF THROUGH OVEREXPANSION. KENNAN HAS LONG BEEN A STUDENT OF EMPIRES AND HE HAS LONG REALIZED THAT ONE OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EMPIRES IS THAT THEY GET TOO BIG, THAT THEY GET WEAK AROUND THE PERIPHERY, AND THAT SOMETIMES WITHOUT SOME OTHER ACTOR HAVING TO GENERATE THE RESISTANCE, EMPIRES CAN CONTAIN THEMSELVES THROUGH OVEREXTENSION." HOST: NATO FULLY LIVED UP TO THE PURPOSE SET OUT BY PRESIDENT TRUMAN ON APRIL 4TH, 1949. ALTHOUGH IT PROVIDED THE STRENGTH REQUIRED TO ASSURE THE SUCCESS OF THE CONTAINMENT POLICY, THROUGHOUT ITS NEARLY HALF-CENTURY EXISTENCE THE ARMED FORCES OF NATO NEVER FIRED A SHOT IN ANGER. PERHAPS EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT, THE SUCCESS IN WINNING THE COOPERATION OF WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMAN CALLED "DIVERSE PEOPLES AND CULTURES" HAS GONE FAR BEYOND THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING AN EFFECTIVE DEFENSIVE MILITARY ALLIANCE.

    MANY EUROPEANS WHO HAD SUFFERED UNDER NAZI GERMAN OCCUPATION DURING THE WAR OPPOSED THE INCLUSION OF GERMANY WITHIN THE ALLIANCE. BUT LIEUTENANT GENERAL JORG KUEBART SAYS THAT THE INTEGRATION OF GERMANY INTO THE ALLIANCE HELPED THE COUNTRY OVERCOME THE LEGACY OF TOTALITARIANISM, AS WAS LATER THE CASE WHEN SPAIN JOINED NATO IN 1982.

    A FORMER GENERAL IN THE GERMAN AIR FORCE, JORG KUEBART, IS NOW THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE MARSHALL CENTER IN GARMISCH, GERMANY. THE CENTER HAS TRAINED THOUSANDS OF MIDDLE LEVEL MILITARY OFFICERS -- LIEUTENANT COLONEL AND ABOVE -- FROM THE COUNTRIES OF EAST/CENTRAL EUROPE AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, INCLUDING RUSSIA ITSELF, THAT HAVE JOINED THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. THERE THEY LEARN HOW THE MILITARY OPERATES WITHIN A DEMOCRACY, AND HOW THE ARMED FORCES OF VARIOUS COUNTRIES CAN COOPERATE TOGETHER:

    TAPE: CUT EIGHT -- KUEBART "IN NATO, WE ARE USED FROM THE VERY EARLY DAYS ON TO THINK INTERNATIONALLY. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN THINKING IN NATIONAL TERMS. WHAT WE DO HERE IS TO TRY TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT THE WAY WE DO IT IN NATO IS THE BEST WAY TO DO IT. TO COOPERATE BETWEEN ARMED FORCES AND TO COOPERATE BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS. WE DO NOT HAVE HERE ONLY MILITARY PEOPLE. WE DO HAVE YOUNG DIPLOMATS AND WE DO HAVE YOUNG PARLIAMENTARIANS. AND WHAT WE TEACH AND WHAT WE TALK ABOUT AND WHAT WE DISCUSS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE LEARNED FROM NATO: HOW TO COOPERATE AND HOW TO BE GOOD PARTNERS AND TRUST EACH OTHER." HOST: NATO IS NOW INVOLVED FOR THE FIRST TIME -- TOGETHER WITH MILITARY UNITS FROM SOME PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE NATIONS, INCLUDING RUSSIA -- IN A PEACE-KEEPING EFFORT IN BOSNIA, IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. HOW SUCCESSFUL THIS MISSION WILL BE IS UNSURE AT PRESENT, BUT GENERAL WILLIAM ODOM DOES NOT THINK THAT ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION CAN EFFECTIVELY STOP THE BLOOD-LETTING IN THAT TORTURED LAND. FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE U-S NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, GENERAL ODOM IS NOW THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES AT THE HUDSON INSTITUTE IN WASHINGTON:

    TAPE: CUT NINE -- ODOM "THE ONLY REASON THAT THE COALITION WORKED FAIRLY EFFECTIVELY IN THE PERSIAN GULF WAR WAS THAT THE U-S LED COALITION THERE DEPENDED ALMOST ENTIRELY ON 20 OR 30 YEARS OF STANDARDIZED AGREEMENTS FOR MULTINATIONAL COORDINATION WITHIN NATO. NATO IS THE ONLY INSTITUTION IN THE WORLD THAT HAS DEVELOPED A FAIRLY EFFECTIVE SYSTEM OF MANAGING MODERN MILITARY INSTITUTIONS IN A MULTI-NATIONAL COALITION. THEREFORE, IT IS REALLY THE ONLY WAY WE CAN OPERATE EFFECTIVELY ON A MULTINATIONAL BASIS TO STABILIZE THESE REGIONS AND AVOID THE SPREAD OR EXPANSION OF CONFLICTS THAT BREAK OUT." HOST: THE NATO COUNCIL IN BRUSSELS HAS APPROVED A POLICY OF GRADUALLY EXPANDING THE ORGANIZATION TO THE EAST. EXCEPT FOR RUSSIA, VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE COUNTRIES IN THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE ARE IN FAVOR OF JOINING NATO. BUT IT SEEMS VERY UNLIKELY THAT ANY COUNTRY WILL BE ADMITTED TO NATO IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE. FIRST OF ALL, ANY PROSPECTIVE MEMBER WOULD HAVE TO WIN THE APPROVAL OF ALL OF THE LEGISLATURES OF THE 16 NATO COUNTRIES. KARSTEN VOIGT, PRESIDENT OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC ASSEMBLY AND A MEMBER OF THE DEFENSE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEES OF THE GERMAN PARLIAMENT, THINKS IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE TO DISPEL MOSCOW'S CONCERNS BEFORE THAT TIME COMES:

    TAPE: CUT TEN -- VOIGT "I ENDORSE THE WESTERN POLICY WHERE WE OFFER RUSSIA CLOSE AND EVEN CLOSER COOPERATION THAN TODAY, BETWEEN NATO, ON THE ONE SIDE, AND RUSSIA, ON THE OTHER SIDE, WITH SPECIFIC PROVISIONS ON CONSULTATIONS ON ISSUES OF COLLECTIVE SECURITY IN EUROPE, WITH INFORMATION ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT IS GOING ON IN NATO. RUSSIAN CONCERNS THAT NATO MIGHT NOT CONSIDER RUSSIAN INTERESTS AND THAT NATO IS RUSHING ANYTHING ARE NOT JUSTIFIED FOR EVEN THE SPEEDIEST PROCESS INSIDE NATO, WHICH WILL MEAN THAT THE FIRST NEW MEMBERS WILL BE TAKEN IN INSIDE NATO IN LATE '98 OR EARLY '99." HOST: IN THE UNITED STATES, EXPANSION OF THE ALLIANCE HAS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. BUT NEWT GINGRICH, REPUBLICAN SPEAKER OF THE U-S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, BELIEVES THAT FURTHER DEBATE IS REQUIRED:

    TAPE: CUT ELEVEN -- GINGRICH "I DO BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD EXPAND NATO. I DO BELIEVE WE SHOULD ADD POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC. BUT I THINK WE SHOULD BE VERY INTELLECTUALLY RIGOROUS ABOUT IT. I'M SIMPLY SAYING, IF WE'RE GOING TO SAY TO THE POLES, 'WE ARE PREPARED TO ACCEPT YOU INTO NATO', WE HAD BETTER BE PREPARED TO THINK THROUGH THE MILITARY AS WELL AS THE DIPLOMATIC IMPLICATIONS, AND I'M PREPARED TO DO THAT." HOST: PRESENTING THE U-S ADMINISTRATION'S POINT OF VIEW, ALEXANDER VERSHBOW SAYS THAT THE EXPANSION WILL HELP TO OVERCOME THE INSTABILITY THAT HAS PLAGUED THAT PART OF THE WORLD IN THE PAST. MR. VERSHBOW IS DIRECTOR FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS IN THE WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL:

    TAPE: CUT TWELVE -- VERSHBOW "NATO EXPANSION WILL HAPPEN. IT IS ONLY A QUESTION OF WHEN AND HOW. LET ME JUST SAY THAT NATO MEMBERS WILL HAVE TO MEET CERTAIN BASIC STANDARDS OF DEMOCRACY, INTERNAL STABILITY AND PEACEFUL RELATIONS WITH THEIR NEIGHBORS. ANCHORING THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IN NATO AND EVENTUALLY THE EUROPEAN UNION AS WELL SHOULD HAVE THE SAME STABILIZING EFFECT AS NATO, THE MARSHALL PLAN, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY HAD IN THE FIRST POST-WAR DECADES." CART: MUSIC THEME (UP, ESTABLISH, UNDER) OUTRO: YOU HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO "INTERNATIONAL FOCUS" ON THE VOICE OF AMERICA. THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION CAME INTO BEING ON APRIL 4TH, 1949, AND TODAY'S PROGRAM HAS TAKEN THE OCCASION TO REVIEW NATO'S HISTORY AND ITS POSSIBLE FUTURE EXPANSION. THE PROGRAM WAS WRITTEN AND NARRATED BY FRANK RONALDS. IT WAS EDITED BY PHIL HAYNES, DIRECTED BY ____ AND PRODUCED BY ____. JOIN US AGAIN AT THIS TIME NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER EDITION OF "INTERNATIONAL FOCUS."

    NEB/FSR/PCH
    29-Mar-96 3:05 PM EST (2005 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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