How Will NATO Adjust in the Coming Decade?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) faces a doubtful future. Its organizing principle has disappeared. Other organizations — the Conference on the Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), the European Community (EC), the Western European Union (WEU), and the French-German Army Corps — now assert a potentially competing security competence. The Rome Summit in November 1991 has given some impetus toward a reassessment of NATO's role. The issues of U.S. force levels in Europe, transatlantic trade relations, and the ability of Germany to have its forces play a role in common actions outside NATO territory will all affect the outcome. The growth of participation in the EC and the WEU presents the issue of NATO enlargement, moving beyond the cooperative arrangements with NATO's former adversaries in the NATO Cooperation Council (NACC). Unless the United States makes an active effort to maintain NATO as the key organization capable of responding effectively to calls by either the United States or CSCE, NATO will decline.