NATO at 50: Papering over the Cracks

Tasneem Jamal Nuclear Weapons

Nicola Butler

The Ploughshares Monitor December 1999 Volume 20 Issue 4

Nicola Butler is Senior Analyst at the Acronym Institute. This article was originally published in Issue No 38 of Disarmament Diplomacy, the journal of the Acronym Institute.

Kosovo dominated the discussions at NATO’s April 1999 Washington Summit. But Summit participants also addressed a number of other key issues that face the Alliance, including its nuclear policy, the NATO-UN relationship, development of a European Defence Identity, “out-of-area” operations, and future enlargement. In many cases, however, the Summit succeeded only in papering over the fundamental differences that remain among NATO members on these questions.

High-level delegations from 43 countries met in Washington from 23 to 25 April for NATO’s 50th-anniversary summit, which was dominated by the war over Kosovo. In addition to the 19 NATO members, those present included leaders from most Eastern European countries, the “frontline states” in the Kosovo War, many former Soviet states, and nearly all of the Western European neutral countries. Only Russia was notable by its absence, staying away in protest over events in Yugoslavia.

The summit, the largest of its kind ever to take place in Washington, was notable for the high level of commercial sponsorship from weapons-related industries and the intense and obsessive security, which kept much of downtown Washington closed off. The press was largely kept away from the diplomatic event, well fed on electronic information and spin from professional spokespeople, but without the chance to ask awkward questions of the political leaders.

Inevitably, given the NATO war in the Balkans, the emphasis was on alliance unity. Different views of the war and NATO’s future, as enshrined in a barely new Strategic Concept, were papered over more than would have been expected under different circumstances. Nuclear policy was kept deliberately low key, with careful avoidance of the questions raised in late 1998 by Germany, Canada and others about retaining first-use doctrine and tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Now that the air war is over, questions about NATO’s role and its relations with neighbours, especially Russia, and with the United Nations, are beginning to surface again. This report considers what happened and explores some of the issues that NATO must address in more depth in the future.

Commercial sponsorship

The scale and timing of the NATO summit event resulted in much of central Washington being closed to the public for security reasons, while many federal workers were given the day off. Extensive facilities and briefings were provided for the thousands of journalists attending in a massive press centre some distance from the summit meetings themselves, with the result that key decisions were often available faster on the Internet than at the press information desks. However, no access – even to the press centre – was allowed for representatives of NGOs, other than those attending as accredited press.

The event was hosted by a committee of US and multinational companies, which had raised nearly eight million dollars in cash and contributions from its members for the opportunity to mingle with the visiting delegations. Host Committee members (each of whom had contributed $250,000 or the equivalent for the privilege) included many from the world of information technology, communications, the motor industry, financial services, and of course defence contractors such as Boeing, Raytheon, United Technologies and TRW (NATO Host Committee 1999). Many others advertised their wares in the proliferation of special issue magazines and promotional materials provided free to participants and press.

Emergency meetings not celebrations

Although it had originally been intended to celebrate the accession of the three new NATO members – the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland – festivities had to be toned down in view of events in the Balkans. Instead the Summit kicked off on Friday, 23 April, with an emergency meeting of Heads of State and Government in the North Atlantic Council (NATO’s highest decision making body) to discuss Kosovo. Meetings continued “at 19” (i.e., NATO members only) throughout Friday and on Saturday morning.

NATO leaders then proceeded to a series of meetings with the other Heads of State and Government present, leaving Foreign Ministers to settle the outstanding issues on the summit Communiqué and the new Strategic Concept. The NATO-Ukraine Commission met on Saturday afternoon, followed on Sunday by the European-Atlantic Partnership Council (involving members of the Partnership for Peace scheme) and a meeting between NATO members and the frontline states in the conflict with Yugoslavia. With Russia absent, there was no meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council at summit level. Over the course of the weekend, the North Atlantic Council issued the following declarations and communiqués:

• Statement on Kosovo;

• Washington Declaration;

• Washington Summit Communiqué;

• the Alliance’s Strategic Concept;

• Membership Action Plan;

• and Defence Capabilities Initiative.

In addition, NATO released an impressive range of fact sheets, statements, and summaries of its meetings with other world leaders. Individual countries attending the meetings also organised their own press briefings and statements throughout the weekend.

The emphasis on Kosovo during the summit had the effect of removing most of NATO’s other decisions from the limelight. Key allies such as the United States seemed more preoccupied with demonstrating Alliance unity over Kosovo than with pushing for their national positions during negotiations on some of the other summit documents. France, however, appeared more focussed, managing to incorporate more of its ideas than at previous NATO summits.

The Washington Declaration, originally billed as a “vision statement” for the Alliance, was short and bland. The Allies had reportedly been unable to find consensus on anything more substantive, so a lowest common denominator declaration was issued and the real debates postponed for the Strategic Concept and the Summit Communiqué. When the Declaration finally appeared on Friday afternoon, it was immediately eclipsed by publication of the Kosovo Statement. Likewise, when last minute negotiations on the Strategic Concept and the Communiqué delayed their publication by several hours – an occurrence which would usually have produced a frenzy of media speculation – the level of media interest was so low that most journalists had already gone home before the documents actually arrived.

Tensions over Kosovo

With the conclusion of the air war and the introduction of KFOR, it is easy to forget that this outcome to the war did not always seem assured. Although NATO leaders at the summit were keen to emphasise their message of “unity and determination” – a phrase that was repeated at practically every NATO press briefing – it was apparent at the Washington summit that a wide range of views were being promoted from within the Alliance. In particular, questions over possible deployment of ground troops and the launch of maritime operations in support of the EU oil embargo were highly controversial.

At one end of the spectrum was the United Kingdom, which surprised many by adopting the most hawkish position throughout the summit. Prime Minister Tony Blair set the scene in an eve-of-summit speech in Chicago in which he outlined his “Doctrine of the International Community,” calling for a new security framework, guided by “a more subtle blend of mutual self interest and moral purpose in defending the values we cherish.” Using Kosovo as a case study, he indicated five criteria for determining when military intervention was appropriate:

First, are we sure of our case?… Second, have we exhausted all diplomatic options?… Third, on the basis of a practical assessment of the situation, are there military operations we can sensibly and prudently undertake?… Fourth, are we prepared for the long term?… And finally, do we have national interests involved? (Blair 1999)

Tony Blair was also the first NATO leader to respond to Russian envoy Victor Chernomyrdin’s initial attempts to broker a deal with Belgrade, appearing on US television to rule it out. In contrast with Blair’s first appearance at a NATO Summit in 1997 in Madrid, when the British appeared simply to follow Washington’s lead on the major issues, in 1999 the British seem to have seized the political initiative within NATO, at least where the Balkan war was concerned. The British delegation, unlike many of their NATO colleagues, were unconstrained either by domestic public opinion or parliamentary opposition, and were perceived throughout the summit to be lobbying the US Administration heavily for deployment of more ground troops.

At the other end of the political spectrum, Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos told an NGO conference in Washington on the day before the summit started that in Kosovo “a political solution is necessary and a military solution is not possible.” He went on to say that diplomatic initiatives, such as the German peace plan, had been dismissed too quickly – a sentiment shared by many German officials. Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini also criticised NATO’s bombing of the Serbian television station and said that it was not in the plans, while French President Jacques Chirac opposed the use of military force to stop and search ships suspected of breaching the oil embargo. Meanwhile, Hungary was reported to have expressed concerns about the impact of the war on ethnic Hungarians in the Vojvodina region of Yugoslavia.

Towards a European Defence Identity

The controversies that delayed publication of the Summit Communiqué and the Strategic Concept centred on the paragraphs on developing a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) (NATO 1999a, paras 8-10 and parts of para 41). The impetus for a stronger EU role in defence has come from the UK’s new stance in favour of greater European Defence co-operation and the resulting Anglo-French St Malo Agreement of 1998. The UK and France are believed to have proposed the new language for NATO on this subject with the backing of all EU members, in particular Germany. However, by Saturday afternoon, when Heads of State and Government were due to move on to the NATO-Ukraine Commission, all sections of the text on ESDI remained bracketed, with Turkey, which is not a member of the EU, objecting vociferously. As a result, the two documents had to be delegated to NATO Foreign Ministers to work out final agreement.

Language favoured by Turkey noted previous Alliance decisions on ESDI and acknowledged that this would continue to be developed within NATO. It reiterated that NATO would assist the European Allies to act by themselves, through making its assets and capabilities available to the WEU on a case-by-case basis and by consensus of NATO members. This text, which is similar to previous NATO statements on ESDI, is very much in evidence in the new Strategic Concept (NATO 1999b, para 30).

In contrast, the paragraphs that were eventually adopted in the Washington Summit Communiqué go much further, acknowledging the resolve of the EU to have the capacity for “autonomous action” and agreeing to further development of the concept of using separable but not separate NATO assets for “WEU-led operations.” The Communiqué goes on to call for:

Assured EU access to NATO planning capabilities able to contribute to military planning for EU-led operations;

The presumption of availability to the EU of pre-identified NATO capabilities and common assets for use in EU-led operations;

Identification of a range of European command options for EU-led operations, further developing the role of DSACEUR [the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe] in order for him to assume fully and effectively his European responsibilities; [and]

The further adaptation of NATO’s defence planning system to incorporate more comprehensively the availability of forces for EU-led operations.

Since the NATO summit, the European Council has already moved forward in this area, agreeing to further development of a common European Security and Defence policy, at its Cologne summit of 3 June 1999. The Council agreed that the EU “must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO” (European Council 1999). However, many of the modalities of a European security and defence policy remain to be resolved, not least of which include the questions of how to involve non-allied EU members and non-EU NATO members on a satisfactory basis.

Conflict over NATO-UN relations

The question of whether NATO requires a UN Security Council mandate before it engages in operations beyond its own borders emerged as an area of disagreement among the allies during talks on the Strategic Concept at the autumn 1998 Ministerial meetings. The US was at the forefront of efforts to allow the Alliance to bypass the UN by deciding itself on a case-by-case basis the legality of future NATO actions out of area, while France, Italy, and Germany strongly advocated the need for UN backing (Butler 1999). The start of airstrikes against Yugoslavia brought this debate to a head, provoking widespread discussion on the legality of Operation Allied Force. These discussions concerning the role of the UN continued during negotiations on the Strategic Concept right up to the last minute, including direct talks at the Summit between Presidents Clinton and Chirac.

Although Kosovo would appear to set a precedent for future unilateral actions by NATO, paradoxically the Strategic Concept puts more emphasis than expected on the role of the UN, stating that: “the United Nations Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security” (NATO 1999b, para 15). A further paragraph on conflict prevention and crisis management reiterated language from NATO’s 1994 Brussels summit, offering Alliance support for peacekeeping and other operations “under the authority of the UN Security Council or the responsibility of the OSCE” (NATO 1999b, para 31). A loophole is provided for Operation Allied Force as NATO “recalls its subsequent decisions with respect to crisis response operations in the Balkans.” However, there is no sign of the type of language being used by the US Administration in its media briefings on the Strategic Concept.

The inclusion of numerous references to the importance of the UN in both the Communiqué and the Strategic Concept was announced in some detail to the media, prior to their publication, by the French President, who described the outcome as a “victory for French diplomacy” (Chirac 1999). Chirac also indicated his preference for stronger involvement of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in attempts to resolve the war in Kosovo. In contrast, President Clinton did not mention the question of UN mandates in his press briefings on the Strategic Concept, nor was he asked about it by any of the journalists present.

Another area in which the US was perceived to have lost out in the Strategic Concept is the related question of where the Alliance can legitimately operate. Prior to the summit, the US was keen for NATO to extend its role to include tackling a “wide range of threats” to “shared values and interests,” without specifying any geographic limitations on NATO operations. In fact, the language agreed to in the Strategic Concept and the Communiqué more strongly reflects the views of most of NATO’s European members, specifying a sphere of interest in the “Euro-Atlantic area” and making reference to the possibility of regional crises “at the periphery of the Alliance.”

Most European members of NATO see this as restricting Alliance operations to Europe. It is far from the broad mandate originally sought by Washington, which would have preferred language that gave it greater leverage to demand Allied support for operations outside Europe, such as those in Iraq. However, like most of the text agreed to at the Summit, these references are open to a range of interpretations and the US position immediately after publication of the Strategic Concept was to insist that the question of where NATO could act outside its borders was not a “geographical issue.”

In the euphoria that has followed the conclusion of NATO’s air campaign against Yugoslavia, President Clinton has again indicated that the US sees a role for NATO well beyond its current borders. Asserting that the Alliance was able to repeat a Kosovo-style operation immediately if necessary, Clinton is reported to have said that NATO could intervene elsewhere in “Africa or Central Europe” to fight repression (Agence France Presse 1999).

Low-key discussions on nuclear policy

Although a separate document announcing a “Weapons of Mass Destruction Initiative” had been expected prior to the Washington summit, in the event the initiative was confined to a couple of paragraphs in the Summit Communiqué (NATO 1999a, paras 30-31), accompanied by a fact sheet. The areas for joint action by the Allies were described as information sharing, defence planning, non-proliferation, civilian protection, and the establishment of a WMD Centre to co-ordinate NATO efforts. Development of a public information strategy “to increase awareness of proliferation issues and Allies’ efforts to support non-proliferation efforts” is also envisaged.

Prior to the summit, US Secretary of Defense William Cohen had been keen to push a more ambitious counter-proliferation agenda within NATO. Although some allies remain opposed to counter-proliferation, the initiative does make reference to the need to “enhance existing Allied programmes which increase military readiness to operate in a WMD environment and to counter WMD threats.” Although non-proliferation efforts also feature in the WMD initiative, as a military alliance, NATO also gives a high priority to military responses to proliferation, some of which may prove counterproductive to its arms control approach.

Following German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer’s attempt to raise the question of no first use of nuclear weapons, arms control was given a higher profile in the Summit documents. The Strategic Concept contained a new section entitled “Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation” which states that the Alliance will “actively contribute to the development of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation agreements as well as to confidence and security building measures” (NATO 1999b, para 40). Similarly, the Communiqué announced:

In the light of overall strategic developments and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons, the Alliance will consider options for confidence and security building measures, verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament. The Council in Permanent Session will propose a process to Ministers in December for considering such options… (NATO 1999b, para 32).

The description of NATO nuclear strategy in the Strategic Concept remains largely unchanged, with nuclear weapons still being accorded the status of providing the “supreme guarantee” of the security of the Allies. In a gesture towards German and Canadian support for a no first use policy, the Alliance described the circumstances in which nuclear weapons might be used as being “extremely remote,” but this change seems purely semantic, making little or no practical change to NATO nuclear posture.

Nuclear policy attracted little attention or debate at the NATO summit itself. However, the reiteration of nuclear posture did not go unnoticed by countries outside the Alliance. The new Strategic Concept, along with NATO’s strategy in the Balkans, drew criticism two weeks later at the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) PrepCom, in particular from China, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Iran. In addition, the Non-Aligned Movement, Egypt, Indonesia, and South Africa all spoke out against NATO’s policy of “nuclear sharing” (Johnson 1999), which had been repeated in the Strategic Concept. Under nuclear sharing arrangements non-nuclear members of the Alliance host a small number of US tactical nuclear weapons on their territory and undergo training and exercises to prepare for the possible transfer of the weapons during wartime, when NATO considers that the NPT is no longer binding. Proposals to close this “wartime loophole” were put forward in a working paper at the PrepCom by Egypt. The view that the NPT should be binding “at all times and in all circumstances” was also advocated by the New Agenda Coalition1 and was contained in working papers put forward by the PrepCom Chairman.

Despite the recent joint statement by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin on the ABM Treaty and future nuclear disarmament measures, the whole basis for future progress on arms control remains extremely shaky following the Kosovo War. Repeated NATO statements of the importance of Russia’s involvement in European security and the development of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) (see NATO 1999a, paras 26-27, and NATO 1999b, para 36) seemed pretty meaningless with Russia boycotting the event. This suspension of relations was particularly worrying, coming just at a time when the PJC should have been tackling issues such as the millennium bug, laying the ground work for greater transparency on tactical nuclear weapons, and working on adaptation of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.

The other potential obstacle to further progress in arms control and improving relations with Russia is the long-standing problem of NATO enlargement, and the Washington Summit did nothing to alleviate Russian concerns in this area. Instead the Membership Action Plan (MAP) spelt out the legal arrangement that new members would have to undertake, including the key NATO-wide nuclear co-operation agreements to which new members would be expected to accede for “possible eventual access” to atomic information. The MAP called on would-be NATO members to scrutinise domestic law for compatibility with these, and all other, NATO rules and regulations (NATO 1999c).

It remains to be seen how NATO’s new “process” on arms control will evolve. The question is whether NATO members will be able to use it to introduce new thinking for the Alliance aimed at breaking the current logjam in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, or whether the “business as usual” approach to nuclear weapons which is also evident in the Strategic Concept will prevail.

Enlargement still pushed

NATO’s actions in Kosovo may also have an impact on the future debate on enlargement. With the problems experienced in integrating the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland still fresh in mind, many NATO members are reluctant to make the commitment of extending the security guarantees associated with full membership to still more countries. The Alliance’s Membership Action Plan was intended to square the circle by offering closer co-operation with aspiring members, while stopping short of offering them full membership.

NATO headed off the concerns of Yugoslavia’s neighbours early on with a security guarantee for the duration of the Kosovo crisis. In its Statement on Kosovo, the North Atlantic Council emphasised that it would “not tolerate threats by the Belgrade regime to the security of its neighbours” and would “respond” to any such challenges resulting from NATO activities on their territory. “We reaffirm our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries in the region,” the statement continues (NATO 1999d, paras 13-14). The Alliance has therefore been forced to guarantee the security of several states which have yet to fulfil the criteria for NATO membership and are located in an extremely volatile area of the world.

It was also apparent at the summit that many Eastern European states feel that more is required from NATO than just words of gratitude at the European Atlantic Partnership Council, following their demonstrations of loyalty during the air war. These states are keen to emphasise such contributions as hosting refugees, giving political support, bearing the economic costs of the war, and even in some cases accepting the landing of misguided missiles on their territory. As a result the Alliance was forced to name many more countries in the section of the Summit Communiqué relating to future enlargement, in an elaborate series of sentences “recognising” progress in some countries, while “noting” and “encouraging” it in others (NATO 1999a, para 7).

The war over Kosovo has also sharpened the debate on NATO for the neutral states in Europe. In general, these states have been least comfortable with the concept of NATO action without a specific UN mandate. Kosovo has had a particularly strong effect in Austria, which in recent years has engaged in a significant domestic debate on whether to join NATO. However, Austria’s decision at the beginning of the war to close its airspace to aircraft participating in Operation Allied Force has been widely seen as the act of a country that will not be joining NATO any time soon.

Nonetheless, it appears that since the Washington summit and ending of the airstrikes, far from diffusing pressure for Alliance membership with the Membership Action Plan, post-Kosovo Eastern European states are pushing even harder to join.

NATO after the Balkan War

NATO’s 1999 summit was intended to set out the Alliance’s vision for the next century, unveiling a Strategic Concept to act as a guide for strategy and force structure for years to come. However, like NATO’s 1991 Strategic Concept, which was almost immediately put out of date by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 1999 Concept is already looking dated as a result of Kosovo. Although there are no plans to revise the new Strategic Concept and NATO is not expected to hold another summit meeting until 2002, both the Alliance and many national governments are now reviewing the outcome of the Kosovo war and assessing the implications for future defence and procurement strategy. The assessments are mixed, but already a number of themes are emerging.

Although the tone of statements from many NATO leaders at the conclusion of the air war avoided triumphalism, in many NATO states the outcome is seen as a great success and a victory for the Alliance, affirming its post-Cold War strategy. As US Ambassador to NATO Alexander Vershbow commented: “NATO has literally reinvented itself in ten short years” (Vershbow 1999). Similarly, British Secretary of State for Defence George Robertson, now the Secretary-General of NATO, stated that despite the level of public opposition in countries such as Greece and Italy, “the Alliance came through united, determined, and much stronger than anybody thought possible, and with a renewed confidence in its own cohesion and sense of purpose” (Robertson 1999).

Robertson also gives an upbeat assessment of the success of NATO’s air power strategy in this war, saying that:

Precision bombing produced considerable battle damage with relatively little collateral damage and, however tragic, relatively few civilian casualties and no Allied losses. There is little doubt that the air assault on the highly resilient Serb military machine did in the end make it impossible for Milosevic to sustain further damage and to keep going until the winter (Robertson 1999).

This kind of assessment is clearly good news for the aerospace industry, with many companies seeing an increase in the value of their shares in recent months. The idea that NATO can now win wars with no losses on its own side makes air power a much more appealing option for the allies, especially in the United States where memories of Viet Nam have been a constraint to the military option for many years.

The agreement to allow KFOR troops to enter Kosovo is also seen as a vindication for Tony Blair’s strategy of “diplomacy backed by credible force,” although US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has also emphasised the reverse, that “the Alliance backed its force with diplomacy” (Albright 1999). Key NATO leaders have also constantly reiterated the message that Operation Allied Force was conducted legally on humanitarian grounds, despite the absence of a UN Security Council resolution. George Robertson even cited the speeches of Kofi Annan as providing the “moral imperative” from which “flowed the legal justification” for the air war (Robertson 1999). The message seems to be that NATO can work without the UN when necessary, but bring it in to help with refugees and to help implement a settlement once Alliance objectives have been achieved.

However, there are issues that remain troubling for the NATO allies. For example, all NATO members must have noted the dominance of the US in providing the military capability to conduct the Kosovo operation. For some this vindicated the leadership role played by the US in NATO, but for others it has highlighted the inability of the European states to conduct even a more limited peacekeeping operation on their own. One of the results has been the greater impetus for efforts to develop a common European defence policy.

In addition, the strategy of “diplomacy backed by credible force” implied a much quicker and more decisive deterrent effect in forcing the Milosevic regime to back down. The Kosovo campaign took much longer than many anticipated and it could have been difficult for NATO to keep some Allies, especially Greece, on board for much longer. The other effect of this protracted campaign was that instead of quickly halting the emerging humanitarian disaster in Kosovo, the bombing strategy was at best not effective until it was too late and at worst had the effect of precipitating a greater disaster for the Kosovars on the ground.

Doubts have also been raised about the effectiveness of the air campaign, highlighted by errors such as the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and bombing of Serb and Kosovar Albanian civilians. There is also a question mark over how effective high-altitude bombing was at destroying Yugoslav tanks and to what extent the Yugoslav withdrawal was prompted by destruction of civilian rather than military targets.

Questions also remain for the wider international community. NATO’s decision to act unilaterally highlights the inadequacies of the UN Security Council’s ability to address problems of regional and ethnic conflict in the Balkans and elsewhere. It brings into question the use of vetoes in the Security Council, the inadequacy of UN funding, and the need for UN reform. It has also highlighted the pathetic level of resources available to the OSCE, the UN High Commission for Refugees and other non-military players in the crisis.

Most disturbing, however, is the fact that although the air war is over and the issue of Kosovo has already dropped down the news headlines, problems in the Balkans remain far from resolved. Ethnic hatred appears greater than ever in the wake of atrocities, the KLA remains heavily armed, efforts to deploy an international police force are slow getting started, the economic and environmental costs are only just emerging, and instability remains the watchword. The long-term goal of KFOR and NATO of bringing peace and stability to the region seems as elusive as ever.


The last few months have been a turning point for NATO during which many of the hypothetical debates within the Alliance have been transformed into real decisions that will affect European security for years to come. Despite President Clinton’s rhetoric that the Alliance could intervene elsewhere “tomorrow” if necessary, the scale of the Kosovo operation and the cost of reconstruction and retaining significant forces in the region may be enough to make many allies think twice before undertaking anything similar in future.

As NATO states attempt to learn the lessons of Kosovo, a higher priority must be given to conflict prevention and arms control. NATO itself could have a role to play here given its ability to mobilise on a large scale and to facilitate communications and co-ordination between forces from different countries. However, a military force alone lacks many of the skills and expertise required for peacekeeping and rebuilding of civil society. The international community also needs to devote more attention to developing the tools for conflict prevention and disarmament, which have been so inadequate in the Balkans over the last ten years.



1 The New Agenda Coalition was launched in June 1998, when eight Foreign Ministers jointly issued a declaration setting out a future agenda for nuclear disarmament. The “New Agenda Statement” at the NPT PrepCom was delivered by Brazilian Ambassador Luiz Tupy Caldas de Moura of Brazil on 12 May 1999 on behalf of 32 states from all over the world. See Rebecca Johnson, “NPT Report,” Disarmament Diplomacy, No. 37, May 1999.


Agence France Presse 1999, “Clinton says NATO is ready to fight repression in Europe, Africa,” 22 June.

Albright, Madeleine 1999, “To Win The Peace…,” Wall Street Journal, 14 June.

Blair, Tony 1999, “Doctrine of the International Community,” speech to the Economic Club of Chicago, 22 April.

Butler, Nicola 1999, “NATO in 1999: a Concept in Search of a Strategy,” Disarmament Diplomacy, No. 35, March.

Chirac, President Jacques 1999, press conference, Washington, 24 April.

European Council 1999, “Declaration of the European Council on strengthening the common European policy on security and defence,” 3 June.

Johnson, Rebecca 1999, “Nuclear Disarmament (1),” Third NPT PrepCom, Briefing No. 3, The Acronym Institute, 12 May.

NATO 1999a, “An Alliance for the 21st Century,” Washington Summit Communiqué, NAC-S(99)64, 24 April.

NATO 1999b, “The Alliance’s Strategic Concept,” NAC-S(99)65, 24 April.

NATO 1999c, “Membership Action Plan,” NAC-S(99)66, 24 April.

NATO 1999d, “Statement on Kosovo,” NAC-S-1(99)62, 23 April.

NATO 50th Anniversary Summit Host Committee 1999, News Release, 19 April.

Robertson, George 1999, “Kosovo – some preliminary thoughts,” speech to the Royal United Services Institute, 29 June.

Vershbow, Ambassador Alexander 1999, “NATO after the Washington Summit and the Kosovo Crisis,” 30 June.

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