(Extensions of Remarks - June 10, 1997)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1159-E1160]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. BERNARD SANDERS

                               of vermont

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 10, 1997

  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few observations 
today about the European Security Act (H.R. 1758), which authorizes 
United States taxpayer dollars to prepare the Baltic States for NATO 

[[Page E1160]]

Let me begin with a quote by former United States Secretary of State, 
Lawrence Eagleburger, from the Bush administration, commenting on NATO 
expansion and the Baltic countries:

       If we ever think of bringing the Baltic countries into NATO 
     we ought to have our heads examined. First place, it would be 
     a real threat--threat maybe not but a real challenge--to the 
     Russians. Think about the commitment to defend them--we 
     couldn't do it even if we were the only superpower in the 
     world, which we seem to be.

  First of all, Russia clearly perceives that the expansion of NATO 
into the Baltics would be an aggressive, wholly unjustifiable move by 
the United States. On May 22, 1997, President Boris Yeltsin's 
spokesman, Sergei Yastrzhembskii, stated that if NATO expands to 
include Former Soviet Republics, Russia will review all of its foreign 
policy priorities and its relations with the West. Since the cold war 
is over, why are we militarily provoking Russia?
  Second, how much more are we going to ask United States taxpayers to 
ante up to defend Europe in an expanded NATO with a still undefined 
mission? The total price tag is estimated at anywhere from $27 billion 
to $150 billion over the next 10 to 12 years. The Congressional Budget 
Office has estimated that the cost of NATO expansion will be between 
$60.6-$124.7 billion over 15 years. Don't forget that we have already 
paid $60 million through the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act in order 
to assist Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovenia in bringing 
their Armed Forces up to NATO standards.
  Lastly, I am also concerned about reports that several of the 
prospective new NATO member states have been involved in arms sales to 
terrorist countries. For example, Poland has made five shipments to 
Iran of T-72 tanks, equipment and trainers, Slovenia sent M-60 tanks to 
Iran, and Bulgaria sent North Korea 15 tons of explosives.
  After four decades of the cold war and trillions of United States 
taxpayer dollars allocated to compete in the arms race, many of our 
constituents understand that it is not the time to continue wasting 
tens of billions of dollars helping to defend Europe, let alone 
assuming more than our share of any costs associated with expanding 
NATO eastward.
  Mr. Speaker, in the words of New York Times columnist Thomas 
Friedman, ``We [get] nothing for NATO expansion but a bill.''