Text: S.Hrg. 110-507 — PROTOCOLS TO THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY OF 1949 ON THE ACCESSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA (TREATY DOC. 110-20)
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[Senate Hearing 110-507]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 110-507
PROTOCOLS TO THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY OF 1949 ON THE ACCESSION OF THE
REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA (TREATY DOC. 110-20)
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED TENTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 10, 2008
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska
RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota
BARBARA BOXER, California BOB CORKER, Tennessee
BILL NELSON, Florida GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
BARACK OBAMA, Illinois LISA MURKOWSKI, Alaska
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia
ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
JIM WEBB, Virginia JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming
Antony J. Blinken, Staff Director
Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
Dodd, Hon. Christopher, U.S. Senator From Connecticut............ 1
Fata, Hon. Daniel P., Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and
NATO Policy, Department of Defense, Washington, DC............. 14
Fried, Hon. Daniel, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian
Affairs, Department of State, Washington, DC................... 6
Prepared statement......................................... 9
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator From Indiana................ 4
Additional Material Submitted for the Record
Prepared Statement of Hon. George V. Voinovich, U.S. Senator From
Responses of Assistant Secretary Dan Fried to Questions Submitted
for the Record by Senator Bob Corker........................... 37
Prepared Statement of Edward A. Andrus, President, National
Federation of Croatian Americans, Washington, DC............... 37
PROTOCOLS TO THE NORTH ATLANTIC
TREATY OF 1949 ON THE ACCESSION
OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA AND THE
REPUBLIC OF CROATIA (TREATY DOC. 110-20)
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2008
Committee on Foreign Relations,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:35 a.m. in
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Christopher
Present: Senators Dodd, Cardin, Webb, Lugar, Corker,
DeMint, and Isakson.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER DODD,
U.S. SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT
Senator Dodd. The committee will come to order.
Let me, first of all, welcome our witnesses and those who
are gathered in the room.
As you can see, Senator Biden is not here this morning; he
is elsewhere around the country. And for those of us here, I'm
sure putting party and politics aside--partisan politics aside,
we're excited for Joe Biden to have been selected by Barack
Obama to be his running mate in this campaign. In the interim,
he's asked me to chair the committee and, at various points
along the way, to assist and support the activities of this
committee. Senator Biden and Senator Lugar and others have been
deeply involved in the subject matter before us today for some
time, and, in their absence, any comments that Senator Biden
would have, we'll certainly include as part of the record. But,
I'm pleased to be stepping in for him temporarily, at least
temporarily, until the election, and we'll see what happens
after that, down the road.
But, in the meantime, we thank all of you for being with us
The subject of our hearing this morning are the Protocols
to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). I have some
brief opening comments to make, then I'll turn to my colleague
and dear friend Senator Richard Lugar, who I've enjoyed
immensely serving with on this committee for 28 years. In my
first days in this body, I was sitting about four seats down
from where Johnny Isakson is sitting right now, and it took 28
years to move up to this particular point this morning.
It's a slow journey here.
Senator Dodd [continuing]. I'll turn to our colleagues, as
well, for any opening comments you may have, as well, before
turning to our witnesses.
Nearly 60 years ago, our leaders, in the wake of World War
II, devised a security framework to defend Western democracies
against the threat of Soviet communism. For almost 60 years,
the alliance they forged has endured and expanded. NATO has
protected the Euro-Atlantic community and buttressed fledgling
democracies. More than a military alliance, NATO has become an
agent of peace and an important factor in the prosperity and
integration of the nations of Europe.
NATO is an organization that runs on consensus, requiring
that every nation in the Alliance approve the addition of each
new members. In this manner, NATO has added 10 new members
during the past 10 years.
Today we're going to consider the third round of expansion,
this time extending the Alliance into the Balkans with the
addition of Albania and Croatia to full membership. I'd like to
welcome and introduce the administration witnesses who will
assist us in coming to our conclusions, Assistant Secretary of
State for European Affairs Dan Fried and Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense Dan Fata.
I'm disappointed, I might point out here, that the
Department of Defense--breaking with past practice, I might
note, as well--has not made Supreme Allied Commander Europe
(SACEUR) General John Craddock available to speak to the
important issue before us today. I don't know, frankly, how we
can proceed without SACEUR's input. And so, I would like those
in the audience to take note--and certainly we'll communicate
this very directly to the Department of Defense. It will be
important for us to hear from them, as well.
And I don't blame General Craddock in any way. In fact, I
suspect, on this own, he would have liked to have been here.
There are other issues that are under consideration. But,
nonetheless, it's important to have the DOD input in matters as
important as the one before us this morning.
We should not forget, I would quickly point out, that NATO
went to war in the Balkans 9 years ago. We've made, and
continue to make, substantial investments to promote regional
peace. Having Albania and Croatia within the Alliance will be a
force for stability in the Balkans.
Our aim in this hearing this morning is to determine
whether both of these candidate countries have met the criteria
for NATO membership. Albania and Croatia deserve our admiration
for the extensive political and military reform processes that
they've engaged in to reach this point. But, our aim is also to
ensure that their accession is in the interest of NATO and, of
course, the United States.
In the 1990s, Secretary of Defense William Perry outlined
five principles of political reform that each new candidate
meet. These principles, I think, by and large, have been
embraced by the successor administrations. These criteria
include democratic elections, individual liberty, and the rule
of law, demonstrated commitment to economic reform and market
economy, adherence to the norms of the Organization of Security
and Cooperation Europe in the treatment of ethnic minorities
and social justice, resolution of territorial disputes with
neighbors, and the establishment of democratic control of the
military. These are the standards that I think we must apply
when considering new members to NATO.
Both countries were officially invited to join the Alliance
at an important NATO Summit in Bucharest this April. But, their
invitation wasn't the only question of NATO enlargement on the
agenda that month. The allies also extended an invitation to
the country NATO recognizes as the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia. That invitation will take effect if and when they're
able to reach a compromise with Greece over the issue of the
name of their country--an issue which has been around for some
time, I might add. I hope they can find a mutually acceptable
solution. I welcome an update on the status of these
negotiations from our witnesses this morning.
At Bucharest, Ukraine and Georgia petitioned for Membership
Action Plans and received commitments to membership, without an
exact timeline and criteria. Recent events in Georgia obviously
have given greater salience to the issue of its eventual
membership. Next week, this committee will hold a hearing on
Georgia and the implications of the recent conflict. As
tensions increase between NATO members and Russia, the
geopolitical position of the Ukraine, a country that straddles
East and West, also increases the tension about its prospects
The Foreign Relations Committee has a legislative
responsibility to consider these questions of NATO enlargement
and to initiate the process of approval in the U.S. Senate.
Each NATO state must consider the merits of the candidates and
commit to the security of Albania and Croatia through their own
constitutional processes and procedures. If these protocols are
approved by the U.S. Senate, we'll extend our commitment to the
defense of these two nations under article 5 of the North
As we take this step, it is incumbent upon us to review the
full range of implications. We must consider our national
interests and the nature of the allies that we are embracing.
We must ask, Have there been democratic elections? What is the
level of respect for the rights of the individual? Have they
successfully established the rule of law? Is there a
demonstrated commitment to the economic reform and market
economies? How do they treat their minorities? Have they
resolved all their territorial disputes with their neighbors?
And finally, are their militaries responsible to democratically
elected civilian officials?
When we apply these standards, NATO is more than an
alliance, it is an agent of change, creating a freer and more
peaceful Europe. To undertake a commitment of mutual defense is
one of the most serious steps that any government--any
government can ever take. It is a solemn commitment. We must
consider the readiness of NATO to take on this additional
responsibility, as well as the military capability and
political institutions of a potential ally. But, we must
consider, also, the nature of that ally.
As I stated at the outset, NATO is more than merely a
military alliance, it is a partnership of like-minded
democracies dedicated to a vision of Europe whole and free. I
look forward to discussing these questions with our witnesses
And, with that, let me turn to my friend and former
chairman of this committee, Senator Lugar.
OPENINGS STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARD G. LUGAR,
U.S. SENATOR FROM INDIANA
Senator Lugar. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I am pleased that we will have a hearing of the committee,
on Georgia, next week. I would commend to members of the
committee, a statement made by our witness today, Secretary
Fried, on Georgia. I found it to be the most comprehensive and
useful piece that I've read, thus far. So, as sort of study
material, with a week for us to think about it, it might be
useful to take a look at that paper, which I am certain the
staff can make available to us.
I strongly support the Alliance's decision to invite
Albania and Croatia to join NATO. Both countries have clearly
stated their desire to join and are working hard to meet the
specified requirements for membership. The governments in
Tirana and Zagreb have been preparing for membership for more
than 8 years.
And I say, parenthetically, as we discuss Membership Action
Plans, Membership Action Plans are not necessarily an immediate
entry vehicle. Eight years of preparation by these two
countries is substantial. Each of them is undergoing a process,
a democratic and free-market transformation. They've made
important progress toward establishing civilian control of
their militaries and toward demonstrating their ability to
operate with military forces of NATO nations at alliance
Albania and Croatia continue to contribute to the United
Nations mandated International Security Assistance Force, ISAF,
operating under NATO leadership to assist the government of
Afghanistan. In addition, the candidates have improved their
democratic processes, strengthened toleration of ethnic
diversity, broadened respect for human rights, worked toward
free-market economies, and promoted good regional relations.
On February 18, 2008, the United States and many of our
European allies diplomatically recognized the independence of
Kosovo. This was an important step in putting the bloody
history of the Balkans in the past, but our work in the region
is certainly not done. In my view, lasting stability and
security in southeastern Europe requires that the emerging
democracies there be integrated into the military, economic,
and political structures of Europe.
Albania and Croatia occupy critical geostrategic locations
and are well situated to help deter efforts to destabilize the
region through violence. NATO membership for these countries
would extend the zone of peace and security into a region that
ignited a world war and numerous regional conflicts that have
cost the lives of hundreds of thousands.
If NATO is to continue to be the preeminent security
alliance and serve the defense interests of its membership, it
must evolve, and that evolution must include enlargement.
Potential NATO membership motivates emerging democracies to
make advances in areas such as the rule of law and civil
society. A closer relationship with NATO will promote
achievement of these goals in Albania and Croatia and
contribute to our mutual security.
Unfortunately, the summit at Bucharest failed to extend the
Membership Action Plan to Georgia and Ukraine. This decision
sent the wrong signal to Moscow and the international
community. Last month, I traveled to Georgia and Ukraine, and,
during my visit in Georgia, President Saakashvili reiterated
his hopes for a Membership Action Plan, arguing this would be a
powerful symbol of the West's support for an independent
In Ukraine, President Yushchenko, Prime Minister
Tymoshenko, and the Speaker of the Parliament have signed a
letter to the NATO Secretary General, signifying unity of
purpose behind the MAP request, and their signatures remain on
Ukrainian political unity is critical to its success, and
recent reports out of Kiev are not promising in this regard. I
am hopeful unity can still be achieved in the near term.
Five years ago, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to invite
seven countries to join NATO. Today, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia are making important
contributions to NATO and are among our closest allies in the
global war on terrorism. It is time again for the United States
to take the lead in urging its allies to support the membership
aspirations of Albania and Croatia, and, at the same time, the
United States must continue to lead the effort to ensure that
Georgia and Ukraine receive Membership Action Plans.
Since the end of the cold war, NATO has been evolving to
meet the new security needs of the 21st century. In this era,
the threats to NATO members are transnational. NATO's viability
as an effective security alliance depends on flexible and
creative leadership, as well as the willingness of members to
improve capabilities and address common threats.
Moving forward with the membership of Albania and Croatia
is an important element in this process and will ensure that
NATO continues to serve the national security interests of its
I thank the Chair.
Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Senator.
Senator Corker--I don't know the order in which people
arrived, but do you have any comments you'd like to make?
Senator Corker. I'd rather move to the witnesses, and I
think both your opening comments were outstanding.
Senator Dodd. Johnny, any opening comments?
Senator Isakson. Only, Mr. Chairman, to comment that I was
in Germany in early August, at the Brandenburg Gate and at
Checkpoint Charlie, and to think that--when NATO was started, I
think we all thought if it ever exercised article 5, it would
be in defense of Germany, and to think that the first time it
did that was actually to come to the aid of the United States,
post-9/11, in Afghanistan, and, given where these two countries
are in the Balkans, and with the problems that have existed
there, I think strengthening of NATO and admission of Croatia
and Albania will do nothing but good things for that part of
the world, help to have the type of stability that now most of
Eastern Europe is now enjoying. So, I look forward to the
testimony, and I'm very proud of the success of NATO, and our
participation in it.
Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Senator.
Oh, Jim, I'm sorry, I didn't see you come in. I apologize.
Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will have some
questions, but I'd prefer to wait until the witnesses are done.
Senator Dodd. You came in rather quietly, here.
Senator Webb. I'm actually sitting in Senator Obama's seat,
Senator Webb [continuing]. I'm a little closer to you than
Senator Dodd. And I'm in Senator Biden's seat. There's been
no coup in the committee going on. [Laughter.]
I guess it will be with you, Mr. Secretary.
STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL FRIED, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR
EUROPEAN AND EURASIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON,
Mr. Fried. Thank you, Chairman Dodd.
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Lugar, and members of the
committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss NATO and
the protocols of accession of Albania and Croatia.
NATO has successfully served the United States and Europe
for nearly 60 years as a defensive alliance and an alliance of
values. Although created in the context of Soviet threats to
European security, NATO is not an alliance directed against any
nation. A key purpose was, and remains, to defend its members
from attack. But another purpose was to provide a security
umbrella under which Western European countries could be
reconciled and find peace after two world wars. A third purpose
of NATO was to institutionalize the transatlantic link between
Europe and the United States.
At NATO's core is article 5. It is a solemn commitment. For
many years, we expected that if this collective defense article
were ever invoked, it would be in response to a Soviet assault
on Germany. No one expected an attack on the United States that
originated in Afghanistan. But, that was the cause, on
September 12, 2001, of NATO's invocation of article 5 for the
As the threats to NATO's members have changed, NATO has
adapted. From the outset, NATO enlargement took place, even
during the cold war. After the Soviet Union fell, NATO
enlargement took on a more profound role, as newly liberated
democracies sought membership in the Alliance. Many of these
countries were on unfamiliar ground, nervous about Russia and
unsure of themselves. But, thanks in large part to a United
States strategy developed under the last three Presidents, NATO
enlargement and EU enlargement, which we supported, became the
means by which the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at
peace, started becoming reality.
NATO enlargement became an instrument through which Central
and Eastern European countries carried out reforms at home and
reconciled with each other. The policy of NATO enlargement,
which many here in this room helped shape, is one of America's
and Europe's greatest achievements since the end of the cold
NATO enlargement was designed in parallel with efforts to
reach out to Russia and develop a new NATO-Russia relationship.
We wanted a new Europe and a new relationship with Russia. We
did not shut the door even to the possibility of Russia
becoming a member of NATO one day. For a time, Russia appeared
to be moving toward more democracy at home and more cooperation
with its neighbors. But, recent developments show a different
picture. Russia has turned toward authoritarianism at home and
threats toward its neighbors. It has attacked Georgia and
attempted to change international borders by force. The Russia
that we sought, and still seek as a partner, is not the Russia
that exerts a sphere of influence or privileged interests over
its neighbors. These actions are particularly unwarranted,
because, despite Russia's complaints, NATO enlargement has made
the part of Europe to Russia's west the most peaceful and
benign it has ever been in all of Russia's history.
Yugoslavia and the countries that emerged from Yugoslavia
were a terrible exception to the good progress of Europe after
1989. The violent breakup of that country threw the Balkans
into a downward spiral from which that region is only now
recovering. But, we believe that NATO enlargement, along with
EU enlargement, can do for the Balkans in this decade what it
did for Central Europe in the last.
Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia have implemented
significant reforms, in part because they wanted to join NATO.
Through the Senate's advice and consent for Albania and
Croatia's NATO accession, we can promote consolidation of peace
and security in the Balkans.
Let me say a few words about the two aspirants whose case
is before this committee.
In the 17 years since Albania freed itself from one of the
world's most repressive Communist dictatorships, it has made
steady--in fact, dramatic--progress in creating stable,
democratic institutions, and a free-market economy. Its road
has not always been easy, but its desire for NATO membership
has shaped and motivated Albania's progress.
Militarily, Albania has used international and American
assistance to restructure and strengthen its armed forces to
the point where Albania has become a contributing partner on
NATO missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Albania has more work to
do in the areas of judicial reform, electoral reform, and
reducing corruption, but it has made major strides in all of
these areas and in democratic progress, generally.
Croatia is a valuable NATO partner. It has pledged about
300 troops in Afghanistan and is one of the only non-NATO
members currently training Afghan military units. Croatia has
become a stable democracy with strong institutions. As a
nonpermanent member of the U.N. Security Council, Croatia has
shown itself to be a good regional and global partner on issues
of peacekeeping operations, nonproliferation, counterterrorism,
and regional peace and stability.
Croatia, too, faces challenges on issues of property,
infrastructure development for war refugees, and reform of
institutions, including the judiciary. But, its track record
gives us considerable confidence.
Macedonia has also made progress in building a free-market
democratic system, in strengthening the rule of law, tackling
corruption, and introducing economic reforms. It is a steadfast
partner in the fight against terrorism, and has contributed
troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, and is committed to
fund its defense to support peacekeeping, as well as continued
The United States supports Macedonia's NATO bid. Its
invitation at the Bucharest Summit was delayed because of a
dispute over the issue of Macedonia's name. We support efforts
to resolve this dispute as soon as possible and believe a
mutually acceptable solution is possible.
All three countries have work to do, but, given their
progress, we see a historic window of opportunity to bring them
into the European mainstream. Their entry into NATO will not
only help stabilize a long-turbulent region, but it will show
others in the region that there is an alternative to
nationalist divisions and violence. NATO enlargement to these
countries, now Albania and Croatia, is in the American national
There is another part of Europe still at risk, and this
includes the countries of Georgia and Ukraine. The leaders of
these nations aspire to NATO membership. Neither nation is
ready for NATO membership now, and NATO membership involves
solemn commitments, which must be considered carefully.
But, the question before NATO is not an immediate
invitation to membership. The immediate question is whether
these countries should have the same opportunity to meet NATO's
terms for membership as other European nations. We believe they
should. NATO leaders at the Bucharest Summit agreed, declaring
that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of the Alliance.
As we consider the desire of these countries to join the
Alliance, we should make clear that they have work still to do,
and there are--and these are serious decisions which the
administration, the next administration, and the Senate will
have to consider.
We should consider it, but what we should not do is give
Russia a veto over NATO's decisions. That is why the United
States supports giving both countries entry into NATO's
Membership Action Plan. MAP is not NATO membership, it is a
work program to help countries carry out reforms that are
necessary before they become NATO members.
Russia has made it clear that it would regard even a MAP
for Georgia or Ukraine with hostility. We regret this position.
We seek good relations with Russia, but Russian security cannot
be achieved by making its neighbors insecure. These countries
and others are entitled to their own aspirations, not simply
the aspirations Russia wants them to have.
We must consider the implications of Russia's attack on
Georgia. Georgia is not a NATO member, and article 5 does not
pertain to it. But, the actions and the rhetoric from some of
Russia's leaders have raised concerns of countries that are
NATO members, concerns we must take seriously.
I want to thank the committee for the bipartisan support
over the years, not only for NATO enlargement, but for helping
NATO evolve from its cold-war roots into an institution more
prepared for 21st-century challenges. Thanks to NATO
enlargement and the work of this committee during the time of
this President and the previous one, over 100 million Europeans
in the past decade have found greater security, stability and
prosperity--in significant part as a result of being welcomed
into the NATO Alliance.
This has benefited the United States and made America's
work in the world that much easier, for it is a fundamental of
our foreign policy that the spread of freedom and security
benefits our Nation, as well as its immediate recipients.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to taking your
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fried follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for
European and Eurasian Affairs, Department of State, Washington, DC
Senator Dodd, Ranking Member Lugar, members of the committee, thank
you for the opportunity to discuss NATO and the critical role it plays
in our security and the advance of freedom.
I will discuss NATO's purposes in the cold war and today; the role
that NATO enlargement has played in advancing security and stability in
Europe since 1989; the current proposed round of enlargement to include
Albania and Croatia; and NATO's future relations with Georgia and
Ukraine, whom NATO's leaders at the Bucharest Summit declared will
become members of the Alliance. In addition, Russia's recent attack on
Georgia and ongoing military activity in that country forms a backdrop
to our discussion today.
NATO, the world's most successful military alliance, has been and
remains the principal security instrument of the transatlantic
community of democracies. It is both a defensive alliance and an
alliance of values. While it was created in the context of Soviet
threats to European security, it is in fact not an alliance directed
against any nation. Article 5--NATO's collective defense commitment--
mentions neither the Soviet Union nor any adversary. One of NATO's
purposes was and remains to defend its members from attack. But another
purpose was to provide a security umbrella under which rivalries among
West European nations--France and Germany in particular--could be
reconciled and general peace in Europe could prevail after the 20th
century's two world wars. A third purpose was to institutionalize the
transatlantic link. NATO's first Secretary General, Lord Ismay,
described NATO's role in an acerbic but telling aphorism, saying that
the Alliance's purposes were ``to keep the Soviets out, the Germans
down, and the Americans in.'' In the cold war, NATO succeeded: Under
its umbrella, Western Europe remained free and united peacefully in the
Article 5 remains the core of the Alliance. Throughout most of the
Alliance's history, we had expected that if article 5 were ever
invoked, it would have been in response to a Soviet armored assault on
Germany. We never expected that article 5 would be invoked in response
to an attack on the United States originating in Afghanistan. But that
is what occurred. NATO's response was swift and decisive. The United
States was attacked on September 11, 2001, and on September 12, NATO
invoked article 5 for the first time in its history. In fact, while
NATO's purpose of collective defense has remained constant, new threats
have arisen. NATO thus has been required to carry out its core mandate
in new ways, developing an expeditionary capability and comprehensive,
civil-military skills. NATO is now ``out of area'' but very much in
business--fielding major missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and a
training mission on the ground in Iraq. NATO is doing more now than at
any time during the cold war. While this is not the subject of our
discussion today, NATO is still digesting the implications of these new
requirements even as it continues fielding forces in Afghanistan.
NATO enlargement was foreseen in principle from the beginning of
NATO's existence with article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO
brought in new members even during the cold war: Turkey and Greece in
1952, West Germany in 1955, and Spain in 1982.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain and end of the Soviet Union, the
purpose of defense against attack by Moscow seemed to recede. But NATO
enlargement took on a more profound strategic aspect: For the then-raw
and apprehensive new democracies that emerged from the wreckage of the
Soviet Bloc after the fall of communism, NATO, ahead of the EU, became
the institutional expression of their desire to join with Europe and
the transatlantic world. For the United States and other NATO members,
NATO enlargement, along with EU enlargement, became the means by which
the vision of a ``Europe whole, free and at peace'' started becoming
American leadership in NATO enlargement was patient, deliberate,
and the result of careful planning that began during the administration
of former President George H.W. Bush, crystallized under President
Clinton, and evolved under President George W. Bush. The countries that
had liberated themselves from communism found themselves on uncertain
ground, looking for direction. They were nervous about Russia. They
were not yet confident in their own democratic institutions. And they
were mindful of the problems of their last period of true sovereignty
in 1930s, when Europe, and especially Central and Eastern Europe,
suffered from competing nationalisms and growing authoritarianism. Many
worried that Eastern Europe after 1989 might fall back into the
dangerous old habits of state-ism and nationalism, and border and
It was in this environment that NATO enlargement--occurring faster
and initially with more determination than EU enlargement--became the
instrument through which the Central and Eastern European countries
reconciled with each other, and under which they advanced and completed
reforms, setting aside nationalist rivalry much as their West European
counterparts did after 1945. NATO made its first decisions about post-
cold-war enlargement in 1997, and security, stability, and democracy
deepened in Central Europe. With the terrible exception of the
countries of the former Yugoslavia, which I will discuss later, the
success that these countries achieved was so complete, and so
astonishing, that few today even recall that Eastern Europe was widely
expected to turn out otherwise. The policy of NATO enlargement, which
many here today helped shape, was one of America's and Europe's
greatest successes after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
nato enlargement and russia
NATO enlargement was intended to achieve emergence of a Europe
whole, free and at peace: All of Europe, not just its Western half. It
was not directed against Russia. Quite the contrary: NATO enlargement
was designed to welcome new democracies in Europe in parallel to
efforts to reach out to Russia and develop a new NATO-Russia
relationship. In designing NATO's new role for the post-cold-war world,
the United States and NATO allies have sought to advance NATO-Russia
relations as far as the Russians would allow it to go.
We wanted a new Europe and a new relationship with Russia at the
same time. We sought to go forward, not backward. Through the
establishment of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) in 2002--the same year
we invited seven Eastern European countries to join NATO--we presented
Russia the path toward building a partnership with NATO to strengthen
the common security of all. Allies also decided not to shut the door to
the possibility of even Russia itself becoming a member of NATO at some
time in the future.
We assumed that we had in Russia a partner that was, over time,
even if perhaps unevenly, moving toward more democracy at home and more
cooperation with its neighbors and the world. But developments in
recent years have forced us to question this assumption. Russia has
turned toward authoritarianism at home and pressure tactics toward its
neighbors. Now, by attacking Georgia, Russia has sought to change
international borders by force, bringing into question the territorial
settlement of the breakup of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. ``Revisionism'' has
a bad history in 20th-century Europe and seems no better now. We want
to have a partner in a Russia that contributes to an open, free world
in the 21st century, not a Russia that behaves as an aggressive Great
Power in a 19th-century sense that asserts--as President Medvedev
recently did--a sphere of influence or ``privileged interests'' over
its neighbors and beyond.
Some argue that NATO itself was an aggressive instrument whose
enlargement somehow caused Russia's own aggressive actions. This
reflects ignorance of history. NATO did not take down the Iron Curtain.
NATO did not trigger the collapse of the Soviet Union. NATO did provide
the conditions of security and stability under which the people of
Eastern Europe--Poland, Hungary, then Czechoslovakia, the Baltic
States, and others--could reclaim their own nations. By preventing the
expansion of Soviet power, NATO created the conditions under which the
internal weaknesses of that system would themselves bring about its
collapse. And NATO enlargement did not produce some massive
encirclement of Russia. NATO enlargement created in Central Europe an
area of peace, security, and stability. Stable, free market democracies
along Russia's border rather than dictatorships are in everyone's best
interest, including Russia's. Rather than shun Russia, or foment
hostility to Russia, NATO, even as it grew, reached out to Russia to
build and expand ties by helping one another as ``equal partners'' to
face common threats and challenges.
Imagine the circumstances if NATO had not enlarged. The nations of
Eastern Europe would be unsure of their place in the world, consigned
to a grey zone. Some of them are anxious now, thanks to Russia's
invasion of Georgia. But imagine their fear were they not members of
NATO. Kept out of NATO, they likely would have renationalized their own
defense establishments in ways that would raise tensions not only with
Russia but also among their neighbors. But thanks to NATO enlargement,
the part of Europe to Russia's west is the most benign and peaceful it
has ever been in Russia's history. I do not expect Russians to thank us
for this achievement, but they would be right to do so.
The area of former Yugoslavia was the greatest and most terrible
exception to the mostly good history of post-1989 Europe. The violent
breakup of that country threw that region into a downward spiral from
which the successor nations are only now recovering.
But we believe that NATO enlargement--along with EU enlargement--
can do for the Balkans in this decade what it did for Central Europe in
the previous decade. Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia--whose admission
into NATO has been delayed only because of a dispute with Greece over
its name--have undertaken and implemented the sort of reforms we have
sought in significant part because they want to get into NATO. By
providing general security to the Balkans, starting with the two
aspirant nations whose accession the administration is seeking the
Senate's advice and consent, we can consolidate general peace and
security in the Balkans. The policy of NATO enlargement has been
working for these aspirant countries and for the United States, and the
administration believes that this round of NATO enlargement can open
the way for all the nations of the Balkans to become part of the
Let me say a few words about each of these countries.
In the 17 years since Albania freed itself from one of the world's
most repressive Communist dictatorships, Albania has made steady
progress in creating stable, democratic institutions and a free market
economy. The road has not always been easy; in 1997, Albania was shaken
by a major financial scandal and domestic turmoil. But its desire for
NATO membership has both shaped and motivated Albania's progress.
Militarily, Albania is transitioning to a smaller, voluntary,
professional military. It has put international assistance to good use
by restructuring and strengthening its armed forces to the point where
Albania has become a strong and reliable partner on NATO missions, with
troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. The government is also
working with international assistance to make Albania landmine-free by
Albania has also made significant progress in democratic reforms.
It has more work to do, and we expect its reforms to continue. Albania
must accelerate judicial reforms and stay on track with its electoral
reforms. The fight against corruption must be total in order to show
that no one is above the law. A zero-tolerance policy--particularly in
public services such as tenders, taxes, licensing, and health care--
must be backed up by systematic investigations and prosecutions. By
putting more emphasis on the key roles of an independent prosecutor and
judiciary, Albania can send a strong message of its determination to
overcome past practices.
In summary, NATO's invitation is a sign that Albania has made
enormous steps forward. But it also has raised the bar, and more reform
is still needed. Fortunately, the history of NATO enlargement in the
past suggests that countries continue reforms rather than abandon them,
when they join the Alliance.
Croatia is already a valuable NATO partner; it has pledged about
300 troops in Afghanistan and is one of the only non-NATO members
currently training Afghan military units in that country. As a military
partner, Croatia has completed most of the restructuring that was
needed and is currently focused on modernization, deployability, and
Croatia has also proved its political and economic maturity. It
recently completed another successful round of national elections, and
has become a stable democracy with strong institutions. Its election as
a nonpermanent member of the U.N. Security Council beginning last
January has enhanced its importance as our regional and global partner
on issues of international peacekeeping operations, nonproliferation,
counterterrorism, and regional peace and stability.
Regionally, Croatia maintains positive bilateral relations with all
of its neighbors. The Croatian Government is playing a positive role in
Kosovo; it is promoting stability in Bosnia; and it has reached out to
moderates in Serbia.
Croatia also faces challenges, including the important issue of
home reconstruction, repossession, and infrastructure development for
war refugees. Croatia reported meeting its 2007 benchmarks on providing
housing units to returning refugees, but the government expects almost
10,000 unresolved applications in years to come, which will pose a
long-term political and financial challenge.
Judicial reform remains another challenge for the government, and
Croatia has taken steps to address this, including reducing case
backlog and improving training and supervision of judges and court
Finally, Croatia must address its property restitution legal
framework so that it does not discriminate against current non-Croatian
citizens who had property expropriated during World War II and the
Given Croatia's strong track record in implementing reforms, we
have every confidence that it has the will and capacity to be a good
and contributing member of the Alliance.
Macedonia largely escaped the civil wars that destroyed the former
Yugoslavia and has made strides in building a free market, democratic
system. A multiethnic state, it has chosen the route of compromise
rather than nationalist extremism. In 2001, with support from the
United States, NATO, and the EU, Macedonia concluded the Ohrid
Framework Agreement (FWA) that ended an ethnic Albanian insurgency by
enshrining enhanced minority rights. Since then, it adopted the
constitutional and legislative changes mandated by the agreement and
has worked steadily to implement the agreement. Macedonian governments
always have included ethnic-Albanian and Macedonian parties, who have
worked to forge political compromises in the overarching interest of
Macedonia continues to be a steadfast partner in the fight against
terrorism. It has regularly maintained its troop contributions in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Bosnia (EUFOR), and it is committed to fund its
defense to support peacekeeping as well as continued reforms.
Macedonia has also made good progress in strengthening the rule of
law and tackling corruption. The government has pursued bold economic
reforms to attract investment, boost the economy, and reduce
unemployment, and we are confident that Macedonia will continue to
pursue a reform agenda in line with its NATO and EU aspirations.
Like Albania and Croatia, Macedonia still has work to do: The
parliamentary elections last June 1 were marred by irregularities,
including intra-Albanian violence, and although reruns showed
improvements, overall the elections fell short of international
commitments. The Macedonia Government has made arrests and is pursuing
cases, and we are urging follow-through to prosecute and sanction the
perpetrators and put in safeguards for future elections. Following the
elections, the soundly defeated opposition parties boycotted
Parliament. We urged their return, which the main ethnic Macedonian
opposition party has, and encouraged a conciliatory approach from the
The United States continues to support Macedonia receiving a NATO
invitation. Its invitation was delayed because of the dispute with
Greece over Macedonia's name. Allied leaders made clear at Bucharest
that this dispute is the only thing holding up a membership invitation.
As soon as this dispute with Greece is resolved, Macedonia will receive
an invitation to join the Alliance. Both Greece and Macedonia are
engaged in negotiations on the issue, led by U.N. mediator Matthew
Nimetz. We believe a mutually acceptable solution is possible, in the
interest of both countries and the region, and indeed urgent. Now is
the time to settle this issue and move forward.
Last April 3, President Bush said both Croatia and Albania have
``demonstrated the ability and the willingness to provide strong and
enduring contributions to NATO. Both have undertaken challenging
political, economic, and defense reforms. Both have deployed their
forces on NATO missions. Albania and Croatia are ready for the
responsibility NATO brings, and they will make outstanding members of
On Macedonia, the President said: ``We regret that we were not able
to reach consensus today to invite Macedonia to join the Alliance.
Macedonia has made difficult reforms at home. It is making major
contributions to NATO missions abroad. The name issue needs to be
resolved quickly, so that Macedonia can be welcomed into NATO as soon
That remains our perspective.
These countries have had their challenges. They know that they have
work to do. Their challenges are familiar to us from experience over
the past 20 years of post-Communist transformation. Given their
progress so far, we see a historic window of opportunity to bring them
into the European mainstream. By having these countries join the
Alliance, it will not only help stabilize a long-turbulent region, but
it will show others in the Balkans that there is an alternative to
nationalist or ethnic divisions and violence, and we believe it will
inspire people in Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosovo and, we hope, Serbia, to
follow the same path.
Georgia and Ukraine
There is another part of Europe still at risk, as Russia's recent
actions have dramatized.
NATO has unfinished business in Georgia and Ukraine. The leaders of
these nations aspire to NATO membership. Neither nation is ready for
NATO membership now. Both nations realize this. The question is whether
these countries should have the same prospect to meet NATO's terms for
membership as other European nations. We believe that they should.
Indeed, NATO's leaders at the Bucharest Summit agreed, declaring that
Georgia and Ukraine will become members of the Alliance.
Both countries face challenges. Ukrainian society is far from
united about the prospect of NATO membership and many allies question
the maturity and stability of its leadership. Quite apart from the
issues arising from Russia's attack on it, Georgia has much work to do
in strengthening its democratic institutions before it would meet NATO
As we consider the desire of these countries to join the Alliance,
we should make clear that they have much work to do at home and that
this work is their responsibility to undertake.
What we should not do is give Russia a veto over NATO's decisions
or consign these or any countries to some other country's sphere of
This is why the United States supports approving both countries
entry into NATO's Membership Action Plan, the so-called MAP. MAP is not
NATO membership. It is not a promise or guarantee of membership. It is
simply a work program to help these countries make the progress they
must make if they are to become NATO members someday, as NATO has
already confirmed they will. What we should not do is give Russia a
veto over NATO's decisions or consign these or any countries to a
Russian sphere of influence.
Russia has made clear that it would regard even a MAP for Georgia
or Ukraine with hostility. We regret this position. We believe it is
the wrong choice, both for the long-term security and stability of
Russia's neighbors as well as for Russia itself. NATO's growing
relations with nations east of the old Iron Curtain have brought
greater security and stability; Moscow's reaction has produced anxiety
and tension. Moscow should reconsider its course.
We seek good relations with Russia. We take into account Russia's
security concerns. But we also take account of the concerns and
aspirations of people who live in the countries around Russia. Russian
security cannot be achieved through imposing insecurity on its
neighbors. We cannot, by lack of resolve, consign other countries to a
Russian sphere of influence in which their future is limited to those
aspirations that Moscow permits them to have. Free people have the
right to choose their own path, and it is the policy of the United
States, upheld by every administration since the end of the cold war,
to respect and support their choices.
Russia itself recognized this right when it signed the Founding Act
on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the
Russian Federation. One of the core principles of the Founding Act is
``the aim of creating in Europe a common space of security and
stability, without dividing lines or spheres of influence limiting the
sovereignty of any state.''
NATO's mission remains the same: The collective defense of its
members. Its impact on European security and peace was profound and
positive first during the cold war and then in the aftermath of the
collapse of the Soviet Bloc. The way in which NATO carries out its core
tasks has and will continue to evolve to meet the changing threats. We
have seen these in recent years: Terrorism, cyberattacks, and energy
security. We have seen that threats may come from far afield.
Since security in Europe is not complete, we have to consider the
implications of Russia's attack on Georgia. Georgia is not a NATO
member, and article 5 does not pertain to it. But the actions and the
rhetoric coming from Russia's leaders have raised concerns by countries
that are NATO members.
NATO's routine work has always meant participation in collective
defense planning, cooperative exercises, and staying alert to new
threats and developments. Certainly the events of August have
reinforced the importance of such thinking. Article 5 has and will
continue to have, meaning for all of NATO's members.
I wish to express my thanks to the committee for your bipartisan
support over the years, not only for NATO enlargement, but to help NATO
evolve from its cold war roots into an institution prepared for 21st-
century challenges. Our Nation's support for a ``Europe whole, free,
and at peace'' has served as a beacon of hope for many countries that
faced an uncertain future. Neither their development nor their freedom
was guaranteed. Yet over 100 million Europeans in the past decade have
found security, stability, and greater prosperity, in significant part
as a result of being welcomed into the NATO Alliance. This has made
America's work in the world that much easier, for it is a hallmark of
our foreign policy that the spread of freedom and security benefits us
as well as its immediate recipients. The advance of freedom and
security in the world has sent a powerful message to many others,
including those who still aspire to join: That there is a reward for
putting cooperation over conflict.
Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL P. FATA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY
FOR EUROPEAN AND NATO POLICY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE,
Mr. Fata. Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar, thanks for the
opportunity to be here today. I do not have an opening
statement. I would like to go on the record, however, to say
that myself and the Department concur with Secretary Fried's
comments. What I heard today is quite often the same comments--
same commentary that I use when I've been overseas talking with
allies, partners, and aspirants.
At this point, sir, I'm prepared to answer any questions
you or the--or any other members may have.
Senator Dodd. Well, thank you very much. And what we'll do
is, because there are so few of us here, I'll try and keep my
comments and questions down, to about 10 minutes, and we'll
just sort of act here on a more informal basis, unless we end
up with a large participation, which is always hopeful.
Let me begin. I'll direct my questions to you, Secretary
Fried, and then, Secretary Fata, if you want to jump in at any
point, back and forth, on this.
The first question, I suppose, is a series of smaller
questions about how Albania and Croatia see their role in this
Alliance, and how they're likely to structure their militaries
By the way--I should point out, and my colleagues may know
this, but we're fortunate today, to have with us 10 or 12
members of the Parliament of Croatia. We'd like to recognize
them. Are they here, these members of the Croatian Parliament?
Why don't they stand up and just be recognized. And we want to
welcome you to the Foreign Relations Committee. It's a pleasure
to have you with us today. Thank you very much.
I wonder if you could give us a general sense of what
Croatia and Albania are thinking about their role in NATO. What
do they see themselves as bringing to the Alliance? And do they
see their defense, in European terms, to specialize and develop
niche capacities within that Alliance? Or is it, as some would
suggest here, maintaining sort of a self-contained forces,
viewing their defense purely in national terms, rather than
European terms? There's a series of questions there, and I
wonder if you might address them.
Mr. Fried. My colleague from the Defense Department may be
able to answer some of the military specifics, but, in general,
both countries recognize that, as members of NATO, they will
have obligations to contribute to NATO missions; that is, to
think of their role in general terms, and even in expeditionary
terms, rather than purely local or regional terms.
We made it clear to both countries that NATO had to go
where the threats were, that in the 21st century, threats could
come from quite far away--Afghanistan. Both countries have
contributed forces to the--NATO's mission in ISAF. They have
both developed expeditionary capabilities, they have developed
niche capabilities enabling them to operate alongside NATO
forces. They're quite proud of their contribution. They have
made it clear that they look forward to working with us in NATO
missions, wherever they may be.
Senator Dodd. Secretary, any additional comments you want
to make on that?
Mr. Fata. What I would say to that, sir, the--both
countries--Croatia and Albania--are transatlantic in mentality.
It's not about territorial defense, it's not about even just
the defense of Europe. They fully--both countries--I've been
pleased, in my time in the department, to get the sense, from
numerous different Defense Ministers, that they understand the
obligations go far beyond Europe. As Secretary Fried mentioned,
both countries are active contributors in Iraq and Afghanistan,
have--I've been able to see their forces in both countries when
I've visited, and have heard from commanding officers--United
States commanding officers, the good performance that----
Senator Dodd. Yes.
Mr. Fata [continuing]. Both countries provide. Both are
moving to end conscription, both are investing in--as a
percentage of GDP toward defense, at 2 percent or above 2
Senator Dodd. That's the general requirement for a nation,
is that correct? It was 2 percent?
Mr. Fried. It is a NATO--it is a NATO guideline.
Senator Dodd. How----
Mr. Fried. Often honored, not always.
Senator Dodd. Yes. Well, is there some concern you have
Mr. Fried. Their militaries--no, their military budgets
have grown as their economies have grown. They have developed
their forces well. And when I'm in both capitals, I--I sense a
certain pride, in both countries, that they are able to
participate in NATO operations. I should also say that Croatia,
in particular, has been active and helpful in the Balkans, as
has Albania, actually, acting as a--I think, a stabilizing
force as we've dealt with issues of Kosovo independence. So,
their more global vision has not detracted from their ability
to play a helpful role in European security closer to home.
Senator Dodd. Let me raise the question about cost, because
obviously from a U.S. taxpayer standpoint, it's very much in
the interest of our country to ask these questions. Do you have
any estimates about what the cost of this addition will be to
the United States or to the Alliance, financially?
Mr. Fried. Our contributions to military development in
these countries have been modest, and we have made it clear
that they are responsible for funding their military
operations. That said, the Department of Defense programs on
military-to-military cooperation are, in my experience--and I'm
saying this as a State Department person--among the best run
and most efficient of any government overseas programs I've
ever seen. We get a lot of impact for relatively modest
But, that said, these countries are not looking for us to
fund their militaries, they're looking at internal resources,
and, as their economies grow, their defense budgets are growing
Senator Dodd. And so, do you have, specifically, the
estimated expenses for upgrading the command-and-control
systems or air-defense systems?
Mr. Fata. No, sir; I don't have that.
Senator Dodd. This is one of the problems. And I don't
blame General Craddock, but this is where having a witness from
DOD would have been very helpful this morning in these matters,
so we could get some answers to the questions. But, I'll submit
that question for the record, and maybe get something in
writing back that would give us a sense of what the cost would
[The information previously referred to follows:]
Using the last two rounds of enlargement as guide, NATO estimates
the total common-funded accession costs for Albania and Croatia at
approximately $60M each, which includes estimated costs for C2, air-
defense, and facilities.
Given uncertainties regarding the existing condition and capability
of command-and-control networks, reception facilities, and air defense
systems in Albania and Croatia, it is not possible to provide an
accurate cost breakdown of command-and-control systems or air-defense
systems at this time. Experience from prior enlargement rounds suggests
that the cost of upgrading reception facilities and linking air defense
systems will account for largest share of total common-funded accession
Refining the cost estimates will require additional site surveys
and more detailed analyses. It will take several years to complete this
Mr. Fried. Certainly will.
Senator Dodd. And I appreciate your comments, generally----
Mr. Fried. Certainly will.
Senator Dodd. Let me ask, third, regarding Albania, there
was, I'm told by those knowledgeable in this, that there's an
extraordinary amount of unstable munitions that need to be
destroyed in Albania. In March of this year, there was an
explosion which took place at a military weapons factory, that
killed 26 and injured 300 people. In the administration's
unclassified report to Congress, dated May 30, 2008, entitled
``Report to Congress on the Future Enlargement of NATO,'' you
note that an investigation has been launched by the prosecutor
general. And on page 10, the following appears, ``The
prosecutor general's ability to conduct a thorough, meticulous,
transparent, and independent investigation will prove crucial
to the resolution, and prove a vital test of Albania's judicial
and prosecutorial systems.''
You also note that ``major government players are under
immunity from prosecution.''
I wonder if you could share with us the status of that
investigation, and what does that say about the rule of law,
transparency, and political accountability in Albania? And what
do you think the Government in Albania has learned, or not
learned, from this incident? And what does it say about their
qualifications for NATO membership?
Mr. Fried. There were clearly problems in the handling of
those--of that munitions site that led to the explosion. The
Government of Albania was deeply embarrassed by it. They have
launched an investigation. I don't believe that investigation
is complete. And certainly the process of lessons learned is
We have urged the Government of Albania to follow this
investigation, wherever it leads. It is likely to prove
embarrassing to the government, because, as in any military
problem, there are issues of accountability. Every country has
them, and the question is not whether they have problems, but
how they deal with them. And we've made it clear that they need
to face this squarely, and they're in the process of going
Senator Dodd. Do you have any idea when that's going to be
Mr. Fried. Not specifically, but I can get this to you.
[The information referred to above follows:]
As of September 10, the Prosecutor General's Office is continuing
its investigation into the March 15 explosion at the Gerdec munitions
site in Albania. We understand that the investigation is nearing
completion but cannot give an exact date when it will be completed. We
would be happy to brief you further once the investigation is complete.
Senator Dodd. I'd appreciate that very much.
Mr. Fata. Mr. Chairman----
Senator Dodd. Last--yes, go ahead. I'm sorry.
Mr. Fata. No, I was just--I would just add, the
investigation is ongoing. I don't think it is clear when the
end date will be; however, our Embassy and others continue to--
and EUCOM--continue to press the Albanians to make sure this is
as transparent and thorough as possible, because it won't just
be the United States that'll be watching, it'll be the other
Senator Dodd. Yes.
Mr. Fata [continuing]. Vote-casting members----
Senator Dodd. Yea.
Mr. Fata [continuing]. That'll be watching this to see if
those commitments to rule of law and transparency are actually
The New Jersey State National Guard went out for, I think
it was 30 to 60 days to do some work with the Albanians on
future cleanup of these kind of depots. That is not directly
related to the investigation.
Senator Dodd. Do you agree with that, by the way? I made
the statement about this munitions problem that needs to be
destroyed. Is that still a legitimately serious issue, in your
view, generally speaking? Put aside this particular incident.
Mr. Fried. It is certainly a legitimate issue. That is,
these are depots that are unstable. They have to be disposed
of. On the range of issues facing Albania, it is one of the--it
is one of the issues; it is not, in my view, an issue of
critical national importance. It's an issue of munitions----
Senator Dodd. How about within the European community? Is
it more of an issue with them?
Mr. Fried. It is really a national issue and an issue that
they have to fix, for their own reasons. But, it's something
that is, like any military problem, going to be a learning
experience for them. They're going to have to face up to this.
Senator Dodd. Last, you've generally addressed this
question in your opening statement, but let me ask it more
specifically, regarding both Croatia and Albania. Croatia was
ranked 64th out of 180 nations surveyed in Transparency
International's 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index. Now, that's
not bad, globally, I might point out, but it puts Croatia near
the bottom in Europe and a number of states that are in the
Alliance already. Albania was given an even worse rating, of
105th out of 180 nations. How serious, in your view, is the
corruption in Croatia and Albania? What are the implications
for their role in NATO? And what are the Croatian and Albanian
Governments doing to address this general problem?
Mr. Fried. Corruption is a serious problem in both
countries. In both--since 1989, we've become more experienced
in the standard set of problems of post-Communist development,
and corruption is particularly a problem. We've found that this
takes quite a number of years to fix, and that, in countries
that manage to tackle it successfully, progress tends to be
uneven; that is, new institutions created from scratch,
greenfield institutions, tend to be cleaner than old
institutions that are simply rehatted after a change of
government. Both countries have made progress. Both countries
have committed themselves to deal with the corruption problem.
I think that, as our experience in other European countries,
including some old members of NATO, this thing--this sort of
thing takes time, and we have to keep at it.
Senator Dodd. I thank you.
Senator Lugar. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'd like to ask, first of all, Secretary Fried: What
strategic benefits will Albania and Croatia bring to NATO? Can
you be fairly specific as to thoughts about their strategic
Mr. Fried. The first benefit is that they will be
contributing members to the Alliance. They will--they have
already sent their troops abroad to contribute to NATO
missions. The second benefit is that their admission to the
Alliance, and their eventual admission into the European Union,
will stabilize the Balkans and help make it an area of general
peace and security, which is certain--which is profoundly in
the American interest.
NATO enlargement can help do for these countries what NATO
enlargement did for Central Europe in the last decade. This is
profoundly in the American interest. We have found that
stability in Europe is a core United States interest, and that
our interests have been advanced as NATO has expanded.
Senator Lugar. What progress have the two nations made with
regard to EU membership, and how is that process going?
Mr. Fried. Croatia is, I think, on a reasonably fast track
to EU membership. Albania is a little bit further behind. Both
of them are clearly on track to join the European Union. The
European Union is having something of enlargement fatigue after
taking in 10 new members, but European countries recognize that
they have a responsibility to take in all of the Balkan
countries as these countries qualify for EU membership. So,
they are on their way.
NATO enlargement and EU enlargement, in parallel,
constitute the institutions of a Europe whole, free, and at
Senator Lugar. Please outline what contribution Albania and
Croatia can play in bringing stability to the Balkans, and,
more specifically right now, Kosovo.
Mr. Fried. Albania has already--it has been, and is,
playing a very constructive role helping stabilize Kosovo and
reaching out to the Albanian communities in Kosovo, in Serbia,
in Macedonia, and in Montenegro. Albanian nationalism has taken
on increasingly benign forms rather than malignant forms. This
is certainly in our interest, as malignant nationalism in the
Balkans tends to produce wars and killings. Albania, in the
runup to Kosovo independence, was a source of wise counsel,
urging patience on the part of the Kosovar leaders, distancing
itself from any extremist nationalism, and generally acting
exactly as we would want a NATO member to act: Responsibly,
carefully, and constructively.
Croatia has reached out to Serbia and to its own Serbian
minority within the country. Croatia has demonstrated that
Serbia also, like Croatia, can join the European mainstream.
Croatia is also working for stability in Bosnia, reaching
out to Macedonia. And, in general, when I go to Zagreb, I find
that my Croatian colleagues are eager to work with us and the
Europeans to help bring all the countries of the Balkans into
Europe, following the path they and Slovenia have taken.
Senator Lugar. Let me just add my welcome to the members of
the Croatian Parliament who are here today for this hearing.
Their presence here today to witness our consideration is very
helpful. I am thankful to have the benefit of sharing thoughts
and views with them.
Let me make a comment and ask a question about Albania. In
2004, in the summer of 2004, our Defense Department received
word that--from Albanians, volunteering that nerve gas was in
canisters above Tirana, the capital. As a part of my travels
that summer, I was privileged to visit Albania for the first
time, proceed up into the mountains, and to actually see these
canisters lying on the ground. Many had been collected behind a
fence, many were still to be found. Ultimately, this amounted
to 16 metric tons of nerve gas. We are thankful that the
Albanians contacted us with the hopes that we might have a
program or a way to help them eliminate the threat. At the same
time, they took us to sheds, where there were 90 MANPAD (Man-
portable Air-Defense Systems) missiles, which they promptly
I mention that because that was then, 2004, a Defense
Department in Albania that was only very loosely connected with
our Department of Defense. Thankfully, we had the ability to
utilize the Nunn-Lugar Program in Albania. Congress had
approved an amendment to the Nunn-Lugar program that allowed
$50 million to be spent outside the former Soviet Union.
Albania became the first country outside the former Soviet
Union where the Nunn-Lugar program undertook its important
work. Over a period of 2 years, all of the material was
neutralized. In 2007, Senator Nunn joined me in Albania,
celebrating Albania as the first nation in the world to get rid
of all of its chemical weapons. They took great pride in that,
and there were 200 officers of the Albanian Armed Forces, and
their defense and foreign secretaries at a wonderful event
celebrating this important milestone. Now, that's, you know,
the good news.
The bad news is that, from 2004, it was apparent that the
corruption problems in the Albanian Goverment were profound. It
was very difficult to tell who owned any piece of property, in
the capital or elsewhere. The problems of prosecution in the
government were completely out of bounds. Throughout this
period of time, because of the Membership Action Plan, you and
I and others were able to tell Albanian friends that reform
will have to occur, that this is the criteria for membership.
And I would report that I think very substantial changes have
occurred in the prosecution system even in the last 6 months.
Now, the dilemma is the one we've been talking about today:
The amount of armament of all sorts in Albania was prodigious.
The previous dictatorship stockpiled weapons and equipment all
across the country, fearing invasion from every source. And, as
a result, the Albanians themselves are still discovering, sadly
enough, where all of it is.
This is going to be a problem that plagues them, and now,
if they become a member of NATO, the United States too. And
it's one which we've got to exercise skill and patience. At the
same time, the goodwill that they have to get rid of the stuff
in their own country, I think, is critical, but let there be no
mistake, it's a huge problem. And it was a sad moment when
their Defense Minister resigned at the time of the explosion. I
think he was a very able public servant, one of the new people
coming up in democracy, but, nevertheless, took responsibility,
that it was on his watch that this explosion occurred and some
people were killed.
So, it is less a threat right now to the rest of the world
than it is to Albanians, but it is a fact of life that won't go
away instantly. And the prosecution of criminals and those
guilty of corruption, likewise, is going to be a very arduous
process for Albanian democracy, with all the fledgling
But, I mention that, because I think it's an important
fact. And when Albania's ranking, in terms of transparency,
comes in that low, that still is a fact, too. Changes have been
made, and I think will continue to improve. But, membership in
NATO will probably have very salutary results if we are able to
work closely, as I'm certain we will, with them.
Finally, their contributions, as you say, to demonstrate
their expeditionary capabilities are really remarkable. All of
us have talked about the very few people in NATO, all together,
who are in shape to do expeditionary work. Here are two very
new candidates who, with these fledgling systems, have
demonstrated that NATO's problems are not just within the
confines of Europe, but sometimes they extend to Afghanistan,
out-of-area missions, and they have responded. So, this is a
very strong point in their favor, and this is why I feel very
strongly that membership is a good idea and will support that
in this committee and on the Senate floor.
But, I thank you very much, Secretary Fried and Secretary
Fata, for coming this morning for this timely hearing.
Senator Dodd. Thank you, Senator, very, very much.
Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Fried, I listened to you yesterday, and I
listened to you today. I appreciate your testimony on both
I would like to ask you to give your thoughts on something.
You've mentioned, both days, your concern about two things with
respect to Russia, among others. One is the notion of giving
Russia a veto over NATO considerations through its diplomatic
actions, and the other, you've mentioned, several times over
the past couple of days, the notion of Russia denoting that
there are certain spheres of influence, and that these
countries, among others, may be a part of that. At the same
time, from an American perspective, my concerns--and Senator
Warner's comments yesterday affirmed those--are that we are
not, principally, in a position of diplomatically having to
address this notion that Russia might be giving a veto over
NATO, so much as we should be concerned about the idea of
mandating United States military involvement to signatories in
these types of treaties. And, on the one hand, we might be
talking about Russian spheres of influence, but, on the other,
as you mentioned in your testimony today, we are expanding a
security umbrella, and with that comes the notion of mandatory
And, again, as you mentioned in your testimony, the recent
activities in Georgia do illuminate this whole issue. You
mentioned, yesterday, when asked by Senator Warner, that, if
Georgia had been actually a member of NATO when these incidents
occurred, that there would have been an expectation of NATO
military involvement. Either you or Secretary Edelman mentioned
this. I think all four of you, actually, testifying yesterday,
did. So, this is obviously a very grave commitment that we are
making, in addition to the ideological and market issues that
come to play.
So, my first question to you would be, To what extent do
you see any of those issues coming to play in the countries
that are before us today?
Mr. Fried. Senator, I profoundly agree with you that an
article 5 commitment is a solemn and serious one. It is not to
be given lightly. And I recognize that, and I agree with your
I think that, with the case of Croatia and Albania, the
contingent liability, as it were, the meaning of the U.S.
defense commitment, is well within our means. The external
threats to these countries are much less. The post-Yugoslav
wars have ended. The relations between these countries and
their neighbors are good or excellent. There are not border
disputes or hostile relations. Croatia fought for its freedom
in the Yugoslav wars. I very much doubt it will have to fight
Croatia and Albania both know that NATO membership will
mean that the Alliance asks things of them, their commitment to
NATO missions abroad. Georgia and Ukraine pose different
questions. That's not the subject of this hearing. But, again,
I completely agree that these are profoundly serious questions
and deserve close examination, as well as the implications of
article 5 in the light of what Russia has done, a separate
issue than the one we're dealing with today, but an important
one, I agree.
Senator Webb. All right. So, it would be your view that
that issue is not meaningfully in play with these countries in
the same sense as it----
Mr. Fried. Well----
Senator Webb [continuing]. Is in Georgia and Ukraine.
Mr. Fried [continuing]. Certainly the meaning of article 5
is the same. That is, by bringing these countries into NATO, we
would assume responsibilities----
Senator Webb. I understand that.
Mr. Fried [continuing]. That is, the Alliance would assume
responsibilities for their collective defense. So, certainly
there is--that meaning is clear. But, if I understood your
question correctly, I think the answer is that the actual
military threat to these countries is orders-of-magnitude less,
and that the requirement to defend them can be much more easily
met. This is a much more benign security environment than
others we might talk about, if I understood your----
Senator Webb. Right.
Mr. Fried [continuing]. Question.
Senator Webb. That's really where I was trying to----
Mr. Fried. Yes, sir.
Senator Webb [continuing]. To go with the question. I think
that if you look at the changing character of NATO with these
new countries coming in--I mentioned, yesterday, my personal
view that, in many instances, we have moved from allies to
protectorates. And there are people who could disagree with
that, but I think, in historical terms, you could make that
point. We need to, on a cost--potential cost-benefit ratio,
examine that. Secretary Gates recently had mentioned it in NATO
now, there were countries who--that were going to fight, and
there were countries that were going to be protected,
I know that France and Germany have expressed hesitations
with respect to Ukraine and Georgia. What are their positions?
Are France and Germany supportive of NATO membership of the
countries before us today?
Mr. Fried. My French and German colleagues would be amused
if I tried to answer on behalf of their governments, but I'll
do my best anyway, and I'll take the complaints when they phone
me up this afternoon. [Laughter.]
Mr. Fried. The French----
Senator Webb. Just to insulate you a little bit, when I was
in the Pentagon years ago and I would go to the NATO
conferences when France was not an official member. The French
representative was very likely to stand up and give about a 10-
minute diatribe and just say, ``But, we are only observers.''
Mr. Fried. The French--Chancellor Merkel and President
Sarkozy were present at Bucharest, where NATO's leaders
declared that Georgia and Ukraine will be members of the
Alliance someday. The chancellor--Chancellor Merkel was active
in forging that compromise. This was not a bureaucrat-driven
process, this was leaders at the table. It was remarkable.
They have--both governments have expressed caution and the
need for prudence in extending article 5 commitments to these
countries. They have also pointed out that neither country is
ready now for NATO membership.
Those views have weight and are serious. The question
before NATO is not the membership--a membership invitation to
these countries, the question is whether or not we will extend
a Membership Action Plan to these countries, allowing them to
do the work, over what will be many years, to become ready for
Senator Webb. But, the point being, since my time is
running out, is that France and Germany do not, today, support
NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. But, do they, with the
countries before us today?
Mr. Fried. They support an invitation to Croatia and
Albania now. NATO has extended that invitation. They supported
it. No country supports an invitation to Georgia or Ukraine
now, including the U.S. administration. So, our positions are
not all that far apart.
But, to answer your question plainly, yes, they're behind
Albania and Croatia.
Senator Webb. And it would be fair to say that they are
more hesitant than the United States when it comes to the other
Mr. Fried. They have----
Senator Webb. Or show----
Mr. Fried. They--to be straightforward, they had more
reservations about MAP than we did, yes, sir.
Senator Webb. OK. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Dodd. Thank you very much.
Senator Corker. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
And thank you for your testimony.
I was in Georgia, also, a couple of weeks ago, and met with
President Saakashvili, and went up into Gori, where the
bombings had taken place. And I know that this hearing is
primarily about Croatia and Albania, who appear to have been,
just, outstanding in their movement toward the ideals of NATO.
And so, the questions I'm going to ask really relate to just
overall NATO expansion, not necessarily these countries. And I
realize they're a little bit outside the sphere that Russia
would be most concerned about, that Georgia and Ukraine are
not. And so, the questions really relate more to them.
But, as I look at--as I watch what's happened with NATO,
and I watch, sometimes, caveats, if you will, that are put in
place as it relates to us working together in places like
Afghanistan and other places, I wonder, militarily--I know that
we want to address the democratization of these countries and
then moving ahead economically, with free enterprise and all
that, but let's just focus strictly on the military component.
We--is it universally agreed within the Pentagon and within
the State Department that this does not, in some ways, weaken
our country, when you look at expanding NATO so considerably?
Does it create conflicts in which we might otherwise not be
involved unnecessarily? Does it, in some way, spread us thin
and cause us to be involved in things that we might not
otherwise be involved in, unnecessarily?
Mr. Fried. Sir, the experience of NATO expansion allows me
to answer your question and say, happily, no, it has not
involved us in conflicts; no, it has not spread us thin. We
have found that NATO enlargement helped end conflicts, or
attenuate conflicts, in Central Europe. And the countries that
join NATO, far from dragging us into other conflicts, have
become contributing nations to NATO's missions abroad. In the
case of some of them, particularly Poland, whose military is
both large and capable, active contributors, they've gone--
they, the Romanians, smaller countries, like Estonia, have gone
where the fighting is in Afghanistan, to tough places.
But, I'm happy to be able to report to you that NATO
enlargement, in practice, has turned out very well for us, and
some of the fears that were expressed when this issue was first
debated, starting 10 years ago, have not been realized.
Senator Corker. We read lots of accounts about Russia, in
essence, saying that Georgia is their line in the sand. And I
think about how Americans would react if Georgia, for instance,
was playing a role in Mexico or in Canada, right on our border,
and you--you know, a lot will be written about what actually
happened in Georgia and what actually caused, you know, some of
the conflicts to get to the height that they got to there, but
talk to us a little bit, if you will, about, from your
position, the dynamics that are in play as it relates to
Georgia and Ukraine. And is, in fact, this something--is this
something that there should be some degree of U.S. empathy with
as it relates to us being right there--NATO being right on
their border in a country that was formerly part of the Soviet
Mr. Fried. The administration--this administration and the
previous administration gave this question a lot of thought.
The Russians do regard NATO as a hostile military alliance,
and, by coming closer to Russia's borders, Russia regards NATO
as a threat. Our view is radically different. We think that
NATO has brought stability and security to Europe. It has
helped countries of the former Soviet bloc reconcile their
differences, stabilize their democracies, and become benign.
The area of Europe to Russia's west, the part that used to
be the Soviet bloc and is now in NATO, is more peaceful and
more secure, and is, therefore, a better neighbor to Russia,
than this region has been in all of Russia's history. NATO
enlargement, in our view, has benefited Russia. Now, I don't
expect them to thank us. But, actually, they probably should,
because invasions of Russia came, not from democracies to
Russia's west, but from aggressive dictators to Russia's west.
And now, thanks to NATO, the countries in Europe are democratic
and peacefulminded. They don't have disputes with themselves,
they don't like war. This is a good thing for everyone.
Senator Corker. OK. As it relates to NATO itself, I think
we are seeing the future as a world, looking at the way energy
is going to play a role, geopolitically in the world, I think
we all understand the leverage that those countries that have
energy have over those countries that need energy. But, going
back to NATO, specifically, if Russia decided that--you know,
to be really low-level, they just were going to turn the energy
pipeline off, if you will, that fed into Europe, over some
political issue, if you will, that NATO was grappling with, is
that one of those areas--and it literally created tremendous
burdens on those countries, economically, politically, civilly,
and every other way--how would that--would that, in any way,
involve NATO, or is it strictly as it relates to military
Mr. Fried. This is an important question, and it is not
wholly hypothetical because, in recent years, we've seen Russia
actually use energy apparently to exert political pressure.
NATO has started to debate, internally, exactly the question
you raised, Senator, which is, Is energy security an area of
NATO's interest? And, if so, what is--can NATO's value-added be
in energy security? Protecting pipelines and infrastructure
from terrorists? Protecting undersea pipelines from attack?
Helping countries develop alternative energy routes, so that
they're not as dependent upon Russia? These are all things NATO
The European Union has a role, also, in energy, and many
of--many NATO members are now looking at ways to diversify
their sources of energy so that they avoid exactly the kind of
dependence that you talked about.
This is an active issue----
Senator Corker. So, it's a--the whole issue of energy and,
potentially, a country like Russia doing something that
adversely affected one of our NATO allies, could, in fact,
involve military forces. It's--you're saying it's a gray area
that's being hashed out at this moment. Is that what you're
Mr. Fried. Well, I have to be careful about the use of
``military forces.'' NATO has discussed, occasionally, a role
in protecting energy infrastructure. But, generally, these
issues are regarded to be as economic and financial.
Senator Corker. OK. Let me ask--let me ask--I know you're
not going to really get into the meat of that, and shouldn't,
probably. I understand. Let me--the--one last question.
Many of these--and I want to--I know this is being
translated to our Croatian friends, and we thank you for your
friendship, and I hope these questions aren't heard the wrong
way. But, many of these countries, these democracies, are new
democracies. And we're glad that they're moving along and,
certainly, embracing free enterprise. And I have to tell you, I
was actually stunned to meet many of the Georgian leaders and
to see how, in many ways, they're doing things in a better way
than we are, okay, in our own country. In many ways, obviously
they are not. But, these countries are young democracies, and,
therefore, in some cases, there's only one party that really is
in power. OK? And sometimes that enables countries to do very
unintelligent things. OK? Things happen far more quickly than
they might in a full-fledged democracy. In the event one of
these NATO allies, one of these new friends of ours--and this
is just hypothetical--were to do something really crazy, like
could happen with one of the bordering countries to Russia--do
something really crazy, that wasn't very thoughtful, and it did
involve them being encroached upon in a heavy way by Russia, is
NATO automatically obliged to come to the defense, if the
country itself acted in a very unintelligent manner?
Mr. Fried. One of the criteria for NATO membership--and it
was among the original Perry criteria from 1995--is good
relations with neighbors. And we want to make sure that the
countries we bring into NATO have sufficient democratic
experience that they've had a peaceful change of government,
not a one-party government, and that they are past that stage
of being tempted to do, as you put it, really stupid things. We
want to make sure that NATO countries--that NATO members are
sufficiently mature that our confidence level is very high that
this question won't come about.
Our confidence level in Croatia and Albania is high. We
saw, during the Kosovo independence issue, that Albania played
an extraordinarily responsible, careful role, thinking of
itself as a NATO--a future NATO member. Likewise, Croatia.
So, this--the question that you raised, we need to preempt
by making sure that the countries we invite to join our
alliance are not countries that are going to do--take these
kinds of steps to which you referred. That's why we have to be
careful and press these countries very hard during the
Membership Action Plan process.
NATO standards have to be very high standards.
Senator Corker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I realize the preemptive efforts that need to take
place, sometimes things change, and I consider that, not
unfairly, to be an unanswered question that--your response,
But, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the--having these
hearings, thank our witnesses, and certainly thank our friends
in Croatia for being here.
Senator Dodd. And also to compliment the Secretary in a
very artful answer.
Senator Dodd [continuing]. To a very different question.
Senator Cardin, welcome.
Senator Cardin. Well, thank you, Chairman Dodd. Thank you
very much for conducting these hearings. And I thank our
witnesses for being here.
Earlier this year, the Helsinki Commission held hearings on
NATO expansion, and, at that time, I expressed my support for
both Croatia and Albania. I think it's in our interest for NATO
expansion in these two countries.
But, I want to follow in a little bit different line from
Senator Corker's inquiries, in that these are young
democracies, and there are concerns as to how rapidly they are
adhering to international commitments, whether they are NATO
commitments, OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe) commitments, or commitments that we expect from a
In Croatia's case, their record has been really remarkable.
They have moved very, very quickly to establish open, free
elections, and to do what we would expect of a more mature
I want to talk, a few minutes, about Albania. And, again, I
preface this by saying I support the course that we're
following in Albania on NATO expansion. But, Albania has
serious concerns--at least I believe they do--in regards to
corruption, including within their Department of Defense. There
is a concern as to whether they will meet OSCE commitments as
it relates to next year's elections. So, I would like to get
your take as to what progress we expect in Albania prior to
NATO expansion and whether we can expect continued reform in
that country so that, when the elections are held next year, we
have confidence that the OSCE commitments for fair and open
elections will be adhered to in Albania.
Mr. Fried. It is a very--it is very fair to expect that the
administration will continue to press Albania to meet all of
its commitments, to strengthen and deepen its democratic
institutions and practices, to continue to fight against
corruption, and to build the elements of a modern state. This
is a fair request, and I can report to you that that is exactly
the intention of this administration. I believe it will be the
intention of the next administration. And our experience in
NATO enlargement suggests that countries, once admitted to the
Alliance, do continue their reforms. They don't stop, breathe a
sigh of relief, and say, ``Well, we're done.'' They continue,
especially because EU enlargement comes next, and it has a
whole other set of criteria.
I can tell you that Ambassador Withers, the U.S. Ambassador
in Tirana, is making this issue--that is, the deepening of
democratic institutions, the fight against corruption--his
principal issue. That is his issue. As important as other
things are, he believes that Albania has work to do, and he is
pressing very hard, with the full support of the State
Department and the rest of the United States Government.
That said, what we expect from the Albanians is really to
continue their current pace of reforms. They've been moving in
the right direction, they've been taking some tough, necessary
calls on anticorruption, they've had elections and smooth
transitions between one party and another. American influence
in Albania is pretty high right now, our credibility is high,
and, frankly, we intend to use it to keep advancing this
agenda, working with the government, working with the
opposition and all the different players there.
Senator Cardin. Well, I thank you for that answer. That's
very, very encouraging, and the answer I had hoped for. The
U.S. Helsinki Commission has placed a very high priority on
fighting corruption, and we find that to be a common theme in
the emerging democracies, that they have serious issues of
dealing with the remnants of corruption. In some cases, it's
been extremely difficult. I mention Ukraine in that regard.
They've had a major problem in wiping out the type of
corruption that was so systematic in their government.
Albania has this issue, and it's continuing. And I am
pleased with progress that has been made, so I agree with your
assessment. And I am pleased that you will continue to work
with the Albanian Government to make it clear that higher
expectations are desired.
And I think you're right about Europe. I think, with the
Europe expansions, this is an issue that is becoming a front-
and-center issue, and I think Albania understands that we're
not doing away with our expectations just because they reach
the plateau of NATO membership. And I think that's an important
point for us to underscore.
I want to ask you a second question, which has been a--some
of--our theme of some of our questions, which go beyond just
the expansion of Albania and Croatia. Looking at Russia's
influence, looking at the impact they had on the Bucharest
Summit--and you can say that we all agree that there will be
future expansion in regards to Georgia and Ukraine, but the
plain facts were that, in Bucharest, the way that that played
out was different than the United States desired. And Russia
had an influence in the decisions made at that summit. We now
have Russia using its military might in Georgia.
So, I guess my question to you is: Are we reevaluating our
strategies as it relates to NATO? Are we looking at the
realities of Russia's influence and are trying to develop
strategies that are consistent with the purpose of NATO, but
recognizing the fact that Russia is exercising a different role
today than they were just a few years ago?
Mr. Fried. NATO countries are, indeed, consulting about the
implications of Russia's attack on Georgia. NATO held an
emergency foreign ministerial meeting in the middle of August
devoted to exactly this question. Many NATO countries,
particularly the ones with, let us say, deep and personal
experience of Russian pressure, are concerned by what Russia's
attack on Georgia means for them. This is something the
Alliance is going to have to think about and grapple with for
some time. We're working very closely with our allies, both
through NATO and the European Union, in devising responses,
both tactical and strategic.
With respect to Bucharest, Chancellor Merkel made clear--
and I believe her--that her concerns about Georgia and a
Membership Action Plan had to do with concerns about Georgia,
not some sort of cave to Russia. I believe that. She knows the
Russians very well, and she was helpful in forging the
compromise at the Bucharest Summit.
But, that said, the premise of your question is right. That
is, NATO has to think about Russia and our long-term relations
with Russia, and that is now a work in progress. We want to do
that thoughtfully, rather than in haste, but we have to do it.
Senator Cardin. Well, I thank you. I really appreciate your
answers. I would just hope that we could work closely together,
the executive department's activities here, along with
Congress, because I do think we need to rethink how we can
engage Russia, in a constructive way, but very firm, about our
standards in which military intervention in Georgia is just
wrong. And we cannot allow that type of activity to take place,
but we have to figure out ways to have a more effective
engagement with Russia. And it seems to me NATO could play a
very important role in that strategy.
Mr. Fried. I look forward to working with this committee
and with you, sir.
Senator Cardin. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I'll yield back the balance of my time.
Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Senator.
Senator DeMint. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I learned about everything I need to know about Albania and
Croatia from the excellent questions from Senator Lugar and
yourself, and so, I'll ask just a couple of questions related
to NATO, overall, and more theoretical questions for you, Mr.
There have been some concerns that if Georgia had been a
member of NATO, that we would have had the responsibility,
obviously, to defend them in that situation. What would be your
perspective or opinion? If Georgia had been a member of NATO,
would Russia have even attacked them?
Mr. Fried. There are two parts to a proper answer to that
The first part is: For a country to be invited to NATO, we
would have to have confidence that that country, according to
the Perry principles when we started out this process in the
1990s, had good relations with its neighbors and a responsible
The second part of that answer is: Once we were satisfied
and made the solemn commitment to extend NATO membership and an
article 5 commitment to a given country, that commitment means
something. And, yes, Russia would have to take it into account.
But, it is not a commitment to be given lightly, and this
committee has made clear, through every round of NATO
enlargement, that that commitment is most solemn and serious.
So, I think that Russia would have to take that into
account, but it's--an article 5 commitment is nothing you
simply write down and send through the mail. It follows years
of building confidence, of hard work that these countries--that
aspirant countries have to do.
Senator DeMint. Just--the question of enlargement, you've
expressed an opinion that this has been--has generally
strengthened NATO and created more peaceful partners, which I
think is altogether true. One concern I have about enlargement,
it's important that NATO have--the member countries have common
interests, common threats, in order to keep that cohesiveness
and, I guess, sense of urgency. My concern, as I think has
already been expressed, is, as we get a more diverse group of
members of NATO, some countries that still have serious
problems with corruption, do you believe that the ability of
NATO to act in unison to honor the article 5--my concern is--
like with the United Nations, is, the interests are so varied
and diverse that they can no longer develop a consensus on what
to do. Could that be happening with NATO as we expand into many
countries with many different cultures and politics, in effect?
Mr. Fried. I remember that we had to deal with just this
question when we debated and thought about earlier rounds of
enlargement. And I'm happy to report to you, sir, that the
addition of the seven new members after 2002 did not complicate
NATO's work. In fact, the United States found them to be
excellent allies who saw the world very much as we did; that
is, they understood that their freedom and ours was of a whole.
And, how shall I put this, when NATO has trouble reaching
consensus, it is usually not the new members who have
complicated it. [Laughter.]
And I'm sure other NATO members would say the same about
the United States. NATO does work, though. It has worked, in
practice, as a larger alliance, and we have found that we have
done--made hard decisions and done difficult things together.
The experience of a larger alliance has been a good one. So,
your question, sir, is a fair one. The answer can be one,
thankfully, based on good experience rather than bad.
Senator DeMint. Would you say, generally, that the mission
of NATO is seen as more important to its member nations now
than 10 years ago? My sense was, as the Soviet Union broke up
and--that there seemed to be a declining threat, that the
importance of NATO seemed to decline. But, recently, with
Russia's activities and obviously what's going on in
Afghanistan and Asia, the sense--my sense is that the
importance of NATO may have increased significantly with its
member nations. Is that true?
Mr. Fried. I would not want to suggest, because I don't--I
think it's not true that NATO needs an external threat to be
coherent. We have found, contemplating 21st-century threats,
that NATO has a role and has found a role in ways far afield
from where we thought the original article 5 threat would come.
NATO is the principal security arm of the transatlantic
community of democracies. NATO invoked article 5 to counter an
attack on the United States that originated in Afghanistan. No
one thought that, in their wildest scenario.
So, NATO is adapting to threats of the 21st century. Its
core mission remains exactly the same, which is the collective
defense of its members. The way in which it carries out this
mission will change.
Now, we want to think through the implications of Russia's
attack on Georgia, but NATO is not looking for monsters to
destroy, it's looking for ways to secure peace and freedom of
its members, and work in cooperation with other nations around
Senator DeMint. Do you believe that the NATO nations are
solidly committed to the NATO mission in Afghanistan? And do
you believe, if that mission fails or falters, that that could
have a long-term impact on NATO itself?
Mr. Fried. There are 25,000 non-U.S. NATO troops in
Afghanistan now. Some of them are in the hottest places--the
Dutch, the Canadians, the Estonians--the Poles have joined us
in the east, and the Germans are doing a good job in the north;
the Italians and Spanish, a good job in the west. You're quite
right that a successful mission in Afghanistan will be good for
NATO, a failed mission would be terrible. There are challenges
in Afghanistan, to be sure. This is a tough mission, and we're
learning. But, we've made progress, and we've got to--we've got
to learn the lessons and succeed.
Senator DeMint. Yes. I very much appreciate your answers,
and would add my thank you to the folks from Croatia who are
And, Mr. Chairman, I'll yield back the balance of my time.
Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Senator. I appreciate it
First of all, I should have recognized the two ambassadors.
We have the ambassadors from Croatia and Albania with us in the
audience, as well, today. We appreciate your presence here with
us. Thank you very much for coming, both of you.
Let me raise a couple of additional questions. This has
been very worthwhile, and I appreciate your answers.
NATO's Secretary General Scheffer has set a target date of
admitting Croatia and Albania, I think, for April of next year,
April 7, if I'm correct. One, is that a realistic timeline,
Secretary Fried? And two, share with us--if you can--and again,
I appreciate your trying to describe both French and German
reactions to certain things, but since you started that line,
please share with the committee what, if any, European concerns
there are regarding either the Croatian or Albanian accession.
Mr. Fried. Support for the NATO invitation to Croatia and
Albania was overwhelming at the Bucharest Summit. I would say
that there was enthusiasm, there was no opposition, there was
some regret that Macedonia, because of the name issue, was not
invited. But, I would say that this was a decision that NATO
took with enthusiasm, having had quite a bit of experience with
As to the timeline, I would never presume to discuss the
timelines of the U.S. Senate or this committee. Past experience
suggests that having it all done by April is tight, but doable.
The last time we went through this, the invitations were
extended in November 2002. Senate ratification came in May of
2003. So, that's--past precedent may mean something, but it's
not for me to say.
Senator Dodd. Yes. Senator DeMint and Senator Corker raised
the question, and Senator Cardin did, as well, about the issue
of the growing number of NATO members--I guess I'm influenced
by being a member of this body because when I started thinking
about the growing number of members trying to get decisions on
anything, how hard it can be to make those decisions. As you
watch the size of NATO increase, in very different countries--
of course there is a commonality in these countries, that we've
talked about here, as part of the accession process, and
embracing the Perry principles, and critically important is
that process that nations are going through, before reaching
that point of actually becoming member states. Now,
hypothetical questions are really impossible to address,
obviously. But, with the growing number of members, as you
increase the numbers, that the scenarios also increase, the
possibilities for disagreement increase. While all nations are
embracing the same principles, obviously there are different
interests. Given all of this, is there any thought at all as to
any different trigger mechanisms within NATO to respond in an
article 5 fashion. I'm just curious whether or not there's been
any thought given to this issue. What would be the reaction of
member states if all of a sudden they were to be considered
something less of an absolutely coequal partner of this
Mr. Fried. We have always insisted that NATO is a one-tier
alliance. That meant that article 5 meant the same thing to
everyone. It also meant that countries had to shoulder their
responsibilities. As Secretary Gates has said, you can't have a
two-tier alliance of fighters and watchers. Neither can you
have a two-tier alliance of article 5 and not quite article 5.
So, we do, as a regular practice, urge allies to abandon
caveats and to contribute to where the fighting is hot.
From time to time, we've thought about NATO's internal
machinery and how to make it more efficient. But, the consensus
principle has worked. And, in particular, with respect to
article 5, we want to keep that clean.
People have talked about the growth of NATO and the
theoretical issue of, How large can it be and still function?
But, the number of aspirant nations is not infinite. There are
a finite number of countries that are interested in NATO
membership. Georgia and Ukraine are interested. There may be
countries in the Balkans. Macedonia certainly is, and we regard
them as a viable aspirant. Eventually Montenegro, maybe Bosnia,
Serbia. But, it's a limited number. And we can see when they're
ready, and take this, based on the individual merits and our
views at the time.
Senator Dodd. I apologize, maybe I should know this--but is
there a default mechanism if a Member State decided, in its own
interests, that it did not want to agree with an article 5
request, and decided, in a democratic fashion--for example,
maybe their parliament votes and says, ``You know, we're not
going to Iraq,'' or, ``We're not going to Afghanistan,'' or
someplace where that decision's already been made--what is
NATO's ability to respond to a nation-state that makes that
Mr. Fried. If a country opts out of a NATO mission, we
don't have a means to force them to opt in. This isn't the
Warsaw Pact. Countries will make their own decisions. The
experience in Afghanistan suggests that countries are serious
about NATO missions. That's why we've got 25,000 troops. And
when we asked countries to contribute, the new members were at
the head of the line. Poland came in and said, ``We're in with
a combat battalion in the east, and combat helicopters.'' So,
that's a fighting new ally. Others have gone within their means
to where the fighting was hot. So, the experience has been a
pretty good one. And it's also important that we work the
politics. That is, we work with Europe so that Europe and the
United States, in NATO, believe that we are part of a common
community, that we're in this together, and that kind of
tending the garden and sense of solidarity and common purpose
Senator Dodd. Well, I hope that's the case. Not to draw the
analogies too tightly, but new members of clubs are always more
willing to volunteer, it seems to me, than those who have been
in the clubs for some length of time.
Mr. Fried. Although, to be fair, the Dutch took on a very
Senator Dodd. Yes; they did.
Mr. Fried [continuing]. Role in Uruzgan. They knew it was
hard, and they did it anyway.
Senator Dodd. Tell me about Serbia and as we look down the
road, given the fact that these former members of Yugoslavia
are coming together here, and the possibility of Bosnia coming
in, is it our hope down the road, that this effort, in addition
to the things you've otherwise described here, would also
result in Serbia becoming a member of NATO?
Mr. Fried. Certainly. We hope that Serbia sees the prospect
of NATO membership and EU membership as its future. Now, Serbia
has a long way to go. They basically have a strategic choice to
make between a nationalist past and a European future. They
don't have to want to join NATO to achieve this European
future. That's up to them. But, as they see Slovenia in NATO
and the European Union, as they see Croatia on its way to both
institutions, there are a lot of Serbs--some people--some of
them, I've known for 25, 30 years--who are asking themselves,
``Well, why not us? And if Croatia--why should we opt out of
this European future?''--which is exactly what we want to
Senator Dodd. Yes.
Mr. Fried. We want them to see that this future is real, it
isn't a mirage. And that can help change the politics.
President Tadic of Serbia has said he's opting for a
European future. And we want to help him go that route, as he
makes it possible for us to do so.
Senator Dodd. Let me come back to Croatia, just briefly for
a minute, because all of us here, particularly Senator Lugar
and myself and others who are members of this committee, recall
the terrible hardship the Croatians were under with that
terrible war, and how many people suffered terribly. And we
want to convey to the members of the Croatian Parliament to
convey, universally from this committee and our colleagues in
the Senate, our deepest sympathies to what the Croatian people
went through as a result of that conflict. But, I'd like to ask
just a couple of legacy questions about this issue.
What is the status of ethnic Serbs, who have returned to
Croatia, and how have they been treated? How cooperative has
Croatia been in investigating and prosecuting war criminals in
The Hague? And, finally, what is your assessment of the
relationship between Croatia and Serbia today?
Mr. Fried. Croatia has done, in general, a commendable job
of dealing with the issues of nationalism and the breakup of
the former Yugoslavia. I believe that the current Croatian
Government now includes, as a coalition partner, the party of
the minority Serb community in that country. It's a good thing.
I think that resettlement has taken place, and certainly, how
shall I put it, the feel of Croatian politics is that
nationalism has just sort of dissipated and the party that was
once a nationalist party has become a center-right party and
embraced a European identity and political culture, all to the
These are laudable things, and it means that countries
coming out of a nationalist past in the Balkans can
successfully make that transition to a European future. And
nationalist politics in Croatia tends to be fringe politics,
not mainstream politics. A great success for that country.
Senator Dodd. Yes. Hague tribunal?
Mr. Fried. As I recall, the last serious--the last major
war criminal was apprehended. And I can't remember the status
of the trial, but the cooperation has been good. That was an--a
tough arrest. It's always hard for these countries to face up
to the fact that some people who claim to be national heroes
weren't really heroes, and I think Croatia has done a good job
dealing these kinds of issues.
Senator Dodd. Ethnic Serbs returning to Croatia?
Mr. Fried. They've come back. I don't--I'm not aware of a
lot of problems. There are property issues that always have to
be dealt with. Generally, the experience has been a good one.
And the fact that the Serbian party is part of government shows
how far they've come, how much progress they've made.
Senator Dodd. The last question I have for you is the issue
of Macedonia. You've indicated that Montenegro and Macedonia
could possibly end up within the NATO family, as well. And
obviously there's the ongoing concern about the name, from a
NATO member state. And you recall, going back a number of years
ago, Dick, that this was an issue that hasn't just emerged
recently, but it goes back some time.
Mr. Fried. Right.
Senator Dodd. Enlighten us as to where that is and how
serious it is. It's a serious issue, obviously, from the Greek
standpoint. But, is there any ongoing effort to resolve that
Mr. Fried. It certainly is a serious issue. It was this
issue that prevented NATO from extending an invitation to
Macedonia. There is a negotiation process now very much
underway in an intensive phase to resolve the name issue. It's
led by Matt Nimitz under U.N. auspices. The United States
supports that process very much. We believe that a compromise
solution is possible. We encourage it. We're working closely
with the Macedonian and Greek Government. There is no American
plan. There is the efforts of Matt Nimitz, which we support.
And we hope for a quick resolution so that an invitation could
be extended to--so this issue can be resolved and we can extend
an issue to Macedonia as soon as possible.
Senator Dodd. Thank you.
Senator Lugar, do you have any additional----
Senator Lugar. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, just one additional
comment, because I think the you have raised an important issue
about the unanimity and when article 5 can be invoked, and so
The current predicament with Georgia is not one that
involves NATO, but the response of the European Union members
is, I think, helpful in trying to gauge a situation that might
occur if there was a call for article 5. Or, for example, in
trying to gain consensus of all the EU members in behalf of
President Sarkozy's mission, just of a couple of days ago. This
is quite apart from the visits by heads-of-state which has
brought together many people who have different views on the
relationship of their countries with Russia, or Europe with
Russia, for that matter. And, in your testimony before the
House from yesterday, you've gone down through at least five
potential interpretations of where Russia might be heading. And
these are all being debated by the Europeans.
But, at the end of the day, it's remarkable that there
could be any consensus. Even under the stress of this
situation, Europe took a strong position with President
Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, as the case may be, at
trying to deal with this.
And this is the first time Europeans have been faced with
this kind of an issue for a long time, and, as you know from
your recent visit to Brussels, there are some nations who are
asking, ``What does article 5 mean? Would it be there if we
need it?'' They're really raising questions now of what NATO
means to them. It's not that we were all quiescent and thought
that, conceivably, all NATO meant was the occasional
expeditionary mission of people to Afghanistan. We are back,
really, to the integrity of Europe, how well European countries
are cooperating with each other, and all kinds of issues on
energy policy there, the lack of a grid system, the lack of
cooperation on basic economic issues.
During my recent trip to Europe and in my meetings and
question-and-answer sessions there appeared to be a building
consensus. They managed to come together, ambassadors, from
both situations, talking, really, about the same issues. And I
thought this was both instructive and encouraging. It's not
that we would have wished the horrors that have occurred in
South Ossetia to bring some sense of reality and debate and
consensus in NATO. But, I think it's gone a long way to achieve
And I just make this as an editorial comment, appropriate,
I think, to our hearing today, because we are now discussing a
very serious issue: Are two more countries going to strengthen
the Alliance, weaken it, make any difference? Do they share the
ethos? Do they take up their own strategic posture? And your
answer has been yes, they do. They've taken expeditionary steps
already. They've prepared themselves for that kind of duty. And
that's important to know. And that's why our colleagues, I'm
sure, will ask as we get in a markup session or on our Senate
floor debate, which I'm hopeful will occur soon.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much for----
Senator Dodd. No----
Senator Lugar [continuing]. Chairing this meeting.
Senator Dodd [continuing]. It's a very good point. I was
thinking, here, Senator Lugar, as you were talking, and I don't
know whether Secretary Fried would agree with this or not, but
I was thinking, back some 10 or 12 years ago, when the
conflicts broke out in the Balkans, and please correct me if
I'm wrong, but I remember, a the loud silence from the European
community. That's how it seemed to be at the time. There didn't
seem to be much participation. One of the concerns expressed
here is: Where is the European community stepping in, in a
matter that clearly is within their immediate sphere of
influence? And it seemed to me that this reaction was very
slow, to put it mildly. Others may use more dramatic language
to describe the European response at the time.
Senator Dodd. Yes. Which is opposed to what you just
described here, a very different----
Senator Lugar. Yes.
Senator Dodd [continuing]. Situation here, which I think
has some value and relevancy in this debate and discussion, so
This has been a very good hearing, and I'll end where I
began. We need to hear from the Department of Defense, as well.
There are questions I would expect you to address. But,
clearly, as we all think about these matters, a DOD answer--and
I don't blame General Craddock at all; he's got a role, and he
doesn't need to be drawn before every Parliament in the world.
And I know about the concern over the precedent-setting nature
of that. But, clearly, he wears another hat, as well, which
would have allowed him to be here to answer some questions. And
so, I appreciate the message I've received regarding certain
questions I've raised, and we'll try to get those addressed,
but, at some point, we may need to hear from that point of
view, as well.
But, with that, I'll leave the record open for members who
were not able to participate today, but have questions, or
those who were here and have some additional questions.
Senator Dodd. But, we thank you both very, very much, and
the committee will stand adjourned.
We'd like to invite our colleagues from the Croatian
Parliament to come up and say hello to Senator Lugar and myself
here at the dais.
So, thank you both very much.
The committee will stand adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
Additional Material Submitted for the Record
Prepared Statement of Hon. George V. Voinovich,
U.S. Senator From Ohio
Mr. Chairman, today's hearing on the expansion of the Transatlantic
Alliance marks a historic step forward for the people of Croatia and
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my personal and
deep congratulations to Croatia and Albania on their respective
invitations to join NATO.
Croatia and Albania have come a long and successful way from their
first public expression to join the Alliance in 1994, through their
completion of the Partnership for Peace program, and their respective
achievements in the Membership Action Plan.
This invitation signifies NATO's confidence that Croatia and
Albania will be strong partners for collective security in the world.
These two democracies have consistently demonstrated their genuine
desire for peace and security in both Southeast Europe and beyond, and
their maturity in undertaking the necessary political, military, and
security reforms required by the Alliance. In short, their active
cooperation with NATO since 2002 has finally earned the reward it
Croatia has proven itself to be a valued friend and partner of the
United States. It is a leader in the cause of freedom. Several hundred
Croatian soldiers, diplomats, and military police officers have worked
within the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in
Afghanistan. Croatia has also provided vital logistical support for
NATO-led operations in Kosovo, and for the training and equipment
provided to help achieve peace and security in Iraq.
We are also grateful for Albania's support of our joint efforts
toward peace and stability throughout the world. Albania has proven
itself to be a trusted ally for our country as seen with the
establishment of its logistics support command center in Tirana, its
peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, and its military and medical
personnel deployed in Afghanistan.
NATO enlargement is essential toward advancing freedom, stability,
and democratic values throughout Europe. Croatia and Albania serve as
two more examples of countries motivated by the prospect of NATO
membership to advance significant and difficult political, economic,
and military reforms. Their efforts and success demonstrate to other
countries in the Balkans and beyond that NATO's door remains open to
nations willing to shoulder the responsibilities of membership.
It is my dream to see all of the countries of Southeast Europe in
NATO and the European Union. Working together to achieve this vision,
we can bring about a new and hopeful history for all of Europe.
Mr. Chairman, I urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to
report favorably--and for the Senate to expeditiously approve--the
Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the Accession of the
Republic of Albania and the Republic of Croatia.
Responses of Assistant Secretary Dan Fried to Questions
Submitted for the Record by Senator Bob Corker
Question. NATO has several prescribed conditions required for
countries to be given consideration as candidates to NATO. These
conditions are meant to ensure that the country will be a stable
contributor to NATO's overall mission rather than a detriment.
Countries must be stable democracies, enjoying good relations with all
other nations they neighbor, and not contain any disputed territories.
At this time, it would appear that Georgia, though a strong ally of the
NATO Alliance, is unable of meeting these conditions. Given continuing
poor relations between Georgia and Russia, would Georgia be eligible
for NATO membership? Do you believe that Georgia and Russia may be
capable of quickly resolving the dispute? How do NATO members propose
to deal with Georgia's disputed territories of Abkhazia and South
Ossetia as an obstacle to NATO membership?
Answer. NATO allies agreed at the NATO Bucharest Summit in April
2008 that Georgia will one day be a member of the Alliance. Both the
Alliance and Georgia's leaders understand that it is not ready for NATO
membership at this time. The administration supports Georgia's request
to enter NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP). MAP is not a guarantee of
membership; it is a work program designed to help aspirants achieve the
progress they must make in order to qualify for eventual membership,
which sometimes stretches over several years. We believe that working
through MAP would allow Georgia to realize progress on reforms that
would make it more stable and democratic, which would in turn benefit
the entire region.
It will take time to reverse the effects of Russia's invasion and
restore neighborly relations between Georgia and Russia. As a first
step, we are working to ensure full implementation by Russia of its
cease-fire commitments, while adhering to the territorial integrity of
Georgia as agreed in multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Ultimately, allies will have to determine for themselves whether
Georgia has met the Alliance's performance-based standards and can
contribute to Alliance security before reaching consensus on extending
a membership invitation.
Prepared Statement of Edward A. Andrus, President, National
Federation of Croatian Americans, Washington, DC
The National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA)--on behalf of
all the grateful Croatian Americans across our Nation--appreciates that
Chairman Joseph Biden, Ranking Member Richard Lugar, and Acting Chair
Christopher Dodd of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have
provided time during this very busy month for this important hearing.
Consideration of early ratification for the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) protocols developed for the accession of the
Republic of Croatia is greatly appreciated by the NFCA.
Croatia earned the invitation received at the Bucharest Summit from
the NATO Alliance on April 3, 2008, by its long and persevering work in
implementing democratic reforms and the rule of law, in transforming
its military to comply with NATO standards, and through active military
participation with the United States and NATO forces in the war against
terrorism in Afghanistan. In only 16 years Croatia has converted
herself from a ``receiver'' nation-state to one of a ``provider'' of
security assistance. Moreover, she currently occupies a seat as a
nonpermanent member of the Security Council at the United Nations.
The United States has long supported and guided the expansion of
NATO to provide membership for those democratic nation-states who wish
to be free and are willing to contribute to the defense of the entire
Alliance. The United States has led the effort for Croatia's membership
through strong bipartisan political support in both houses of the
Congress, at the State and Defense Departments together with the
creation of the Adriatic Charter, and with our allies in NATO. The
United States can now continue to show leadership among her NATO allies
by being the first NATO member to ratify the protocols for the
accession of the Republic of Croatia.
Croatia's full membership in NATO will benefit the United States by
improving the stability and security of Southeast Europe. One has but
to consider the recent military actions in the new nation-state of
Georgia to appreciate the fragility of peace in that part of the world.
In nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina, the political situation remains
unresolved with respect to equal rights for all of the ethnic and
political constituencies there. In Serbia, a pro-Western government has
a shaky hold on power in a country where, apparently, Russia continues
to have interest. Croatia has worked diligently to build peace
partnerships with all of her neighbors including some who were former
enemies. In so doing she has shown great leadership and become a model
for all freedom loving nations in the region who aspire to someday
belong to the great organization of NATO. Croatia has shown the way,
and this good partner of the United States deserves to finally become a
full member of NATO. The NFCA humbly requests that this committee move
this ratification process forward to the Senate floor for a full vote
at the earliest possible date.
The NFCA, on behalf of the Croatian American community, has worked
tirelessly with the U.S. Government, particularly the Departments of
State and Defense, to help ensure that no obstacles of concern would
stand in the way of this treaty ratification. Along the way, the NFCA
participated in the formation of the Congressional Croatian Caucus in
the U.S. House of Representatives and assisted in the development and
promotion of congressional resolutions that commended Croatia's
progress toward satisfying the many requirements necessary to join the
NATO organization. There are many that the NFCA would like to recognize
for significant contributions made toward the achievement of this
important goal for the Republic of Croatia. Special thanks must go to
U.S. Ambassador Robert A. Bradtke for the guidance he has provided
Croatia in helping her position for this membership. The progressive
and accomplished diplomatic team under recent Croatian Ambassadors to
the United States, in particular current Ambassador Kolinda Grabar
Kitarovic, are deserving of the Croatian American community's
appreciation for their tireless and successful efforts to date.
Our thanks also go to our consistent and supportive NFCA national
membership and the cochairs of the Congressional Croatian Caucus,
Congressmen George Radanovich (R-CA) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN), for
their leadership and support for Croatia in the U.S. House of
Representatives. We also thank U.S. Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE),
Richard Lugar (R-IN), and George Voinovich (R-OH)--as well as U.S.
Representatives Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Robert Wexler (D-FL) on the
House side--and their expert staffs for their bold legislative
statements, creative resolutions, and other initiatives supportive of
Croatia. The NFCA acknowledges President Bush for keeping his promise
``to lead the charge for Croatia at the 2008 NATO Summit.'' The
President and his Bucharest Summit team did just that.
The NFCA is the national umbrella organization of Croatian American
groups that collectively represents approximately 130,000 members. For
additional public affairs information, please contact Mr. Joe Foley,
NFCA Government and Public Affairs Director, or the NFCA Headquarters,
or by e-mail at [email protected] For recent NFCA newsletters,
important NFCA membership and chapter information, and other Croatian
American news please visit the NFCA's Web site at www.nfcaonline.com.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.