Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 107

President Bill Clinton used an address to graduates of the U.S. West Point Military Academy on May 30 to defend NATO enlargement and to urge the American people to support the extension of NATO’s security umbrella over the Eastern European countries expected to be admitted to the alliance. Clinton admitted in the speech that NATO enlargement is "not without cost and risk," but he told the cadets that expanding the alliance would make it less likely that they would ever have to cross the Atlantic to fight another war in Europe. Clinton also argued that the benefits of enlargement include strengthening NATO for the future, locking in democratic reform in Central Europe and encouraging civilian control over the military in those same countries, and building stability across a united Europe.

The U.S. president was speaking only days after returning from a trip to Europe that included the May 27 signing of the Russia-NATO Founding Act, a political agreement aimed at facilitating enlargement while promoting cooperation with Moscow. NATO is expected to begin the process of initiating new member states at its July summit in Madrid. The U.S. Senate must approve the alliance’s expansion. (AP, Reuter, May 30)

Chubais Defends U.S. Academics.