Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 197

U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright and secretary of defense William Cohen said in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday that the Clinton Administration has lowered its estimate of the costs involved in enlargement of NATO. The original U.S. estimate — $27-$35 billion — was said to have been based on the admission of four new member states and not three, as was agreed upon this past summer. Cohen also said that the military infrastructures of the three Eastern European countries invited to join NATO are better developed than was originally thought. (The Washington Post, October 22) The U.S. clashed earlier this month with its European allies over Washington’s high projections of the cost of NATO expansion, and particularly over the considerable financial burden that it expects its NATO allies to assume. Russian leaders, who have long said that they would use the projected high costs of NATO enlargement in their campaign to halt expansion, have observed this dissonance with obvious interest. A study by the California-based RAND Corp. said that the costs of NATO enlargement could well exceed $100 billion, considerably more than the original Pentagon estimate. European leaders have argued that enlargement can be carried out much more cheaply.

National Interests Overshadow Customs Union Summit.