NATO's 21st century mission -- expansion to the east to include Poland: incentives and obstacles
Kershaw, Justin Frank
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The central issue defining the European security debate concerns the future of Central and Eastern European countries currently outside of any durable military or political security arrangement. Since 1989, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has begun to reexamine its historic role within the context of maintaining the Alliance's historic role. Based upon the 1949 Washington Treaty and the 1967 Harmel Report, members have agreed to "safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization... founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law." NATO has accomplished this goal by adhering to the dual approaches of attempting to settle disputes by political means while maintaining a strong military deterrent. The Atlantic Alliance's raison d'etre into the twenty-first century will hinge upon its ability to take on new missions and new members. There now exists a necessity to "export" NATO's core principles eastward in an attempt to secure the progress of democratic and market reforms. Moreover, security guarantees must be offered to Central and Eastern European states (the Visegrad Four and particularly Poland) because there still exists tangible Eastern risks.
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