Right the First TimeIssue: Winter 1996-1997
Michael Mandelbaum, The Dawn of Peace in Europe (New York: Twentieth Century Fund Press, 1996)
"We must fulfill the promise of our time: an undivided Europe of free nations. . . . NATO enlargement is on track and it will happen."
-Warren Christopher, March 20, 1996 in Prague
"The process of NATO enlargement has begun. . . . It is irreversible. . . . Our friends and partners in the new democracies can rely on us."
-Volker RŸhe, April 30, 1996 in Washington, DC
Exuberant diplomatic pronouncements notwithstanding, NATO enlargement is far from secure. The German government-the key to the issue in Europe-remains divided between Volker RŸhe's pro-enlargement defense ministry (controlled by the Christian Democrats) and Klaus Kinkel's hesitant foreign ministry (controlled by the Free Democrats). Chancellor Helmut Kohl has tilted toward Kinkel's more cautious approach. Like Kinkel, Kohl is nervous about the impact that enlargement would have on Russia. He ranks European Union "deepening" through the establishment of a single European currency as his top foreign policy priority-a troublesome project in its own right that is sure to devour Kohl's energy in the months ahead.