Washington, 4 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The United States needs to take a stronger and more decisive leadership role in the global arena if it wants to guarantee a world where strife is minimized, economic opportunity is maximized and democratic values flourish, says a new report on challenges facing U.S. foreign policy.
The report titled "Foreign Policy into the 21st Century: The U.S. Leadership Challenge" was issued yesterday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
It is the result of a two-year bi-partisan study chaired by Zbigniew Bryzezinski, former White House National Security Adviser, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) and Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-Indiana). Lugar is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Hamilton is the senior Democrat on the International Relations Committee in the House of Representatives.
Some of the major recommendations of the report are that the United States develop effective international mechanisms for dealing with international crises, such as a United Nations rapid-response capability; promote aggressive economic reforms and privatization throughout the Middle East; deploy a theater missile defense capability to protect key U.S. interests; pursue stronger ties with the Asia-Pacific region; and create a Global Organized Crime Committee within the National Security Council to combat international organized crime.
Some specific policy recommendations in regard to Europe include a treaty of mutual cooperation between the United States, Canada and the European Union (EU) states to be signed in April 1999 on the 50th anniversary of the Washington Treaty, the treaty which created NATO. According to the report, such a treaty would reaffirm America's commitment to Europe in the combined context of intra-European integration and Euro-Atlantic cooperation.
Another proposal is that the United States and the EU should "at the earliest possible time" negotiate a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement. The report suggests the year 2007 -- the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaties, the treaties that created the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community -- as the target date for implementation of such an agreement.
The report also strongly recommends the enlargement of NATO by including several countries in Central Europe, but leaving out Russia and Ukraine.
The report says that instead of membership for Russia, a treaty or declaration of friendship and cooperation between NATO and Russia would be sufficient.
"A treaty ... would recognize the reality of Russia's power, the scope of its interests, and the specificity of its concerns, but would insist on the need to play by the same agreed rules in all cases, including rules of consultation for cases about which there would be disagreement," says the report.
The report warned, however, that until Russia becomes a fully democratic state, "Russia's expressions of geopolitical revisionism will have to be discouraged actively and firmly."
Admitting certain Central European states into NATO will help accomplish this goal, says the report. And so will active and vocal U.S. support for Ukraine, stopping short of admittance into NATO.
According to the report, a secure Ukraine supported by NATO and Russia would quiet Kyiv's concerns about Russia and could help to usher in an age of reform.
The report also notes that a non-aligned Ukraine would serve as a buffer between Russia and an enlarged NATO and would ease Western and Central European apprehensions over a resurgence of Russian influence in the area.
More than 50 top U.S. foreign policy experts consulted on the report.