NATO Expansion in the Post Cold War Era: The Case of the Czech Republic
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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During its first forty years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO successfully deterred Soviet expansion in Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has moved from confrontation with the East Bloc to cooperation, partnership and dialogue with most of Europe. As Yugoslavia disintegrated and the Balkans erupted in violence, the alliance broadened its historically defensive military strategy to include out of area peace operations. NATOs focus changed from collective defense to collective security. NATO chose to expand its membership as part of this process with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joining in 1999. At the same time, NATO revised its Strategic Concept to codify its collective security focus while also leaving the door open for future expansion. What should the entrance criteria be for future NATO members A case study of the Czech Republics progress towards accession in the 1990s provides a framework to analyze the relationship between expansion and the alliances Strategic Concept of cooperation and collective security. Specifically, the Czech Republic not only met basic entrance requirements, but also used NATOs Partnership for Peace program and peacekeeping operations in Bosnia to ensure their membership bid.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics