by Jim Wurst
Most importantly, the Communiqué, in paragraph 32, says: "In
the light of overall strategic developments and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons,
the Alliance will consider options for confidence and security building measures,
verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament. The Council in Permanent
Session will propose a process to Ministers in December for considering such
options." In other words, the Alliance has put off the day of
reckoning. Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy said at a news conference during the
Summit, "I think we have now gained an acknowledgment that such a review would be
appropriate and that there would be directions to the NATO Council to start the mechanics
of bringing that about." While the US probably hopes it will be able to work its
will behind closed doors, it is also an opportunity for the allies that want to change
NATO's doctrine and for NGOs to promote alternative strategies.
The Concept also deals with threats from other weapons of mass destruction and announces the creation of a WMD Initiative, to "enhance existing Allied programs which increase military readiness to operate in a WMD environment and to counter WMD threats." Paragraph 22 of the Concept refers to WMD "on NATO's periphery." While these are statements of fact, given the context of the document and the Alliance's "out-of-area" operation in Kosovo, this is also the setting up of the justification for out-of-area actions.
The full texts of both documents can be found on the NATO website: www.nato.int