The Turbulent Nineties: NATO Reforms and Transatlantic Storms

  • Richard E. Rupp


By any measure, the period between 1989 and 1991 was among the most turbulent of the twentieth century. In the space of three years, an array of extraordinary events gripped the global community. In the latter half of 1989, one Eastern European state after another broke free from the Kremlin’s long hold. In 1990, after painstaking negotiations, Germany was reunited. Towards the end of that year, Iraq invaded Kuwait, providing the international community its first significant post-Cold War conflict. In the opening months of 1991, a coalition of twenty-eight states, led by the United States, waged war against Iraq. In the aftermath of that conflict, the United States used its influence in the Middle East to propel peace talks between Israel and numerous Arab governments. Although Mikhail Gorbachev would play cohost to the United States at the Madrid talks in October 1991, his days, and the days of the Soviet Union, were numbered. After a failed coup d’etat in August 1991, all that was left for Gorbachev, and the Soviet Union, was the final curtain call, which came on December 25, 1991, when Gorbachev announced his resignation and the end of the Soviet state.


European Security Collective Security Article Versus Strategic Concept Collective Defense 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 8.
    Stephen E Cohen, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of the Post-Communist Russia (New York: Norton & Company, 2000).Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    James M. Goldgeier, Not Whether but When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1999): 31.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    For an important contribution to the debate, see: Ronald D. Asmus, Richard L. Kugler, and E. Stephen Larrabee, “Building a New NATO,” Foreign Affairs 72/4 (September/October 1993).Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Cited in David Yost, NATO Transformed 270. See Warren Christopher, U.S. Department of State Dispatch December 19, 1994.Google Scholar
  5. 16.
    Charles Kupchan, “Strategic Visions.” World Policy 11/3 (Fall 1994): 113.Google Scholar
  6. 20.
    John S. Duffield, “Why NATO Persists,” in Kenneth W. Thompson (ed.), NATO and the Changing World Order: An Appraisal by Scholars and Policymakers (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1996): 117.Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    Susan Eisenhower, “Starting Cold War II?” Naval Institute Proceedings 124/3/1 (May 1998).Google Scholar
  8. 22.
    Susan Eisenhower, “Perils of Victory,” in Ted Galen Carpenter and Barbara Conry (eds.) NATO Enlargement: Illusions and Reality (Washington, DC: CATO Institute, 1998): 113.Google Scholar
  9. 32.
    Stanley R. Sloan, NATO, the European Union, and the Atlantic Community: The Transatlantic Bargain Reconsidered (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003): 107.Google Scholar
  10. 33.
    Ted Galen Carpenter, “NATO’s New Strategic Concept: Coherent Blueprint or Conceptual Muddle?” The Journal of Strategic Studies 23/3 (Summer 2000): 7.Google Scholar
  11. 38.
    Celeste A. Wallander, “Institutional Assets and Adaptability: NATO after the Cold War,” International Security 54/4 (Autumn 2000): 729–730.Google Scholar
  12. 43.
    Richard E. Rupp, “The Balkan Conflict: The Test Case for European Security Cooperation,” in Mary M. McKenzie and Peter H. Loedel, The Promise and Reality of European Security Cooperation (Westport, CN: Praeger, 1998).Google Scholar
  13. 45.
    Cited in David Owen, Balkan Odyssey (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1995), 18.Google Scholar
  14. 47.
    Susan Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution after the Cold War (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1994): 59.Google Scholar
  15. 48.
    Edward P. Joseph, “Back to the Balkans,” Foreign Affairs 84/1 (January/February 2005): 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 49.
    Benjamin S. Lambeth, NATO’s Air War for Kosovo: A Strategic and Operational Assessment (Washington, DC: Rand Corporation, 2001)Google Scholar
  17. Pierre Martin and Mark R. Brawley (eds.), Alliance Politics, Kosovo, and NATO’s War: Allied Force or Forced Allies? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001)Google Scholar
  18. Ted Galen Carpenter (ed.), NATO’s Empty Victory: A Postmortem of the Balkan War (Washington, DC: CATO Institute, 2000).Google Scholar
  19. 53.
    Lawrence S. Kaplan, NATO Divided, NATO United: The Evolution of an Alliance (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004): 126.Google Scholar
  20. 54.
    Wesley K. Clark, Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat (New York: Public Affairs Press, 2002).Google Scholar
  21. 58.
    Ivo H. Daalder and Michael E. O’Hanlon, “Unlearning the Lessons of Kosovo” Foreign Policy (Fall 1999), Scholar
  22. 62.
    Richard E. Rupp, “Cooperation, International Organizations, and Multilateral Interventions in the Post-Cold War Era: Lessons Learned from the Gulf War, the Balkans, Somalia, and Cambodia.” Unpublished Dissertation. (Santa Barbara: University of California, Santa Barbara, December 1996).Google Scholar
  23. 63.
    Jeffrey Clark, “Debacles in Somalia,” Foreign Affairs 72/1 (America and the World, 1993): 119.Google Scholar
  24. 66.
    Patrick E. Tyler, “U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals; Develop a One-Superpower World,” New York Times, March 8, 1992.Google Scholar
  25. 68.
    William C. Wohlforth, “The Stability of a Unipolar World,” International Security 24/11 (Summer 1999): 275–276.Google Scholar
  26. 69.
    Arthur M. Schlesinger, “Unilateralism in Historical Perspective,” in Glyn Prins (ed.), Understanding Unilateralism in American Foreign Relations (London: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2000).Google Scholar
  27. 70.
    Julian Lindley-French, Terms of Engagement: The Paradox of American Power and the Transatlantic Dilemma Post-11 September, Chaillot Papers No. 52 (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, May 2002): 11.Google Scholar
  28. 72.
    Stewart Patrick and Shepard Forman, Multilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ambivalent Engagement (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2002): 7.Google Scholar
  29. 74.
    Frank C. Schuller and Thomas D. Grant, “Executive Diplomacy: Multilateralism, Unilateralism and Managing American Power.” International Affairs 79 /1 (2003): 40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 75.
    Thomas S. Mowle, Allies at Odds? The United States and the European Union (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004):12. As Mowle notes, tensions were on the rise in 1996 with the passage of the Helms-Burton Act that placed sanctions on non-U.S. firms conducting business with Cuba.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 76.
    Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair, Gerhard Schroeder, “A Treaty We All Need,” New York Times, October 8, 1999.Google Scholar
  32. 77.
    Gerard Baker and David Buchan, “American Isolationism Put to the Test,” Financial Times, October 15, 1999.Google Scholar
  33. 78.
    Charles A. Kupchan, The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty First Century (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002): 15.Google Scholar
  34. 79.
    Andrew C. Revkin, “178 Nations Reach Climate Accord; U.S. Only Looks On,” New York Times, July 24, 2001.Google Scholar
  35. 83.
    David C. Gompert, Richard L. Kugler, and Martin C. Libicki, Mind the Gap: Promoting a Transatlantic Revolution in Military Affairs (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1999): 5.Google Scholar
  36. 86.
    Cindy Williams, “Defense Policy for the Twenty-First Century,” in Robert J. Lieber (ed.), Eagle Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the Twenty-First Century (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002): 248.Google Scholar
  37. 89.
    Harold Brown, Chair, and Adam Segal, Project Director, Chinese Military Power, Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the New York Council on Foreign Relations. June 2003.Google Scholar
  38. 91.
    Anton De Porte, Europe Between the Superpowers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979)Google Scholar
  39. David P. Calleo, Beyond American Hegemony: The Future of the Western Alliance (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1987).Google Scholar
  40. 97.
    Rick Atkinson and Bradley Grahm, “As Europe Seeks Wider NATO Role, Its Armies Shrink,” Washington Post, July 29, 1996.Google Scholar
  41. 99.
    Kori N. Schake, “Do European Union Defense Initiatives Threaten NATO?” Strategic Forum. Institute for National Strategic Studies. 184 (August 2001): 4.Google Scholar
  42. 100.
    Margarita Mathiopoulos and Istvan Gyarmati, “Saint Malo and Beyond: Toward European Defense,” The Washington Quarterly 22/4 (Autumn 1999): 65–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 101.
    Jolyon Howorth and John T. S. Keeler, “The EU, NATO and the Quest for European Autonomy,” in Jolyon Howorth and John T. S. Keeler (eds.) Defending Europe: The EU, NATO and the Quest for European Autonomy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003): 11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 102.
    Madeline K. Albright, “The Right Balance Will Secure NATO’s Future,” Financial Times, December 7, 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard E. Rupp 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Rupp

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations