U.S. Policy Toward Northeastern Europe

Task Force Report
Analysis and policy prescriptions of major foreign policy issues facing the United States, developed through private deliberations among a diverse and distinguished group of experts.

During the Cold War Northeastern Europe was a strategic backwater and received relatively little attention in U.S. policy. However, since the end of the Cold War, the region has become an important focal point of U.S. policy. The Clinton administration gave Northeastern Europe high priority and viewed the region as a laboratory for promoting closer regional cooperation and reknitting Europe, both East and West, into a more cohesive economic and political unit. Its policy was also designed to reach out to Russia and to include Russia in regional cooperation arrangements in Northeastern Europe.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Counselor and Trustee, Center for Strategic and International Studies

This independent Task Force report endorses the general thrust of the Clinton administration’s policy, especially its emphasis on enhancing regional cooperation in Northeastern Europe and encouraging Russian participation in regional cooperative efforts. At the same time, the report recommends a number of steps to enhance the viability and effectiveness of the administration's policy. In particular, the report argues that the administration should differentiate between the Baltic states based on their performance, and should admit them into Euro-Atlantic institutions individually rather than as a group.

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Europe and Eurasia

Politics and Government

The Task Force also recommends that the next round of enlargement include one Baltic state, provided that the state demonstrates the ability to meet the responsibilities of membership. The issue of Baltic membership, however, should not be the exclusive or central focus of U.S. strategy toward Northeastern Europe. Rather, it should be an integral part of a broader, multifaceted policy designed to enhance regional cooperation and stability in the region. Finally, if its strategy is to succeed, the administration must develop stronger support for its policy, both within the Congress and among America’s European allies, and devote more resources to implementing its policy.

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Europe and Eurasia

Politics and Government

Task Force Members

Task Force Members

ANDERS ASLUND is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC.

IAN J. BRZEZINSKI is legislative assistant for national security affairs to Senator William V. Roth Jr. (R-Del.).

ARIEL COHEN is senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC.

JOSEPH J. COLLINS is senior fellow in political-military studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He is a former U.S. Army colonel and strategic planner.

KAREN DAWISHA is professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland at College Park, and associate director of its Center for the Study of Post-Communist Societies.

PAULA J. DOBRIANSKY is vice president and director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is also the Council's first George F. Kennan senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies. During the Reagan administration, she served as director of European and Soviet affairs at the National Security Council.

SHERMAN W. GARNETT is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

TOBY T. GATI is senior international adviser at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld in Washington, DC. She previously served as assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research and as senior director for Russia and the newly independent states at the National Security Council.

ROBERT E. HUNTER is senior adviser at the RAND Corporation in Washington, DC, and vice president of the Atlantic Treaty Association. From 1993 to 1998, he was U.S. Ambassador to NATO.

CHARLES A. KUPCHAN is senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and associate professor in the School of Foreign Service and Government at Georgetown University. He was director for European affairs on the National Security Council during the first Clinton administration.

DANIEL F. MCDONALD is president and a member of the board of directors of the Potomac Foundation.

ROBERT NURICK is senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation in Washington, DC.

MARK PALMER is president of Capital Development Company and Building DC LLC. He is former U.S. ambassador to Hungary and deputy assistant secretary of state for Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

PETER W. RODMAN is director for national security programs at the Nixon Center. He has served as deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs and as director of the State Department policy planning staff.

DEREK N. SHEARER is professor of international affairs at Occidental College and an international adviser to Ziff Brothers Investments. He served as U.S. ambassador to Finland from 1994 to 1997.

W. BRUCE WEINROD is managing director and general counsel at International Technology and Trade Associates in Washington, DC. He served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy from 1989 until January 1993.

DOV S. ZAKHEIM is chief executive officer of SPC International Corporation, Arlington, Va. He was a deputy undersecretary of defense in the Reagan administration.

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