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Kissinger on NATO Expansion

January 17, 1997

Henry Kissinger ("U.S. Must Embrace the Expansion of NATO," Opinion, Jan. 12) tells us that "our security is inextricably linked with Europe's" and "now that Soviet power has receded from the center of the Continent, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization needs to adapt itself to the consequences of its success." However, the current headlong rush to expand NATO has leaped over a long overdue critical evaluation by our Congress. Where are the public hearings?

One question crying for an answer is: Why not Europeanize NATO? The U.S. could still participate in European crises when help is requested by a "European Treaty Organization," and when the president and Congress are convinced that U.S. national interests are at stake.

The differences from the current situation are that the U.S. would not be treaty-bound to participate in response to a broad variety of situations not even considered when NATO was founded, and we would not have to take on much of the expense of upgrading the armed forces of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to bring them up to NATO requirements.

MARTIN WILLINSKI

Northridge

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