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Student Instructor

NATO Enlargement in 1993

Students at a Model Diplomacy simulation.
Students at a Model Diplomacy simulation.
Students at a Model Diplomacy simulation.

3.1 Role

Welcome to your role as a participant in the National Security Council (NSC)! You should have received an email with your role assignment, but if you did not, you can view your assignment by clicking on the “My Simulations" tab on your account page. At this point, you should have reviewed essential background information about the NSC, read the case, watched the accompanying videos, and perused some of the additional reading. Whether you have been assigned a specific role as an individual or part of a group, or as a general advisor to the president, we suggest you read the case once again to identify material that is particularly relevant to your role or that requires further investigation. After that, you will conduct independent research as you write your position memo and prepare for the role-play.


There are four subsections that follow. Research and Preparation (3.2) will aid your research for the position memo and provide additional reading to guide your research; the Guide to the Memoranda (3.3) provides information about position memos and an example; and the Guide to the Role-Play (3.4) provides more information on the in-class role-play.


You can learn about your role by reading the information provided on your role sheet, which can be found in the Guide to the Role-Play section (3.4). Review this information thoroughly and often, as your objectives and strategy in the position memo and role-play will be shaped by the institutional perspective of the role you have been assigned (unless you are playing a general advisor). After you finish the role-play and subsequent debrief, you will have an opportunity to share your personal thoughts and recommendations on this case in a policy review memo (Section Four, Wrap-up).

GO TO SECTION 4.1

Case Roles

Description of Role:

The president is the head of state and commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. He or she presides over National Security Council (NSC) meetings and listens to the advice and information presented by others. The president is not expected to be an expert on any single subject, but instead draws on the expertise of the NSC to analyze options and choose what he or she feels is the best policy to advance U.S. interests.

The president’s goals are to

  • select one or more policy options after considering the opinions and recommendations of NSC members; and
  • balance and promote U.S. interests, with an eye toward both immediate goals and long-term foreign policy strategy.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What specific interests does the United States have in its relationships with Russia, with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, and with the countries of Eastern Europe? How are these interests likely to be affected by each policy option?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in the maintenance of peace and security in Europe, including the newly independent states of Eastern Europe? How should these interests influence the U.S. position on NATO expansion?
  • What importance does NATO have for U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. position in the world? How should this affect the consideration of possible enlargement?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and overall implications of extending a U.S. security guarantee (including the nuclear umbrella) to East European states?
  • What was NATO’s military and political role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment?
  • What are the costs, benefits, and risks that accompany each policy option open to the United States?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing the Partnership for Peace, advance or hinder various possible goals?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The vice president must be ready at a moment’s notice to assume the presidency if the commander in chief is unable to perform her or his duties. Vice presidents can play a relatively active role on the National Security Council (NSC), serving as a general advisor and freely advocating their own positions during meetings. In particular, the president may ask the vice president to serve as an independent voice, untethered to any of the agencies represented by other NSC participants. The president may also ask about the interaction between the issue at hand and the domestic political situation, including in Congress.

The vice president’s goals are to

  • provide advice to the president on any topic, including those overlooked by other NSC participants; and
  • understand the range of views in Congress and work to build congressional and public support for the president’s chosen approach.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What specific interests does the United States have in its relationships with Russia, with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, and with the countries of Eastern Europe? How are these interests likely to be affected by each policy option?
  • What is Russian policy, formally stated or otherwise, on NATO expansion? Has this policy changed over time?
  • What was NATO’s military and political role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment?
  • What importance does NATO have for U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. position in the world? How should this affect the consideration of possible enlargement?
  • What is the range of attitudes in Congress and among the U.S. public on the possibility of NATO enlargement? What if any constituencies in the United States have a particular interest in this issue or especially strong views about it? What do these circumstances suggest about the domestic political consequences of various responses?
  • How can the president best articulate a decision on NATO enlargement and communicate it to the American people, existing and potential NATO allies, and the world?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing the Partnership for Peace, advance or hinder various possible goals?

 

Research Leads:

  • Challenges for NATO and Developments in East-West Relations: Hearing Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 101 Cong., June 22, 1989
  • NATO Strategic Concept 1991
  • A Concurrent Resolution Relative to the Role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, S.R. 90, 102nd Cong. (1992)
  • Memorandum of telephone conversation between President George H.W. Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev, December 25, 1991
  • Memorandum of conversation between President George H.W. Bush and Manfred Woerner, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, February 24, 1990
  • Dick Cheney, “Defense Strategy for the 1990s: The Regional Defense Strategy,” January 1993

Description of Role:

The Department of State maintains the U.S. diplomatic presence around the world, conducting foreign relations and using an on-the-ground perspective to generate country-specific knowledge. As head of the department, the secretary draws on this knowledge to present an authoritative view of the United States’ bilateral relationships, the relationships between foreign countries, and the behavior and interests of foreign governments.

The secretary of state’s goals are to

  • serve as the president’s principal foreign policy advisor; and
  • analyze how policy options will affect the interests, reputation, and relationships of the United States.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What is the U.S. role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? What importance does NATO have for U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. position in the world? How should these factors affect consideration of policy options in this case?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in its relationships with Russia, with NATO allies, and with the countries of Eastern Europe? How are these interests likely to be affected by each policy option?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in the maintenance of peace and security in Europe, including the newly independent states of Eastern Europe? How should these interests influence the U.S. position on NATO expansion?
  • What is Russian policy, formally stated or otherwise, on NATO expansion? Has this changed over time?
  • What is the range of views among other countries and organizations, including NATO countries and the Visegrad group, on NATO expansion? What do these views suggest about the potential upsides and challenges of pursuing expansion?
  • What was NATO’s military and political role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment?
  • How, if at all, might the State Department’s diplomatic efforts be required to support various policy options in this case, such as treaty negotiation with new allies or management of relations with Russia?
  • How should the North Atlantic Treaty, especially its Article 5 obligations, affect U.S. consideration of NATO enlargement versus the Partnership for Peace (PfP)?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing PfP, advance or hinder various possible goals?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The secretary of defense is the principal defense policy advisor to the president, under whose direction he or she exercises authority over the Department of Defense. In National Security Council (NSC) meetings, the secretary analyzes the security situation in the relevant region and explains the likely implications of U.S. military involvement, both for the immediate crisis and for the United States’ overall strategic position.

The secretary of defense’s goals are to

  • understand the options for and feasibility of any military action, as well as its possible outcomes; and
  • identify ways to prevent the deterioration of a crisis to the point where it mandates U.S. military intervention.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What military obligations does the United States assume as part of its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership, under the North Atlantic Treaty and any other instruments?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and overall implications of extending a U.S. security guarantee (including the nuclear umbrella) to East European states?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in the maintenance of peace and security in Europe, including the newly independent states of Eastern Europe? How should these various interests influence the U.S. position on NATO expansion?
  • What are Russia’s nuclear and conventional military capabilities, and how did these change after the Soviet Union’s collapse? What threat, if any, does Russia pose to the United States and its allies?
  • What was NATO’s military and political role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment? Are NATO’s military goals still relevant?
  • How might expanding NATO membership affect NATO’s military capabilities and operations? How should this factor into the U.S. policy decision?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing the Partnership for Peace, advance or hinder various possible goals?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The Department of the Treasury carries out policy on issues related to the U.S. and global economies and financial systems. The secretary of the treasury, as head of this department, serves as one of the president’s chief economic advisors. In National Security Council (NSC) meetings, he or she analyzes the economic dimensions of foreign policy issues and weighs the potential impact of policy options on U.S. economic concerns, including growth, trade and investment, and the position of the U.S. dollar.

The secretary of the treasury’s goals are to

  • serve as a senior presidential advisor on economic policy; and
  • determine how foreign policy options might affect the U.S. economy and financial system, the global economy, and economic relations between the United States and others.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What economic costs does the United States incur through its membership in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? How might these costs change if the alliance took on new members in Eastern Europe?
  • What are the basic characteristics of Russia’s economy? What have the main economic trends been since the collapse of the Soviet Union?
  • What is the nature and scope of U.S. economic relations with Russia, including trade, investment, and foreign assistance? What impact might NATO enlargement have on these economic ties?
  • What is the nature and scope of U.S. economic relations with East European countries, including trade, investment, and foreign assistance? What impact might NATO enlargement have on these economic ties?
  • What is the nature and scope of the U.S economic relationship with its NATO allies, including trade and investment? Is there any evidence that common membership in NATO affects these economic ties? If so, how does it? 
  • What are the costs, benefits, and risks for the U.S. economy that might accompany enlarging NATO?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The national security advisor (NSA) has a special role in crisis management, serving as the “honest broker” for the national security policy process. Although the president makes final decisions, the NSA is responsible for ensuring that he or she has all the necessary information, that a full range of viable policy options has been articulated, that the prospects for success and failure have been identified, that any legal issues have been addressed, and that all members of the National Security Council (NSC) have had the opportunity to contribute.

The national security advisor’s goals are to

  • facilitate the president’s consideration of issues by keeping the NSC discussion on track and guiding it toward concrete policy options; and
  • build trust as an honest broker among the other NSC participants.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What was the military and political role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment?
  • What importance does NATO have for U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. position in the world? How should this affect the consideration of possible enlargement?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and overall implications of extending a U.S. security guarantee (including the nuclear umbrella) to East European states?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing PfP, advance or hinder various possible goals?
  • What interests does the United States have in the maintenance of peace and security in Europe, including the newly independent states of Eastern Europe? How should these various interests influence the U.S. position on NATO expansion?
  • What are the most important factors for the president to balance when making a decision? What types of analysis would be most useful for other members of the National Security Council to present?
  • Research the performance of past national security advisors and the ways in which they managed the interagency process. Which advisors and policy processes have been considered especially successful or unsuccessful? Why?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The chief of staff oversees the Executive Office of the President, which provides the president with support to govern effectively. This post has traditionally been home to many of the president’s closest advisors. In National Security Council (NSC) meetings, the chief of staff ensures that the president has the necessary analysis on the full range of factors relevant to the case, including the U.S. political situation. He or she also guides the process of implementing and communicating presidential decisions.

The chief of staff’s goals are to

  • highlight the domestic implications of U.S. foreign policy choices; and
  • develop strategies to carry out the president’s policy and communicate it to U.S. and international audiences.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What are the major elements of the U.S.-Russia relationship? How have they evolved since the fall of the Soviet Union, and how do they compare with U.S.-Soviet relations during the Cold War?
  • What is Russian policy, formally stated or otherwise, on the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? Has this changed over time?
  • What is the U.S. role in NATO? What importance does NATO have for U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. position in the world? How should these factors affect consideration of policy options in this case?
  • What interests does the United States have in its relationships with Russia, with NATO allies, and with the countries of Eastern Europe? How are these interests likely to be affected by each policy option?
  • What is the range of attitudes in Congress and among the U.S. public on the possibility of NATO enlargement? What if any constituencies in the United States have a particular interest in this issue or especially strong views about it? What do these circumstances suggest about the domestic political consequences of various responses?
  • How can the president best articulate a decision and communicate it to the American people and the world?
  • What are the costs, benefits, and risks for the U.S. economy that might accompany enlarging NATO?

 

Research Leads:

  • NATO Strategic Concept 1991
  • The North Atlantic Treaty, April 4, 1949
  • United States Relations With the Soviet Union, National Security Directive 23, White House, September 22, 1989
  • A Concurrent Resolution Relative to the Role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, S.R. 90, 102nd Cong. (1992)
  • Challenges for NATO and Developments in East-West Relations: Hearing Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 101 Cong., June 22, 1989

Description of Role:

The U.S. intelligence community consists of agencies and organizations that gather and analyze intelligence to help policymakers formulate and implement U.S. foreign policy. In addition to administering the Central Intelligence Agency, the director of central intelligence oversees this network of agencies. He or she focuses on providing the latest relevant information to National Security Council (NSC) members and articulating the capabilities and interests of the intelligence community.

The director of central intelligence’s goals are to

  • provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information to the NSC on the situation under discussion; and
  • serve as the principal advisor to the president and the NSC on intelligence matters.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What is Russia’s current domestic political situation? What role does Russian nationalism play in both domestic and foreign policy? How might Russian policy toward the United States and its allies change should North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expand?
  • What was NATO’s military and political role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment?
  • What are the primary interests, motivations, and goals of the major actors in this crisis, including existing NATO allies, possible new NATO members, and Russia? How should this analysis shape the president’s consideration of U.S. policy options?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing Partnership for Peace, advance or hinder various possible goals?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in the maintenance of peace and security in Europe, including the newly independent states of Eastern Europe? How should these various interests influence the U.S. position on NATO expansion?
  • What are Russia’s nuclear and conventional military capabilities, and how did these change after the Soviet Union’s collapse? What threat, if any, does Russia pose to the United States and its allies?
  • What are the costs, benefits, and risks that might accompany enlarging NATO?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The attorney general is the head of the Department of Justice and the chief lawyer of the U.S. government. The department represents the United States in legal matters, including by prosecuting violations of federal law. In National Security Council (NSC) meetings, the attorney general gives the president advice and opinions on the legal aspects of policies under consideration.

The attorney general’s goals are to

  • consider the legal elements and implications of U.S. foreign policy options; and
  • ensure that any policies decided by the NSC are in compliance with domestic and international law.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What are the legal considerations surrounding enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), including the possible extension of a U.S. security guarantee to East European states?
  • What legal issues would arise were the United States called to undertake military action to honor its Article 5 commitment to NATO allies? What would the roles of the president and Congress be on this issue?
  • What agreements or treaties, including those related to arms control, does the United States have with Russia? How should these agreements affect the debate over possible NATO enlargement?
  • What military obligations does the United States assume as part of its NATO membership—under the North Atlantic Treaty or any other instrument?
  • What are the costs, benefits, and risks that might accompany enlarging NATO?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the highest-ranking member of the U.S. military and the principal military advisor to the president, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council (NSC), and the Homeland Security Council. The CJCS does not exercise command authority over U.S. troops. Instead, he or she works with the heads of the U.S. military services to provide advice to the president and other senior leaders.

The CJCS’s goals are to

  • serve as the president’s military advisor on the NSC; and
  • advise the president on specific military options and the corresponding risks, benefits, and implications.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What was the military and political role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment? Are NATO’s military goals still relevant?
  • What military obligations does the United States assume as part of its NATO membership—under the North Atlantic Treaty or any other instrument?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and overall implications of extending a U.S. security guarantee (including the nuclear umbrella) to East European states?
  • How might expanding NATO membership affect NATO’s military capabilities and operations? How should this factor into the U.S. policy decision?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in the maintenance of peace and security in Europe, including the newly independent states of Eastern Europe? How should these various interests influence the U.S. position on NATO expansion?
  • What are Russia’s nuclear and conventional military capabilities, and how did these change after the Soviet Union’s collapse? What threat, if any, does Russia pose to the United States and its allies?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing Partnership for Peace, advance or hinder various possible goals?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The role of the U.S. permanent representative to NATO is to advance U.S. foreign policy interests within NATO. Reporting to the secretary of state, the permanent representative helps formulate and articulate the U.S. position on NATO security matters as well as U.S. policy toward NATO. At National Security Council (NSC) meetings, he or she outlines U.S. policy toward NATO and potential opportunities for cooperation with NATO allies. He or she further advises NSC participants on the positions and actions of other NATO member states.

The U.S. permanent representative to NATO’s goals are to

  • advise the president and secretary of state on U.S. policy toward NATO the military or diplomatic actions the United States can or should take with NATO member states or the alliance as a whole; and
  • promote the United States’ interests and values within NATO.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What is Russian policy, formally stated or otherwise, on the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? Has this changed over time?
  • What is the U.S. role in NATO? What importance does NATO have for U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. position in the world? How should these factors affect consideration of policy options in this case?
  • What was NATO’s military and political role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in its relationships with Russia and with its NATO allies? How are these interests likely to be affected by each policy option?
  • How should the North Atlantic Treaty, especially its Article 5 obligations, affect U.S. consideration of NATO enlargement versus the Partnership for Peace?
  • What role can or should the NATO and its component parts, including the office of the secretary-general, play in this issue?
  • How important is it for the United States to achieve consensus with NATO members on whether to pursue enlargement?
  • What are the costs, benefits, and risks that might accompany enlarging NATO?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The role of the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) is to advance U.S. foreign policy interests in the bodies and forums of the UN system. Reporting to the secretary of state, the permanent representative helps formulate and articulate the U.S. position on all political and security matters under discussion at the UN. At National Security Council (NSC) meetings, he or she outlines policy steps available to the United States at the UN and advises NSC participants on the positions and actions of other UN member states.

The U.S. permanent representative to the UN’s goals are to

  • advise the president and secretary of state on the diplomatic actions the United States can or should take at the UN; and
  • promote the United States’ interests and values at the UN.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What is Russian policy, formally stated or otherwise, on the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? Has this changed over time?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in its relationships with the United Nations, Russia, and its NATO allies? How are these interests likely to be affected by each policy option? 
  • What role can or should the United Nations and its component parts play in NATO enlargement? Is the matter solely a regional issue limited to Europe or a matter of international peace and security? What difference does the distinction make for potential UN involvement?
  • What actions aimed at reducing tensions between the United States and Russia are available to the United States at the United Nations?
  • What was the United Nations’ role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might it best serve in this new environment?
  • What are the implications of Russia’s holding a permanent seat on the UN Security Council along with three members of NATO (the United States, France, and the United Kingdom)? What do these implications suggest about the desirability and feasibility of NATO enlargement?
  • How important is it for the United States to achieve consensus with its fellow Security Council members on whether to pursue enlargement?
  • How important is it for the United States and NATO to receive the backing of the UN Security Council for NATO enlargement?
  • What are the costs, benefits, and risks that might accompany enlarging NATO?

 

Research Leads:

Description of Role:

The general advisor offers analysis and recommendations that are unconstrained by the interests of any department or agency. He or she is tasked with providing a comprehensive assessment of the situation at hand and ideas for policy options that serve U.S. interests.

The general advisor’s goals are to

  • understand the breadth of the issue and outline its stakes for the United States; and
  • advise the president on the range of policy options proposed by all NSC members.

 

Issues for Consideration:

  • What is Russian policy, formally stated or otherwise, on the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? Has this changed over time?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in its relationships with Russia, with NATO allies, and with the countries of Eastern Europe? How are these interests likely to be affected by each policy option?
  • What specific interests does the United States have in the maintenance of peace and security in Europe, including the newly independent states of Eastern Europe? How should these various interests influence the U.S. position on NATO expansion?
  • What is the U.S. role in the NATO? What importance does NATO have for U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. position in the world? How should these factors affect consideration of policy options in this case?
  • What was NATO’s military and political role during the Cold War? How has this role changed since the Soviet Union’s collapse, and what functions might NATO best serve in this new environment? Are NATO’s military goals still relevant?
  • What is the range of attitudes in Congress and among the U.S. public on the possibility of NATO enlargement? What if any constituencies in the United States have a particular interest in this issue or especially strong views? What do these circumstances suggest about the domestic political consequences of various responses?
  • What military obligations does the United States assume as part of its NATO membership—under the North Atlantic Treaty or any other instrument?
  • What should the United States’ strategic goals be in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? How would expanding NATO, or declining to expand it but advancing Partnership for Peace, advance or hinder various possible goals?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and overall implications of extending a U.S. security guarantee (including the nuclear umbrella) to East European states?

 

Research Leads:

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