NATO and the Future Use of Military Force
 Stephen M. Duncan, '63
 Graduation Address:   NATO Defense College
 Rome, Italy
 10 June 2000

    Speakers at conferences always seem to commence their remarks with a predictable statement about how happy they are to be addressing the audience before them.  I will follow that pattern, but I want you to know that I am quite sincere.

     When I served in the American Government during the administrations of Presidents Reagan and Bush, I routinely attended at least two NATO meetings each year.  During the last seven years I have not been in the Government but have been engaged in the profession of law and more recently, in leading a technology company.  In some ways, the process of dealing with the strange and often unpredictable forces that affect the global economy and the market factors which affect even my own company directly, is not unlike my earlier work in the Government.  But, there is a great difference.  In private enterprise, I do not routinely get to talk with uniformed members of the Armed Forces of the free nations who are members of NATO.  I always enjoy meeting with people like those of you in attendance here today - - people who are literally prepared to sacrifice much, and even all, for the principles upon which NATO was founded.

     The subject I have been asked to address today is “NATO and the Future Use of Military Force.”  Implicit in the statement of the subject is the assumption that the international security challenges of the future are sufficiently predictable that we can, in fact, plan for the future use of force.  I am fond of quoting the Greek philosopher Heraclitus for the proposition that there is nothing permanent but change.  To say, however, that the international geopolitical and security environment - - and society at large - -has changed dramatically in the last few years is to press the art of understatement to the limits.  A group of American security analysts recently reacted to these changes by expressing the opinion that: “We are witnessing a transformation of human society on the magnitude of that between the agricultural and industrial epochs - - and in a far more compressed period of time.” Even Heraclitus would be staggered by the changes and developments that have taken place in a little more than a decade.

     It was only 11 years ago last month that the then American President, George Bush, declared in a speech that it was time for the United States and its allies to move beyond a foreign policy of containing the Soviet Union to a new policy that “recognizes the full scope of the change taking place around the world.”2  At the time of President Bush’s speech, much of the change which is now history had not yet occurred.  The Soviet Union was still in existence; the Berlin Wall had not yet come down; the Solidarity Movement had not yet gained power in Poland; Nicolae Ceausescu was still in power in Romania; Saddam Hussein was still 15 months away from his invasion of Kuwait; much of the economic openness that has resulted in today’s global economy had not yet been achieved; and, most of the dramatic changes in information technology - - which we now take for granted - - had not yet taken place.

     It is taken for granted these days that the changes with which governments must now deal are more fundamental and are accumulating at a faster rate than has been the case in the recent past, and that globalism has introduced dynamics that make the use of military power more, not less, difficult than in the past.3  Almost everyone seems to agree that the threats and security challenges of the 21st century will be more diffuse, more difficult to anticipate, and more difficult to neutralize or resolve.  Most military experts are also in agreement that the 21st century military forces of the Democracies will have to have better intelligence about potential threats; they will have to be lighter, more agile and mobile; they will have to have greater stealth and range and be ready to deploy on short notice; they will have to be more lethal; they will have to be able to fight under austere conditions, far from the nearest logistic base; and, they will have to have the will to prevail.4

     It is in these circumstances that an increasing number of leaders are calling for a new way of thinking about the application of military force in cases like Kosovo.  Last fall, for example, Governor George W. Bush of Texas, the likely Republican candidate in our upcoming Presidential Election, observed that “a new generation of American leaders will determine how [America’s] power and influence are used” in the future.5  He stated that if he is elected, he will “order an immediate review of [American] overseas deployments” with the idea of avoiding open-ended deployments and unclear military missions.6  Just last month, General Wes Clark, NATO’s out-going Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, told reporters at his farewell news conference that “We need a new strategy for the proper way to apply force in the post-Cold War environment.”7

     It must be remembered, however, that decisions to use military force in particular circumstances are political decisions, whether they are the decisions of a collective body like NATO, or the decisions of an individual government.  These kinds of decisions should be made upon the basis of a coherent political strategy, a compelling vision, or at least a clearly defined and consistent set of principles and priorities which are helpful in disciplining policy choices and separating truly important security interests from the unimportant.  Such decisions should not be made on an ad hoc basis, merely in reaction to tragic scenes which appear on the nightly television news programs, or in response to domestic pressure groups.  Otherwise, the decisions will inevitably resemble the thin pudding about which Winston Churchill made the famous remark “It has no theme!”

    More importantly, the use of military force without resort to a guiding set of principles undermines the political support which is necessary to sustain the use of force.  In a CNN world of instant communications, public understanding and support of military operations is essential.  The days of World War I - -  when it took considerable time for news of major battles and casualties to reach the home villages and towns of the participants - - are long gone.  Unless there is at least an elemental public understanding of a need to use military force, only bloodless and very short military actions will be possible in the future.

    The unprincipled use of military force also degrades the ability to apply force in other situations where it is absolutely necessary. It is obvious that we must maintain the political resolve to apply military power when it is absolutely necessary, but common sense and prudence demands that we conserve that strength until it is absolutely necessary, i.e., when diplomatic, economic and other tools have had no effect.

    It is in this context that NATO policy-makers must remember two things when considering the use of force.  First, that while it has been the target of considerable criticism, current American policy calls for the United States to be able to fight two major regional wars almost simultaneously.  Second, that “Joint Vision 2020,” a planning document which was released only 11 days ago by the Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, calls for the creation of an American military force that is prepared to “win,” i.e., a force that is dominant “across the full range of military operations in any part of the world.”8

    The phrases “full range of military operations” and “any part of the world” are significant, for few nations within NATO are capable of performing a full range of military operations for any sustained period of time.  Moreover, the arena of great power competition is very likely to shift from Europe to Asia in the years ahead.  In a speech in Prague at a Congress of the New Atlantic Initiative in May 1996, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher noted this development.  “We are seeing today a fundamental shift of economic power,” she said, “which will certainly have political consequences - - away from the West to Asia and the Pacific Rim.”  The danger, she pointed out, “lies in the fact that these Asian countries, which are making such rapid economic advances, generally lack the liberal traditions which we in the West take for granted.”9

    Recent saber-rattling by China, missile tests by North Korea, the “tyranny” of the vast distances involved in the Pacific theater, and other factors have already forced military planners in the Pentagon to pay more attention to Asia.  A Pentagon study conducted last summer concluded that: “Most U.S. military assets are in Europe, where there are no foreseeable conflicts threatening vital U.S. interests.  The threats are in Asia.”10

     I should note parenthetically at this point that the standard of U.S. “national interests” is the starting point of discussion for U.S. policy makers on questions involving the use of American military force.  Most Americans who influence American national security policy reject United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan’s view that the UN is the world’s “sole source of legitimacy on the use of force.”11  A strategy based on national interest, properly conceived, engenders respect for the interests of others.12  It is widely believed in America that our pursuit of our national interest will “create conditions that promote freedom, markets, and peace,”13 as it did after World War II.

    The need for NATO to develop a new strategy on the use of military force is complicated by the fact that seldom in American history have Americans been able to agree on and to articulate a coherent definition of our own national security requirements.  It has been rightly observed that this failure is a serious obstacle to rational, sustained policy making and it means that we often act on the basis of instinct, rather than strength.

    It should, thus, come as no great surprise that within a national community of such varying viewpoints, America has struggled in its attempt to define its national interests, especially those interests for which it is willing to fight. A recent senior policy maker provides a good example of the point.  Shortly after President Clinton deployed U.S. Armed Forces to Haiti in the face of widespread public and congressional opposition, his Secretary of Defense argued that the military involvement there was in the national interest, but just not in the “supreme national interest.”14

     Because Americans are slow to anger in international matters, we have historically acted only after substantial provocation.  When action is taken, it is usually with a vengeance.  Almost a half a century ago Churchill noted this trait:  “There are no people in the world who are so slow to develop hostile feelings against a foreign country as Americans,” he said, “and no people who, once estranged, are more difficult to win back.”15

     Historically, when America decides to use its military power it is in pursuit of a cause or a great national purpose.  President Richard Nixon put the matter this way:  “America is a reluctant great power.  We are fundamentally isolationists and become engaged in the cut-and-thrust of world politics only if we perceive a great idealistic cause hanging in the balance.”16 We are willing to spend American blood, treasure, and honor to advance moral principles - - sometimes even abstract principles - - but we are reluctant to go to war for narrow, selfish interests, no matter how concrete or well-defined they may be.17  This means that it is the responsibility of political leaders to lead, not to follow opinion polls; to articulate in honest fashion the cause or national purpose that justifies the use of force - - even at the risk that those whom they lead will not agree.

    The need for strong American political leadership is not limited to the requirement to obtain domestic support when the use of military force is necessary.  American political leadership is also required in world affairs to shape international consensus.  The two American presidents with the most foreign policy experience in recent decades have left no doubt about their own beliefs in that regard.  In a manuscript completed in 1994 only days before his final illness, President Nixon put the matter this way.  “Americans do not know how to be second.  They only know how to be the best.  After World War II the U.S. became the leader of the Free World by acclamation.  No other option was even conceivable.   We should be just as resistant to playing a secondary role now."18  In a farewell address at West Point at the end of his administration, President George Bush was equally direct.  Acknowledging that there is no support abroad or at home for America to be the world’s policeman, he nevertheless concluded that “it is the role of the United States to marshal its moral and material resources to promote a democratic peace.  It is our responsibility,” he said, “it is our opportunity - - to lead.  There is no one else.”19

    The debate within America about when to use military force is continuing even as I speak. Unfortunately, the issue is often framed at the extreme ends of the policy spectrum by advocates of particular policies.  It is often complicated further by domestic political factors which have little to do with a particular crisis or threat.
 President Clinton appears to believe that the world is now too complex for comprehensive strategies.  In a speech in 1995, he reached for a computer metaphor in asserting that “There seems to be no main-frame explanation for the PC world in which we are living.”20  His foreign policy is focused on free trade and a sweeping “Clinton Doctrine” that tends to treat military force as a “sharp tool of diplomacy, rather than a blunt [and lethal] instrument of controlled violence;21  it is a policy that declares that the United States is ready to undertake intervention in humanitarian crises all over the world, even if a particular crisis involves only one country and does not affect any serious American security interest.22  At the other end of the policy spectrum are the heirs of the isolationist tradition in America who believe that the United States should stay out of almost all foreign quarrels.  In between, are those who subscribe to more realistic, more pragmatic philosophies.

    In a well-known speech in 1984, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger outlined six criteria for the use of American military force:  (1) Do the circumstances involve vital American interests? (2)  Is there a clear intention of winning (measured in part by a willingness to use whatever military force is necessary to succeed)?  (3) Are the political and military objectives clearly defined?  (4) Is there a continuing reassessment and reevaluation of the need for military force after it has been applied (i.e., in case the objectives change)?  (5)  Do the American people and Congress support the effort?  And, (6) is military force being used only as a last resort?23

    In an article he wrote last year for the New York Times, Weinberger posed the question of whether these criteria had been met for the recent conflict in Yugoslavia.  He concluded that the criteria had been met - - to some extent.  “The principal feature” of his earlier thinking, he said, “was that the United Stated should enter a conflict only if it [is] vital to our national interest.”24  That was the case in Yugoslavia, he argued, because the Balkans “have been at the heart of two world wars in this century…stability in the region is important,” and because “we have both a strategic and moral obligation to support our allies.”25  He added that we should not talk about “exit strategies” and should not commit American troops “unless we intend to win, unconditionally.”26

     Other analysts who have addressed the question of the use of American military force have attempted to avoid the criteria of vital national interests, and have encouraged the use of criteria which break down into U.S. survival interests, critical U.S. national interests, and significant U.S. national interests.  They would define U.S. survival interests as including America’s “safety from direct attack, especially involving weapons of mass destruction, by either states or terrorists.”27  U.S. national interests which are critical would include the “continuity and security of those key international systems - - energy, economic, communications, transportation, and public health… - - on which the lives and well-being of Americans have come to depend.”28

    The significant national interests would include “the deepening and institutionalization abroad of constitutional democracy under the rule of law, market-based economics, and universal recognition of basic human rights.”29
 In addition to the general issue of when American military force should be used, a collateral issue is becoming the subject of increased attention in the United States.  That is the question of when American Reservists should be used. I am going to address that issue now, not because we have all the answers, but because we have the largest Reserve forces in the world and our experience with Reservists can be instructive to others.  Our most recent experience in the use of Reservists suggests that too many American leaders still do not understand the nature and limits of Reserve service.

     To understand the modern American National Guardsman or Reservist, one must first understand the American tradition of “citizen soldier.”  The use of part-time military forces to supplement Regular or full-time forces is at least as old as the Middle Ages.  The American concept of “citizen soldier,” however, is somewhat unique.  Part of the historic attraction to the idea rests on a general admiration of the courage and selflessness associated with military service.  Another part relates to attitudes about civic obligation.

     Yet another part of our “citizen soldier” tradition has probably evolved from early American concerns that a large standing army could be used by a tyrannical leader to curtail liberties won at such great cost in the American Revolution.  Some part of the historical attractiveness of the idea of “citizen soldier” may even have practical roots.  Since military campaigns in the 19th century usually started with the spring and continued only until winter weather prevented operations, it is unlikely that many leaders of the new nation were interested in paying for a professional army on a year-round basis.  Whatever the relative importance of each of these elements, it is a fact that, with the exception of the American Civil War and the world wars, until the middle of this century, the standing armed forces, i.e., the professional military forces of the United States, were comparatively small.

     This tradition does not, however, fully explain the modern American Reservist.  To appreciate today’s Air National Guardsman, Marine Reservist, or any of their fellow “citizen warriors,” one must also understand certain aspects of the warrior culture.  The distinguished British military historian John Keegan has observed that generally soldiers are not as other men.  Rather, they belong to a “world apart, a very ancient world, which exists in parallel with the everyday world but does not belong to it.”  Broad generalizations are dangerous, but perhaps it may at least be said that service in uniform attracts a special breed of American citizen and influences its adherents in unique ways.

     Most senior American Reservists, officer and enlisted, have experienced active service in uniform.  Many have several years of active service.  Many have combat experience.  All are volunteers.  This necessarily sets them apart from the vast majority of their fellow citizens who have never served.

     Most American Reservists also make substantial sacrifices in their personal lives and in their civilian professional/occupational lives in order to continue their military service on a part-time basis.  The extra pay is not an ultimate or defining value.  Often, the financial benefits associated with Reserve service are not part of their motive at all.  This is especially true among senior officers and non-commissioned officers.  The adventure element is important, but it alone cannot explain the sacrifices which are made.  The key is patriotic service.  As they have for over 200 years, most of America’s “citizen warriors” yearn to place themselves in the service of the nation.

     In my book Citizen Warriors, I tell the story of the development of the American Total Force Policy and the assignment during the last 15 years of the Cold War of major new responsibilities to our Reserve forces.  It is significant that from 1973 - - when the United States ended conscription - - until 1990, not a single American Reservist had been involuntarily called to active duty for an operational mission.  This inevitably led to a conclusion by many American military leaders that civilian leaders of the government would never activate Reservists, presumably because activation would be politically unpopular.

     All of this changed in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, which we called Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM.  The Gulf Conflict involved the largest activation and deployment of American National Guard and Reserve forces since the Korean War and the first presidential authorization to call up Reserve forces involuntarily  in over two decades.  More than 246,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from all of the military services were ordered to active duty.  Thousands of others volunteered.  Approximately 106,000 served in the Kuwait Theater of Operations.  They participated in all phases of the Persian Gulf crisis, from the initial response through the redeployment of forces.  They performed vital missions, including combat missions, combat support missions, and combat service support missions, as well as many administrative functions.  Seventy-two National Guardsmen and Reservists sacrificed their lives in the Gulf Conflict.

     During the administration of the current American Government, however, the historical reticence of political leaders to use military force generally and Reservists in particular, has given way to a tendency to employ military force, including the use of Reservists, as an early, rather than as a last policy option.

     In the 15 years between the U.S. exit from Vietnam and the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Armed Forces were sent on only 20 missions overseas.  During the decade of the 1990s, U.S. Armed Forces were sent on an unprecedented 48 overseas missions.30  The percentage of American military personnel deployed away from their home station at any one time in 1995 was twice what it was in 1991, the year of the Gulf War.31  At the same time, our Regular, or active-duty force has been reduced by 800,000 personnel, the number of Active Army divisions has been reduced from 18 to 10, the Air Force has lost half of its 24 fighter wings, and the number of Navy ships has gone from 567 to just over 300.32

    These developments have inevitably required the call to active duty of thousands of American Reservists.  The missions they have performed cover the waterfront.  In February, for example, 700 soldiers of the Texas National Guard flew to Bosnia for almost nine months of NATO peacekeeping operations.33  Last month, a Naval Air Reserve squadron returned home after conducting two months of operations over Iraq enforcing the “no-fly” zone north of the 36th parallel and monitoring Iraqi compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.34  Many Reservists have been activated several times in recent years.  While our new Army Chief of Staff recently announced his intention to limit Reserve deployments to 6 months, a senior official of the Clinton Administration has declared that American Reservists should expect to be involuntarily called to active duty at least once every five years.35

     Many American National Guardsmen and Reservists do, of course, volunteer for duty assignments in addition to their regular training.  Even for an operation as politically unpopular as that in Haiti, there were several hundred Reserve volunteers.  Unfortunately, the military skills of the volunteers often do not match those that are needed.  Since Reservists normally train as units, the performance of groups of individual Reserve volunteers can be uncertain.  And, despite the strong patriotism that runs through American Reserve ranks, it is very difficult for military force planners to confidently assume in advance the availability of sufficient numbers of Reserve volunteers with the proper skills for contingencies which are increasingly unpredictable.

     The involuntary activation of Reservists, especially for activities which do not involve important American security interests, which require deployments away from home for several months, and that in many cases have limited training value, is, in my opinion, a perversion of an important premise upon which the American Total Force Policy was originally based.  It is my further view that the overuse of National Guardsmen and Reservists, especially for operations which do not involve armed conflict, will result eventually and predictably in significant declines in the combat readiness and even the quality of American Reserve units.  This is not to say that peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and other “operations other than war” should never be engaged in, or that American Reservists should never be involuntarily activated for such operations, or that Reserve volunteers should not contribute to routine peacetime operations.  It is to say that the questions of why America is using its Armed Forces at all in a particular operation should dominate any consideration of the use of Reservists.

     The immediate danger in using American Reservists in prolonged operations where important American security interests are not at stake, is that it will reduce their readiness for clear-cut crises that do pose a direct threat to the interests of American and its allies, crises that do require the large scale and decisive use of military power which only America can provide.  We must remember that the United States has worldwide leadership responsibilities and is “the only guarantor of global peace and stability.”36  Limited training time for American Reservists does not expand merely because the intentions upon which a new peacetime mission is based are good.

     For years, the most serious readiness problem facing American Reservists has been the mismatch between the military skills in which individual Reservists have been trained and those which they need in order to perform their combat missions.  Active duty soldiers can be moved to units where their current skills are required.  Reserve soldiers are necessarily wedded to a unit near their civilian home.  Limited training time and other factors, such as the turbulence caused by frequent changes in mission assignments, reorganizations, new equipment, geographical moves related to civilian employment, and the scheduling of military training courses in formats, and at times inconvenient to Reservists, make it very difficult for them to keep their military occupational skills current.  Like any other skill or culture, combat skills and the warrior culture can be lost through inattention.  Military professionals understand that readiness for combat must always be first in priority.  General Douglas MacArthur reminded us long ago that “In no other profession are the penalties for employing untrained personnel so appalling or so irrevocable as in the military.”37

     The use of Reservists for peacetime operations that are not vital to American security interests also ignores an important fact of American Reserve service. American Reservists are highly imbued with a “can-do” attitude and they generally enjoy operational challenges.  In the absence of a clear crisis that commands broad national support, however, their civilian employers and their families are often much less enthusiastic about their absences from home for indefinite periods of time.  Reservists who are employed by the federal government, their state government, or a large corporation, may have an employer who is understanding and accommodating.  Reservists who are key employees in small businesses usually encounter a different reaction.   Reserve retention rates have already been affected.

    The dangers are real.  At some point, high quality American Reservists whose skills and experience make them the seedcorn for future combat leadership will reluctantly, but inevitably conclude that they simply do not have enough time to remain in the Armed Forces and to adequately fulfill commitments to their civilian careers, to their families, and to educational and other private needs.  The quality of the American Reserve components will deteriorate.  Our ability to protect national interests that are unequivocally “vital” and those interests of our allies which can only be protected with vigorous American assistance, will become seriously affected.
 I have been speaking thus far about the need for a new strategy on the use of military force and about some of the problems faced by the American Armed Forces as a result of the increased tempo of foreign operations in recent years.  I now want to turn to another subject which relates to the issue of the use of force.  I hope that you will forgive my candor, for it is the candor of a friend and it is meant to be constructive.  The issue is what Americans have for years called “burden-sharing .”

     I suppose that no alliance of nations can escape vigorous debate on the question of how much each nation should contribute to the alliance.  This issue was under vigorous discussion when I entered the Government 12 years ago.  Nevertheless, recent events are instructive.  Many American leaders are concerned that Europe generally is not paying its fair share of the economic and military costs of NATO.  It is a fact that the NATO air war against Yugoslavia last year was primarily a U.S. operation.  Nations other than the United States flew only 20% of the air strikes.38  NATO Secretary-General George Robertson has noted that European members of NATO sent to Kosovo less than 2% of the military personnel available to them.39  Per capita American spending on military forces is more than twice that of the European NATO average.40

     The weariness of the American Congress with the over commitment of U.S. forces abroad is growing and the discontent is not just among those who are predictably suspicious of any foreign involvement.  In a bipartisan vote early last month, the United States Senate Appropriations Committee voted 23 to 3 to cut off funding for U.S. forces in Kosovo on July 1 of next year unless there is express congressional authorization for the troops to stay longer.  The leader of the Senate was quoted as saying: “We have no long-term plan for Kosovo.  We don’t know how long we’re going or how much it’s going to cost.  Commitments are not being fulfilled by the Europeans, and that’s unacceptable.”41  A few days later, and in a bipartisan vote of 264 to 153, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Kosovo next April unless our new President certifies that our NATO allies are assuming more of the peacekeeping burden.

    The facts that (1) on May 17 the full Senate narrowly rejected the Kosovo deadline, and (2) that the congressional action was in part an effort to reassert congressional prerogatives on foreign policy matters, should not mask the point that an increasing number of Americans are very concerned about the proliferation of open-ended American commitments involving the deployment of U.S. military forces which lack both a strategic purpose by which success can be measured and an exit strategy.  Former American Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, for example, has warned that American leaders must take care not to treat humanitarian concerns as a magic recipe for the basic problem of establishing priorities in foreign policy.42  Asserting that leadership does not mean that Americans must do everything ourselves, Kissinger believes that before future deployments of American military force take place, American leaders must be able to answer three questions: “What consequences are we seeking to prevent?  What goals are we seeking to achieve?  In what way do they serve the national interest?”43

    So where does this leave us?  In a world where evil still exists, where people who hate the ideals upon which the Western Democracies are based have access to weapons of terror and destruction, what should be the over-arching goal of NATO?  By what criteria should NATO decide when to employ its military power?  And, what responsibilities can and should Reservists assume when military force is employed?

    I have implicitly assumed that NATO should be strengthened as “the West’s principal politico-military vehicle worldwide,”44 and I have suggested some of the answers to the other questions.  But, it is obvious that much work has yet to be done on these and related issues.  The broad task before our respective nations is nothing less than the design of a framework of international cooperation which will permit us to successfully deal with the increasingly unpredictable threats of the future.  The strengthening of NATO’s ability to act “out of area,” as it did implicitly during the Persian Gulf War, must be a critical part of our effort.  The exercise of military power still matters.

    We should not, however, be discouraged at the complexity of the challenges we face in the future.  Rather, we should recognize that we have within our grasp an extraordinary opportunity with which few generations have ever been presented - - an opportunity to shape a stable and more peaceful international order and to construct a new, international system for the post Cold War world in accordance with our own values and ideals.  We should also be thankful for the fact that this opportunity is presented during what has been called “a rare moment … in history when the acknowledged dominant global power seeks neither territory nor political empire.”45  The task will not be easy for civilian and military leaders, but the potential reward justifies all of the inevitable work.

    The Ancient Greeks had a perspective that is relevant here.  They believed that happiness is not based on material wealth, but rather that it results from the exercise of one’s vital powers along lines of excellence in a life affording them scope.  I believe that if they are used wisely, the military forces of NATO, including its citizen warriors, can and must continue to make critically important contributions to the security challenges of the future.  Fortunately, you have it within your power to provide something that has always been necessary since human conflict involved more than two people - - old fashioned leadership and the will to win.  A recent report of what is being called the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century stated this proposition well:  “For all that will be novel in the next century,” the Commission concluded, “some things will not change.”  As ever, “much will depend on the sagacity and good character of leadership.  Misunderstandings, misjudgments and mistakes will still occur, but so will acts of bravery borne on the insight of exceptional men and women.”46
In the years ahead, the freedom-loving peoples who you represent will continue to need for you to exercise your vital powers, your leadership, your skills, and your military experience along lines of excellence.  They will continue to need men and women in military uniform who are prepared to sacrifice much, and perhaps all, so that we can pass the fruits of freedom to the next generation.

    When I was serving in the Government, I used to regularly pass a large painting in the Pentagon that hangs across the hall from the office of the Secretary of Defense.  There are hundreds of paintings and works of combat art in the Pentagon, but this particular painting is the one which inspired me.  It shows a military family at prayer in a chapel.  Below the painting are the Biblical words from the 6th Chapter of Isaiah: “Who shall I send and who will go for us?  Here am I: send me.”47

    The complex, fast moving new world in which we live is going to provide many opportunities for each of the member nations of NATO to be engaged in matters which are important and which cry out for leadership and sacrifice.  If we take advantage of the opportunities; if we make plans in accordance with a clear and consistent set of principles; if the civilian leaders of our respective nations act with the kind of honesty and courage which is rightly expected of them; if our military forces remain capable of meeting any challenge; if we continue to step forward in times of crisis to say: “Here am I: send me,” then - - and only then - - will the security of the Free World be assured.  And, in making the efforts which are required, we can achieve the kind of happiness to which the Ancient Greeks referred.

    I salute each of you for your military service to our common cause.  And, I wish you well.  Good Luck!   Bon Chance!

President and Chief Executive Officer
Southeastern Computer Consultants, Inc.
United States of America


1. “Seeking a National Strategy,” U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, April 15, 2000, p. 5.

2. Michael R. Beschloss, Strobe Talbott, At the Highest Levels (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993), p.70.

3. Paul Mann, “Fathoming A Strategic World of ‘No Bear, But Many Snakes,’ Aviation Week & Space Technology (December 6, 1999), p. 62.

4. Id., at p. 64; Sean Paige, “Military Might,” Insight, June 5, 2000, p 12.

5. Governor George W. Bush, “A Period of Consequences,” Address at the Citadel, September 23, 1999.

6. Id.

7. The Associated Press, “Clark: NATO Needs a New Strategy for Applying Force,” European Stars and Stripes, April 28, 2000.

8. “”Joint Vision 2020,” May 30, 2000, p. 4.

9. Margaret Thatcher, Speech at a Congress of the New Atlantic Initiative, Prague, 11 May 1996.

10. Thomas E. Ricks, “For Pentagon, Asia Moving to Forefront,” The Washington Post, May 26, 2000, p. A1, A28.

11. See, e.g., John R. Bolton, “European Common Foreign Security and Defense Policies - - Implications for the United States and the Atlantic Alliance,” Statement before the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, November 10, 1999, p. 12.

12. “Seeking a National Strategy,” U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, supra., at p. 6.

13. Condoleezza Rice, “Promoting the National Interest,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2000, p. 47.

14. “Perry Delineates Haiti’s Place in National Interest,” Boston Globe, September 22, 1994, p.11.

15. Kay Halle, The Irrepressible Churchill (London: Robson Books, 1985), p. 226.

16. Richard Nixon, In the Arena (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), pp. 306, 313-314.

17. Id.

18. Richard Nixon, Beyond Peace (New York: Random House, 1994, p. 243).

19. George Bush, Address, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., January 5, 1993.

20. John F. Harris, “Clinton Warns Hill on Bosnia,” Washington Post, October 7, 1995, p. A22.

21. Thomas E. Ricks, Jeffrey H. Birnham, “Clinton Aides Hope D-Day Trip Will Establish a Beachhead with His Own Uneasy Military,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 1994, p. 16.

22. Doyle McManus, “U.S. Casts About For Anchor in Waters of Post-Cold War World,” Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2000, p.1.

23. Caspar Weinberger, Address, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., November 28, 1984.

24. Caspar W. Weinberger, “Losing Track of the Main Objective of War,” New York Times, April 12, 1999.

25. Id.

26. Id.

27. “Seeking a National Strategy,” U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, supra., at p. 7.

28. Id.

29. Id.

30. Rowan Scarborough, “Record Deployments Take Toll on Military,” Washington Times, March 28, 2000, p. 6.

31. Sam Walker, “A Few Good Men are Being Stretched Too Thin,” Christian Science Monitor, August 19, 1994, p. 1.

32. Rowan Scarborough, “Reord Deployments Take Toll on Military,” Washington Times, March 28, 2000, p. 6.

33. Steven Lee Myers, “Reservists’ New Role Transforms Military,” New York Times, January 24, 2000, p. 1.

34. Steve Vogel, “Military Matters,” Washington Post, May 18, 2000, p. VA8.

35. Reid K. Beveridge, “Guard, Reserve re-employment could be assured by Tricare,” Army Times, May 22, 2000, p. 62.

36. Condoleezza Rice, “Promoting the National Interest,” Foreign Affairs, supra., at p. 50.

37. Douglas MacArthur, Army Chief of Staff Annual Report, 1933.

38. “A Frank Message for Europe,” Los Angeles Times, May 11, 2000, p. 14.

39. Id.

40. Id.

41. Eric Schmitt, “Senators Reject A Deadline for Kosovo G.I.’s,” New York Times, May 19, 2000, p. 1.

42. Henry Kissinger, “No U.S. Ground Forces for Kosovo,” The Washington Post, February 22, 2000.

43. Id.

44. John R. Bolton, “European Common Foreign, Security, and Defense Policies - - Implications for the United States and the Atlantic Alliance,” supra., at p. 13.

45. “New World Coming,” U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, September 15, 1999, p. 2

46. Id., at p. 1.

47. Isaiah 6:8.

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