The United States and NATO: The Way Ahead

WESLEY K. CLARK


From Parameters, Winter 1999-2000, pp. 2-14.


With NATO having just celebrated its 50th birthday, with the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall now upon us, and with NATO's historic coercive campaign against Serbia now rapidly becoming grist for the military historians' mill, the time seems right to pause and take stock of where the NATO Alliance stands and where it is headed, with particular attention to the American role.[1] In this article, I shall address six broad topics: the importance of Europe, security challenges facing NATO as it enters the new century, the state of the NATO Alliance today, Operation Allied Force, lessons from the recent Balkan conflicts, and winning in the 21st century.

The Importance of Europe

The figures speak volumes. US trade with Europe, amounting to over $250 billion annually, produces over three million domestic jobs. US companies employ three million people in Europe. One in 12 factory workers in the United States is employed by a European Union (EU) firm operating in this country, of which there are some 4,000. Half of the world's goods are produced by the United States and the EU. Ninety percent of humanitarian aid dispensed throughout the world comes from the United States and the EU. Companies from the EU form the largest investment block in 41 US states. Fifty-six percent of US foreign investment occurs in Europe. Europe buys 30 percent of US exports. We should note too the large oil and gas reserves in the North Sea and particularly in the Caspian basin that provide a strategic hedge against disruption of supplies from the Middle East.

What these figures reveal is the enormous degree of economic interdependence between Europe and the United States. The economic ties are complemented and reinforced, of course, by political, cultural, and diplomatic ties of long standing. The unity of vision and purpose shared by Europe and the United States provides enormous leverage as these partners act in concert to encourage peace and prosperity throughout the world. Thus the maintenance of political and economic stability in Europe remains in the forefront of America's national interests.

As a result of those interests, we have continued to maintain a strong military presence in Europe, though it is a far cry from the size of the US Seventh Army at the end of the Cold War, which amounted to 17 or 18 brigade equivalents. So far as force structure is concerned, we have two mechanized divisions in Germany, an airborne brigade in Italy, a brigade-size special forces unit, and assorted Reserve and National Guard personnel. The Air Force has two-plus fighter wings distributed in Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the UK, while the Navy maintains NATO-assigned aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean much of the time as well as a Marine Expeditionary Unit afloat. The numbers come to 65,000 personnel for the Army, 34,000 Air Force, 10,000 Navy and Marines, and 3,500 reserves, all embraced within a budget of some four billion dollars.

Figure 1. US European Command and NATO Commands.

US forces in Europe, though deeply interrelated to the NATO command structure, are not exclusively and automatically dedicated to NATO. The distinction is achieved through the maintenance of two separate command structures--the United States European Command (EUCOM) for US forces and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) for NATO commands--with dual-hatted commanders for several principal elements within the two structures (see Figure 1, above). For example, the commander of EUCOM also serves as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) within NATO. The commander of US Navy Europe (NAVEUR) also commands Allied Forces South (AFSOUTH) in NATO. The commander of US Army Europe (USAREUR) is in Bosnia serving as commander of NATO's stabilization force (SFOR).

EUCOM serves as the backbone for many elements of NATO, but the United States achieves additional leverage through its command of other national forces via the device of dual-hatting. All in all, the United States is making a preponderant contribution to the NATO Alliance.

Security Challenges Facing NATO at the Turn of the Century--and Beyond

We remain in a period of danger. Unlike those who believed that the end of the Cold War marked the end of serious security challenges, NATO's statesmen realized immediately that we had not after all reached the end of history. Other security problems were emerging, as they always have over the course of time, and simple prudence demanded that they be prepared for. But the probability of occurrence of particular kinds of conflict is different today than it was during the Cold War. The probability of local instabilities and insurgencies was quite high during the Cold War, with the chances for intra-failed state conflict, regional conflict, conventional war, and the ultimate horror--nuclear war--declining rather precipitately as one moved toward the more violent end of the spectrum of conflict. But in today's security milieu, lacking the superpower polarity that often served to impose tense order in a confrontational world, intra-failed state and regional conflicts are now joining with local instabilities and insurgencies to define the most likely forms of armed conflict. Our task is to deal with these dangers successfully, while preventing further movement toward the most serious manifestations of war.

Looking further down the road, we find other security challenges emerging. Regional instability such as we are seeing today in the Balkans will continue to be a problem and indeed may well intensify. The rapid proliferation of weapons of mass destruction--particularly chemical and biological--is becoming of paramount concern. Transnational threats--refugee movements, terrorism, criminal activity, environmental issues, scarcity of resources--are shouldering forward, demanding the attention of defense planners. The failure of democracy and liberal reform in states of the former Soviet Union could also pose dangerous security issues.

The State of the Alliance Today

In the face of such an evolving security environment, NATO has continuously adjusted its strategic concepts so as to remain current and relevant. NATO's present strategic concept, agreed upon at the Washington summit in April 1999, represents an evolutionary adaptation of post-Cold War policy. Its hallmarks are:

The revised strategic concept reflects a broad appreciation of security interests, recognizing that security is not the same thing as defense. Though we must have collective defense as the foundation of security, members understand that events adjacent to or near Alliance countries can have decided impacts upon NATO security itself.

Deterrence remains important. Though we have no nation as adversary at this time, it is vital to retain the means to deter the outbreak of conflict wherever it can affect security within the Alliance. We recognize also the essentiality of being able to respond militarily in rapid fashion, not only within the borders of NATO countries but also without. Accordingly, we are placing increasing emphasis on rapid-reaction forces.

Technological advancement, of course, has never moved faster than it is moving today. Technology offers challenges as well as opportunities, however, for it is not easy to keep the national militaries within the Alliance at the cutting edge of modernization and also interoperable with each other. It is important for the European pillar of the Alliance to do more in this regard.

In sum, NATO's strategic vision has evolved from a single-minded focus on the threat from the east, as prevailed during the Cold War, to a European Security and Defense Identity, more expansive in concept and focused on no identified enemy. This is what both Europe and the United States want. It is time to halt the reduction of resources dedicated to defense--the so-called peace dividend--and face up to the reality that in this still dangerous world security never comes cheap.

Though the Alliance has no standing enemy, it will in the ebb and flow of events find its attention fixed at times on a particular nation or region. Such is the case today, with the former Yugoslavia having already spawned two conflicts that demanded NATO's intervention and with the still unsettled nature of events there showing every promise of requiring long-term Alliance involvement.

Figure 2. Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Surrounding Region.

In Croatia (Figure 2, above) we have a state attempting to become a democracy, living with the aftermath of war, facing elections in late 1999, governed by a hard-line party, and headed by a president whose health problems have continued to inhibit his coming to grips with the need for democratization in his country. In Bosnia, we still have 30,000 NATO and associated troops on the ground. A three-member rotating presidency is in place, representing the Bosnian, Croat, and Serb constituencies. Encouragingly, it held together despite the enormous stresses imposed by the war in Kosovo. Refugees are returning, though some remain displaced. The armed forces are increasingly under control. A recent Balkan stability summit brought progress in terms of calls for reductions of those forces. But we cannot yet claim true reconciliation in Bosnia, even though the people there are growing accustomed to the taste of peace thanks to NATO's work in the region.

Montenegro, which was drawn reluctantly into the conflict in Kosovo, remains a province of the so-called Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The president, Milo Djukanovic, governs an uneasy coalition, with one major coalition partner striving for independence while he himself works to remain within the Serbia-Montenegro federation even as he attempts to wrest concessions from Belgrade.

Albania, though not a part of the former Yugoslavia, was caught up in the spreading Balkan problem. Its government collapsed in early 1997, leading to intervention by Italian forces to restore stability. After withdrawal of the Italians in the fall of 1997, the viability of the government remained tenuous. Then came the Kosovo crisis and the consequent flood of refugees across the border into Albania. The Albanians urgently appealed to NATO for assistance, which was provided. Adjacent to Albania is Macedonia, formerly a part of Yugoslavia, but now a free and democratic state. US troops have been on the ground there since 1993 as part of a UN stabilization and security mission, which correctly anticipated the subsequent flow of events. Macedonia, despite the very real centrifugal political forces loosed in the country, managed to hold together during the Kosovo conflict.

Finally, of course, there are Serbia and Kosovo. In Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic remains in power. The economy is devastated as a result of his exposing the nation's instruments of production to NATO attacks. The people are restive and concerned about the winter season now upon them. Milosevic is still doing his best to keep his hands on the reins of power. At the center of all the furor is Kosovo itself. We have there today over 30,000 NATO troops on the ground, along with a small Russian contingent. Refugees have flowed back in the largest spontaneous reverse diaspora since the post-World War II era. The people have returned, and the sorting-out process is now proceeding.

Operation Allied Force

That is the situation in the Balkans as it exists today. But let's now flash back to the spring of 1998 to see how NATO conceptualized its response to the emerging conflict in Kosovo. Planning proceeded along the following strategic axes:

We had recognized on 24 March 1999, when the first bomb dropped on Yugoslavia, that an air campaign in isolation would not be enough to deter Slobodan Milosevic. We also had to impose diplomatic and physical isolation on the federal government of Yugoslavia, letting it know there would be no succor from any quarter and that the country would be exposed to the full brunt of NATO's power. We also had to make provision for humanitarian relief to refugees, a lesson learned from Bosnia. Finally, we had to keep the lid on in Bosnia itself, continuing to implement the Dayton Peace Agreement signed back on 21 November 1995. Thus the NATO headquarters was extraordinarily busy with these multiple tasks.

Our plan was to mount a steadily escalating series of steps designed to increase pressure on Milosevic in order to secure heightened diplomatic, psychological, and physical leverage. The first step was to be persuasion--diplomacy backed by threat (discussion of the air threat occurred in June 1998 followed by issuance of the air threat in October 1998). The second step was to be coercion--diplomacy backed by force (the air campaign commenced on 24 March 1999 with a ground threat possible in June 1999). The third step, should it prove necessary, would be forcible territorial seizure and securing by ground operations as backed by appropriate diplomacy.

The actual implementation of the diplomacy as contemplated above proved most instructive. We tried to persuade President Milosevic not to use military forces against the Kosovar rebels. He wasn't persuaded. Accordingly, in October 1998, NATO issued an activation order for a forthcoming air campaign. General Klaus Naumann, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Javier Solana, NATO Secretary General, and I as SACEUR traveled to Belgrade to confer with Milosevic on several occasions. On 25 October, we issued the air threat directly to him, and it resulted in a respite of some two to four months in the Kosovo fighting. After Milosevic had signed off on his promises to NATO, he offered us brandy and we sat around talking in a philosophical vein. He said, "We know how to deal with the problem of these Albanians. We've done this before." We asked where. "In the Drenica region in central Kosovo in 1946," he told us. We asked what the solution was. He said right out: "We killed them. We killed them all. It took several years, but eventually we killed them all. And then we had no problem."

After this chilling conversation, we knew that the clock was ticking. Sure enough, by March of the next year we were into a campaign of coercion--diplomacy backed by force. The intent was to:

It was vitally important that the air campaign--fittingly called Operation Allied Force--be a success. Accordingly, we established several goals to satisfy our notion of success, calling them measures of merit:

Each of these goals was important. It was paramount that we avoid losses. Why? Because in an air campaign you don't want to lose aircraft. When you start to lose these expensive machines the countdown starts against you. The headlines begin to shout, "NATO loses second aircraft," and the people ask, "How long can this go on?" The answer had to be, "It can go on indefinitely, whatever time it takes to compel Milosevic to comply with the will of the international community." But all realized it could not go on indefinitely if we were suffering a succession of aircraft losses. Moreover, the same argument applied if we were losing air crewmen. Thus the extraordinary steps to avoid losses.

So far as the other measures of success were concerned, obviously we had to hit, hurt, and inhibit the Serb forces in Kosovo because Serbian actions there were the casus belli itself. Of course, we wanted to strike hard at the strategic and infrastructure targets throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but the attacks on these fixed targets were relatively easy compared to gripping the tactical forces themselves. It was unheard-of for an air component to wage a full and successful tactical campaign against fielded land forces without benefit of a ground component. We knew it would be a huge challenge, particularly given the topographical and vegetative features of the terrain, which lent themselves to enemy cover, concealment, and camouflage.

The minimization of civilian casualties and damage to civilian structures and property--whether Serb or Kosovar--was very high on our priority list. This was so for both humanitarian and political reasons. Any lack of discrimination between legitimate military targets and off-limits civilian areas would have undercut our efforts to explain what we were doing and maintain public support.

The final measure of success, no less important than the others, was the maintenance of Alliance cohesion. In planning and waging Operation Allied Force, it was necessary to consider the views and sensitivities of Alliance members because a united effort over the long haul was an essential precondition for achievement of military and political goals.

Operation Allied Force consisted of two simultaneous air lines of operation--a strategic attack on Serbia itself and a tactical attack in Kosovo. The strategic attack targeted Serbia's integrated air defenses, command and control structures, Yugoslav army and Ministry of Interior forces, war-sustaining infrastructure and resources, and military supply routes. In Kosovo, the attacks were designed to degrade, isolate, and interdict Serbian forces.

- Beginning
24 March
Ending
10 June
Strike 121 355
Air to Air 56 120
Reconnaissance / Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 26 72
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses / Jamming 55 74
Tanker 66 228
Other Support 42 63
Total Aircraft 366 912
Cruise Missile Platforms 10 17

Figure 3. Growth of Air Assets.

From the inception of the air campaign, it was our intention to make it serious, sustained, and intensifying. Between kick-off on 24 March and termination on 9 June, the total number of aircraft employed almost tripled--from 366 to 912 (Figure 3, above). These figures would have risen still further had Milosevic not capitulated when he did. Early in the campaign, reporters kept asking us how many sorties and how many strikes were launched, showing an almost endless fascination with the numbers. To accommodate them, we kept tabs. The final figures revealed over 37,000 sorties, with almost 11,000 strike sorties flown and over 23,000 bombs and missiles launched (Figure 4, below).

Total Sorties Flown......................... 37,465
Strike Sorties Flown........................ 10,808
Ordnance Expended:
----------- . 23,000+ Bombs and Missiles
----------- . 35% Precision-Guided Munitions
----------- . 329 Cruise Missiles

Figure 4. Air Operations Snapshot.

Looking at the number of strike sorties as they were distributed over the course of the campaign, we see that the manned aircraft strike sorties increased from about 100 per day in the beginning to close to 500 on some days in the latter stage (Figure 5, below). The figures varied day by day depending on weather conditions and the nature of the targets. We used a lot of cruise missiles early in the campaign when the targets were more suitable, but discontinued their use later. Out of all the devastation from the air implicit in the foregoing numbers, there were only 20 incidents of significant collateral damage. I don't believe any other air campaign in history achieved this degree of precision.

Manned
Aircraft

-

-

Cruise
Missiles

Figure 5. Strike Sorties by Date.

The air staffers who planned those missions and the airmen who flew them did an absolutely superb job. The men and women who flew our aircraft daily into the skies over Yugoslavia are the real heroes of this campaign. They are for the most part anonymous. Their identities were kept confidential to avoid putting their families at risk. But they flew over Yugoslavia day after day, night after night, facing continuous antiaircraft missile fire. Despite the fact that none of our pilots lost their lives, there were numerous close encounters in which aircraft were banged up and almost lost. It was a tough fighting environment, and the success of our pilots is a great testament to their skill and courage.

We need to ask ourselves why the war ended when it did. Why did Milosevic toss in the towel? The best explanation is that he had finally run out of options. Early on, he had any number of hopes. Maybe NATO would not muster the will to bomb despite its threats to do so. If NATO did send bombers, maybe he could shoot them down in politically telling numbers. Or maybe the bombs wouldn't be accurate and he could absorb them. Maybe he could embarrass the Alliance so that domestic support would erode and cohesion disappear. Maybe other nations would rally to his side and provide assistance. Maybe he would defeat the Kosovar forces and all resistance would collapse. Maybe he could destabilize the entire region and NATO would be too distracted to focus on Serbia. But in the end all those maybes came to naught. The only option left to him was to accept NATO's conditions. He waited until the last possible time to accept those conditions and still have a chance to retain power. That was his cold calculation, explaining why--despite telling General Naumann and me in January 1999 that keeping Kosovo was more important than saving his head--in the end he gave up Kosovo in an attempt to save his head.

Lessons from the Balkan Conflicts

What did we learn from the Kosovo experience? First, it became apparent that rapid, sustained, and detailed planning was an absolute must. As mentioned earlier, starting in the spring of 1998 NATO headquarters commenced detailed planning, constantly updating provisional plans in the light of breaking events, and it continued such work at a feverish pace virtually non-stop through the end of September. Second, we learned that contrary to expectations, NATO even in post-Cold War Europe must maintain real warfighting capabilities: rapid reaction forces with deployable command and control; Alliance intelligence fusion; air-ground reconnaissance; all-weather, full-spectrum engagement capabilities; and interoperable, survivable, sustainable forces.

In particular, intelligence had to be available, not just strategic warning indicators but hard data for immediate targeting. To accomplish this, we had to use air to conduct reconnaissance of the ground. The ideal instrument for this mission proved to be unmanned aerial vehicles, which we deployed and used effectively for the first time in combat. Also, we had to be able to engage the enemy, not just in the bright, clear weather conditions like those in the American southwest where US forces train, but also in the soup, where visibility was poor or nonexistent. In short, Kosovo confronted NATO and the men and women who served in its forces with a real warfighting experience.

I'd also like to glance at a few of the lessons drawn from Bosnia, because what we've been doing in Bosnia for some time has relevance to our present task in Kosovo. Many have an impression of peacekeeping as consisting of soldiers patrolling along a cease-fire line, driving back and forth in jeeps while exuding good will to the locals. But the reality in Bosnia is quite different, presenting a far more complex picture than simple peacekeeping. By way of example, consider three vignettes: the Serb "rally" at Banja Luka; the seizure of Serb radio-television transmission towers; and an unfortunate incident involving returning Serbs at Drvar.

On 6 September 1997, just before the local Bosnian elections, the hard-line parties in the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic) announced a special Republika-wide "rally" for the election in Banja Luka. We knew that the gathering was more than a mere rally because the day before we had seized a cache of police uniforms and weapons. There was thus very good reason to believe that this so-called peaceful rally was in fact dedicated to overthrowing the moderate Serb Co-President, Biljana Plavsic. The situation presented a tricky military problem, because how can peacekeeping forces properly take action against what is represented as a democratic rally? The call had gone out for all "courageous and intelligent Serbs" to get on a bus, travel to Banja Luka, and be with their brothers--and get paid 200 to 400 Deutsche marks for the experience. From all over Bosnia, 250 busses loaded up and started to move.

In the meanwhile, as we worked to coalesce political opinion against the rally on the basis that it represented a threat to democracy and stability in Republika Srpska, we were able to delay the arrival of the busses using nonlethal means. We successfully fostered broad public sentiment that the rally was not only unnecessary but illegal and threatening as well. And so it came about that by about 1800 hours on 8 September the rally was effectively banned by Bosnian Serb police.

The hard-line Serb leader Momcilo Krajisnik attempted to hold the rally anyway. He stood in the square with 400 supporters, surrounded by 1,500 hostile Serbs who supported the moderate Serb president Madam Plavsic, and was literally booted off the stage. He took refuge in a nearby hotel, and the next day Milosevic called me, saying, "You must protect his life." We asked, "Who's in the hotel with him?" Milosevic said, "Oh, just some armed guards and other people. But he is in danger, he is president, and he must be treated with respect." NATO thus found itself in the position of assisting and protecting the very same hard-line Bosnian Serb leader who had been a consistent opponent of NATO forces. The episode was the gravest defeat of radical Serb forces in the entire five-year campaign, and it was inflicted by other Bosnian Serb forces assisted by NATO. The Banja Luka incident demonstrated that if peacekeeping forces have mobility, information superiority, interoperability, and sublethal means of engagement, they can win in situations where nobody even knows there's been a fight.

The second illustrative peacekeeping vignette from Bosnia relates to the disruptive influence of Serb radio and television. A few weeks after the incident in Banja Luka, Carlos Westendorp, the EU Peace Envoy and High Representative in Bosnia, called me and said, "You've got to help me with Serb radio-television--it's undercutting democracy." Under the authority provided by the North Atlantic Council, I spoke to Secretary General Javier Solana, and we agreed that we would seize control of the television transmission towers at Duga Niva, Udrigovo, Trebevic, and Leotar.

The planning began at 1900 hours on the evening of 30 September 1997 in SFOR headquarters. The order to execute went out after midnight, and at 0500 hours the next morning Italian, Spanish, and US forces moved out to take the towers, each of which was guarded by a small Serb contingent. We knew the routes and moved to each site with an overwhelming display of force, knocked on the door of the security huts, and said simply, "Why don't you come out and join us for breakfast--we have some hot coffee." The Serbs looked at our tanks and armored personnel carriers, glanced at their puny AK-47s, and then said, "We'd love some hot coffee!" They walked away from the towers, and that was it. The operation attracted virtually no headlines but had a huge favorable impact in Bosnia. The key lessons were the need for rapid, flexible planning, interoperability, effective engagement capability, mobility, and survivability.

The final illustrative vignette from Bosnia occurred on 24 April 1998, even as the situation in Kosovo was heating up. It did not work out successfully like the earlier two. It was our policy to encourage all minority refugees to return to the home areas from which they had fled. In Drvar, a group of hard-line Croats decided they would get rid of the returning Serbs. Outside Croats, unfamiliar to us and the local authorities, infiltrated the town and gathered into an unruly crowd. They produced incendiary devices and proceeded to burn some 100 Serb homes plus several vehicles, moving along planned routes. The Canadian battalion responded, but only after the crowd had begun to leave. Lacking nonlethal capabilities, the battalion would have been unable to prevent the violence within acceptable limits of coercion.

The result was a huge setback for the refugee repatriation effort in Bosnia. It stopped the endeavor almost cold for nine months, giving hard-line leaders on all sides new life and encouragement. In drawing lessons from the Drvar incident, we find affirmed the essentiality of local intelligence, sublethal engagement capability, interoperability, and rapid response, all of which were lacking or inadequate in this instance. NATO is engaged in a continuous process of analyzing its Balkan operations, drawing the relevant lessons and disseminating them through national channels. We will doubtless confront similar challenges again in the future.

On a more general level, a paramount lesson we derive from the Balkan experience is the incredible complexity of military operations. Every decision, every act, every event reverberates with tactical, operational, strategic, and even political implications. The military commander must attend to all four. No matter how small or insignificant an event may seem in the traditional military sense, the commander will discover that in today's security milieu that minor event may suddenly become the object of consuming interest at the highest councils of state.

Winning in the 21st Century

Looking ahead into the next century, we see a growing need for rapid-reaction forces within the Alliance. Though we must retain main defense forces as a hedge against uncertainty--against the worst possible contingencies--we are going to have to acquire the tools to deal with the far more likely crisis and conflict scenarios outside of NATO territory. Thus there will be a strong new effort to strengthen the reaction forces in NATO member nations, forces that can be moved quickly to deal with local instabilities and insurgencies, failed state situations, and regional conflicts in areas that can affect NATO security.

At the Washington summit, NATO members adopted the Defense Capabilities Initiative, conceived to produce reaction forces that can respond to any possible challenge by overmatching the opponent in size, technology, readiness, and training. These reaction forces would possess information superiority, interoperability, sustainability, broad-spectrum engagement capability, survivability, and mobility. This is what it will take to win NATO's battles in the next century, and I believe we're on track to obtain such capabilities. NATO's force goals and force planning process, guided by the concept of a European Security and Defense Identity, will produce the forces we need to implement NATO's new strategic concept.

Clearly, European security remains vital to US interests, and we can never safely remain indifferent to security in that region out of a misbegotten yearning to return to the isolationism of the 1930s. Second, in pursuing its policy of engagement, it is critical for the United States to work through NATO so as to benefit from the huge leverage that such association brings. Finally, it is inevitable and proper that both NATO and the NATO-US relationship continue to evolve over time. Evolution and adaptation of the comfortable security fixtures of the past should be no cause for concern, for through such prudent adjustments we equip ourselves to confront the flux of events that time shall surely bring.


NOTE

1. This article was adapted from General Clark's conference presentation at the University of Chicago's Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies on 4 August 1999. The conference, titled "The Future of the US Military Presence in Europe," was sponsored by the Harris Graduate School, the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, the Office of the Chief of Staff of the US Army, and the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College. General Clark's presentation will also appear in the conference proceedings being published by the Strategic Studies Institute (forthcoming).


General Wesley K. Clark became the Supreme Allied Commander Europe on 11 July 1997. He is also the Commander-in-Chief, United States European Command.

General Clark's last assignment was as Commander-in-Chief, United States Southern Command, Panama, from June 1996 to July 1997, where he commanded all US forces and was responsible for the direction of most US military activities and interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. His previous assignment was as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy, J5, the Joint Staff (April 1994 - June 1996) where he was the staff officer responsible for worldwide politico-military affairs and US military strategic planning. He also led the military negotiations for the Bosnian Peace Accords at Dayton.

In addition to his work on the Joint Staff, his other major staff assignments have included service as Deputy Chief of Staff for Concepts, Doctrine, and Developments, US Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia (October 1991 - August 1992), Chief of the Army's Study Group, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army (October 1983 - July 1984); Chief, Plans Integration Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (July 1983 - September 1983). He was a company commander in the 1st Infantry in Vietnam in 1969-70.

General Clark is a 1966 graduate of the US Military Academy. He holds a master's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He is a graduate of the National War College, Command and General Staff College, armor officer advanced and basic courses, and Ranger and Airborne schools. General Clark was a White House Fellow in 1975-76 and served as a Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He has also served as an instructor and later assistant professor of social science at the US Military Academy.


Reviewed 18 November 1999. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil