than as a group. The Task Force also recommends that the next round of NATOenlargement include one Baltic state, provided that the state demonstrates theability to meet the responsibilities of membership. However, the issue of Balticmembership should not be the exclusive or central focus of U.S. strategy towardnortheastern Europe. Rather, the focus should be a broader and multifaceted policyto enhance regional cooperation and stability.Finally, the Task Force believes that if its strategy is to succeed, the administrationneeds to develop stronger support for its policy, both within Congress and amongAmerica's European allies, and devote more resources to implementing it.Leslie H. Gelb President Council on Foreign Relations
The Task Force chairman and project director would like to thank the members of theTask Force for their helpful comments on various drafts of this report. We would alsolike to thank Leslie H. Gelb, president of the Council, who was instrumental in thecreation of the Task Force, and Paula J. Dobriansky, vice president and director of the Council's Washington Program, and her staff for arranging the Task Forcemeetings. Special thanks go to Daniel Fata, assistant to the vice president andWashington director of the Council, who served as Task Force rapporteur, for hisadministrative, editorial, and research assistance.We would also like to thank Daniel Rose and David Hale for sharing their ideas withus and for commenting on the report. Finally, we would like to thank the SmithRichardson Foundation and the Arthur Ross Foundation for their generous support of the Task Force.
The Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Northeastern Europe sponsoredby the Council on Foreign Relations was formed to examine the policy challengesconfronting the United States in northeastern Europe and recommend measures toadvance U.S. interests in the region.1 The Task Force felt that northeastern Europedeserves special attention for several reasons.First, during the Cold War, northeastern Europe was a strategic backwater andreceived relatively little attention in U.S. policy. However, since the end of the ColdWar, the region has become an important focal point of U.S. policy. The Clintonadministration has given northeastern Europe high priority and viewed the region asa laboratory for promoting closer regional cooperation and reknitting Europe -- botheastern and western -- into a more cohesive economic and political unit. AsSecretary of State Madeleine Albright noted in her speech in Vilnius, Lithuania, inJuly 1997, "Our challenge is to build a fully integrated Europe that includes everyEuropean democracy willing to meet its responsibilities. That goal embraces theBaltic nations." Thus, to some extent, northeastern Europe can be seen as a testcase for the Clinton administration's general approach toward post-Cold War Europe.Second, northeastern Europe is also a test case for the administration's policy towardRussia. One of the key elements of the administration's policy has been its effort toreach out to Russia and to include Russia in regional cooperation arrangements innortheastern Europe. This effort has been designed to integrate Russia gradually intoa broader European framework as well as to defuse Russian concerns about theintegration of the Baltic states into Euro-Atlantic institutions, especially NATO. Thispolicy is seen by the administration as a litmus test of its effort to overcome the oldzero-sum Cold War paradigm and demonstrate that greater regional cooperation can