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NATO (реферат)

The Dutch decision to join the Atlantic Alliance was opposed only by the Communist party, and has never been seriously questioned. The original support for NATO should be understood against the backdrop of, on the one hand, gratitude for the American effort to liberate the Netherlands in 1945 and for Marshall Plan aid for rebuilding the ruined Dutch economy, tempered only marginally by anger over American pressure to end the successful military actions against Indonesian insurgents and, on the other hand, of growing anxiety over Soviet imperialism, fuelled particularly by the Commu­nist take-over in Czechoslovakia in 1948. Perhaps the Dutch embraced NATO membership because it allowed them to continue as a naval power by compensating for the loss of the colonies .

Despite later criticisms of the participation in NATO by the then dictatorial regimes of Portugal and Greece, despite opposition to American involvement in Indo-China and Latin America, and even despite misgivings over NATO's nuclear strategy, public support for NATO membership has never wavered. The percentage in favour of leaving the Alliance has never exceeded 20 per cent, and no major party has ever advocated withdrawal from NATO, not even a 'French', partial, one. Especially during the first decades of the Alliance, the Netherlands acted as a particularly staunch ally and a loyal supporter of US leadership in the Alliance.

The Dutch share in NATO's defence expenditures has always been relatively high compared with that of other smaller member states such as Belgium, Turkey, Greece, Denmark, or Norway. The Dutch were among the 15 countries that joined the USA in the Korean War (a UN mission de iure, a US mission de facto). In 1957 the Netherlands wasted no time in becoming the first European ally to accept American nuclear missiles on its territory. While other member states demanded a say in the engagement) of such weaponry ('dual key'), the Dutch would have been happy to leave this responsibility entirely to the US government. Another quarrel with the Americans about Dutch colonialism, this time about the Dutch—Indonesian conflict over Papua New Guinea in 1961—2, did little to weaken the Dutch enthusiasm for the Atlantic Alliance. The long-serving Foreign Secretary, Joseph Luns (1956—71) stead-fastly refused to convey the protests of the Dutch Parliament over American intervention in Vietnam to Washington. As we shall discuss in the following section, the Dutch government always objected to plans for European rather than Atlantic defence arrangements, and served almost as an American proxy in the EC. One author even struggled to find a distinction between the Dutch role of faithful ally and that of a vassal or satellite state: the submission of .the Dutch to American leadership, he suggests, was not imposed, but voluntary[i].

With the retirement of Luns as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1971, the Dutch role as America's small but staunch ally abruptly came to an end. Over strong objections by the USA, the Dutch government supported acceptance of the People's Republic of China as a member of the UN in 1971. Luns's successors as Foreign Secretary had fewer misgivings about decrying US overt and covert involvement in Latin America, and particularly in Vietnam. One of them, Max van der Stoel, took pride in labelling the Netherlands a 'critical ally'. In 1975 the Dutch even targeted Cuba as one of the countries on which to concentrate its development aid. Within NATO the change in Dutch policy is evidenced by an increased emphasis on arms control negotiations, and in particular on reduction of nuclear weapons. The proposed deployment in 1977-8 of the 'neutron bomb', or the 'enhanced radiation, reduced blast' weapon as it was called officially, met with strong public opposition in the Netherlands. More than 1.2 million citizens signed petitions against the neutron bomb, which probably contributed to the vote in the Dutch Parliament not to accept the proposals by the Carter administration. The episode of the neutron bomb is important, because the issue ('a bomb that kills people, but saves property') served to mobilise a large portion of the population into what became known as 'the peace movement': a loose coalition of Left-wing political parties, trade unions, fringe groups, and individuals, dominated by two organisations linked to the churches in the Netherlands, the Catholic Pax Christi and the ecumenical Interchurch Peace Council (IKV). The fact that President Carter eventually decided to shelve plans for the produc­tion and the deployment of the neutron bomb was interpreted by the peace movement as a victory, and reinforced its resolve.

Only one year later, in December 1979, NATO took its so-called dual-track decision: the pursuit of multilateral arms reduction coupled to the modernisation of the Alliance's long-range theatre nuclear weapons. As part of the deployment of 572 new nuclear delivery systems, the Dutch were to accept the stationing of 48 cruise and Pershing II missiles on Dutch territory. The Dutch government made formal reservations to these plans in what became known as 'the Dutch footnote' to the protocol of the NATO meeting. Despite these reservations the government narrowly escaped a vote of no confidence in the following parliamentary debate. Actually, the Dutch footnote was the first step of what was to become one of the classic examples of' 'depoliticisation' in Dutch politics.

Domestic opposition to the cruise missiles was fierce. More and more people rallied around IKV's slogan, 'Rid the world of nuclear weapons; starting with the Netherlands' (surveys showed that more than half the population agreed with the catch phrase). In 1981 about 400000 people participated in a demonstration against the missiles in Amsterdam; the following year 550000 people marched through The Hague in a similar demonstration; and in 1983 3.2 million Dutch citizens petitioned the government to reject NATO's nuclear modernisation. Of the major parties, the Labour Party was adamantly opposed to the missiles (but one third of its voters favoured accepting the weapons on Dutch territory) and made its position a major plank in its platform. The Liberal Party welcomed the NATO plans (but one third of its voters rejected the missiles), and the CDA was divided. For the Christian Democrats the issue was particularly threatening: we have already mentioned the involvement of the churches in the peace movement. The Dutch Reformed Church had already rejected the use of nuclear weapons as un-Christian in 1962. Moreover, the NATO decision came at a particularly awkward moment for the Christian Democrats. The CDA had only just been formed and had not really amalgamated yet. A group ofMPs and party activists, especially from the former ARP, feared (correctly, as it later turned out) that the new party would shift to the right. They opposed the formation of a governing coalition with the VVD in 1977, and they now used the issue of the cruise missiles to strengthen their position within the party. Following its reservations in the Dutch footnote, the govern­ment sought to depoliticise the issue by postponing a decision: each year it announced to its NATO partners that a decision would be taken next year. Eventually, in 1984, this position became untenable within the Alliance. Prime Minister Lubbers then came up with one of the most ingenious depoliticisation ploys in the history of consociationalism: a final decision to accept the American missiles was to be postponed one more year. If, by 1 November 1985, the Soviets had not increased the number of their SS-20 missiles, the Dutch would refuse to accept the missiles, whereas an increase in the number of Soviet missiles would lead to automatic acceptance of the cruise and Pershing II missiles. In practice this clever manoeuvre shifted responsibility for Dutch foreign policy to the Kremlin! After a year the Soviets appeared to have added to the number of their missiles, and without any significant protest it was decided to accept the American weapons. Shortly thereafter Gorbachev and Reagan reached an arms reduction agreement, making the Netherlands the only NATO country that had accepted the Pershing II and cruise missiles, but where they never arrived.

The Dutch opposition to the neutron bomb, and the subsequent reluctance to accept their share of the cruise missiles, have led to the diagnosis of 'Hollanditis', a supposedly contagious Dutch disease. Laqueur and others have speculated about a re-emergence of the tradition of neutralist abstentionism, now that both gratitude for American aid and fear of Soviet expansionism have waned. Such a diagnosis can be valid only if it is accepted that the penchant for neutralism disappeared when the Netherlands joined the Atlantic Alliance. Neutralism can then be said to have been pushed to the background by the exceptional circumstances of the first post-war decades. Now that things are returning to normal, the Dutch return to neutralism. If, on the other hand, we agree with the view that NATO only provided the security umbrella under which the Dutch could continue to foster their aloofness from power politics, the Dutch misgivings about nuclear weapons cannot be interpreted in this way. In this respect it is interesting to note that, whilst the percentage of the population agreeing that NATO contributes to detente in Europe dropped from 65 in 1968 to 39 in 1978, the proportion of the population in favour of continued membership of NATO did not decrease significantly.

Most observers disagree with the Hollanditis diagnosis, whether they think that neutralism was abandoned when the Dutch joined NATO or not. There are three major counter-arguments to the Hollanditis thesis. Some argue that the shift from staunch to critical, or even reluctant, ally should not be interpreted as a sign of neutralist abstentionism, but as a development towards a less submissive attitude, and a more activist role of the Dutch government in international affairs. If there is a return to old traditions at all, the Dutch opposition to NATO's nuclear deterrent fits in with the moralist or idealist orientation of Dutch foreign policy. That is why the churches are involved; that is why opposition to the missiles was closely related to a stronger emphasis on human rights and development aid (see below). One author even speculates that the changes in foreign policy are caused by post-colonial guilt, felt in particular by Social Democratic Cabinet Ministers .

It is also argued that the more critical posture of the Dutch government within the Alliance should not be explained in terms of Dutch foreign policy traditions. If they are traditions at all, they arc traditions of the foreign policy elite, not of the general public. More than other policy areas, foreign policy has always been in the hands of a small, close-knit establishment. In general, foreign policy was not the subject of conflicts between the political parties, with few notable exceptions (such as rows over a Dutch embassy at the Holy See in the 1920s). Foreign policy-making was also not embedded in a neo-corporatist network of interest groups and advisory councils. In many respects foreign policy making was the last remnant of a nineteenth-century style in politics: elitist and non-partisan. This changed abruptly in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Foreign policy-making did not escape this change. As a result of politicisation and polarisation the political parties, and in particular the Labour Party, developed and emphasized their own partisan proposals for the Netherlands' external relations. In the population at large 'action groups' became more vocal and visible, and some of them sought to change the country's foreign policy. Popular disenchant­ment with the Dutch role as America's staunch ally is thought to have resulted from factors such as the coming of age of a new generation that had not itself experienced the Second World War, the revulsion arising from the widely televised atrocities of the Vietnam war, and exasperation with the ongoing arms race.

It is this 'domesticisation of foreign policy that is often held responsible for the change in Dutch foreign policy. Support for this view can be found in the fact that the return from politicisation and polarisation to the original 'rules of the game', was followed by a less 'deviant' position of the Netherlands within NATO. It can also be argued, however, that the removal of the nuclear missiles from the international agenda made such a return to the mainstream of NATO possible, and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact since Gorbachev came to power in 1985 may even have brought the mainstream of NATO closer to the Dutch position. The position of the Netherlands within the Alliance in the late 1980s and early 1990s is best illustrated by the opposition, on the one hand, to President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, and the reversal, on the other hand, of an earlier decision to scrap the nuclear capabilities of the F-16 jet-fighters and Orion anti-submarine planes.

Both these counter-arguments accept that a change in Dutch foreign policy has taken place, but disagree with interpreting the change as a return to neutralist abstentionism. However, the strongest argument against the Hollanditis diagnosis comes from those observers who argue that, in practice, the changes in the foreign policy of the Dutch government have been only marginal. They argue that, pressured by domestic critique of NATO's nuclear strategy, the Dutch government paid lip service to the ideal of nuclear disarmament, while continuing its support of NATO. Perhaps the only difference with other member states was the impact of public opinion on the Dutch government. But if this resulted in the official rhetoric being neutralist, so the argument goes, the reality was not so affected. Voorhoeve, for one, does not concur with the popular description of Dutch security policy after 1970 as that of a critical or reluctant ally. Himself a member of the opposition at the time, he writes of the Cabinet that is held most responsible for the changes in the country's foreign policy: 'They left not only staunch NATO supporters, but also the disarmament lobby highly dissatisfied. By steering in-between these extremes, the Den-Uyl Government had simply changed the country from a "super-loyal" into a "normal" ally'. In support of this analysis he points to the cuts in the Dutch defence budget in the mid-1970s which have often been used as evidence of Hollanditis. Whilst such cuts may have been important in absolute terms, they were not greater than in many other NATO countries. On the contrary, the relative contribution of the Dutch to NATO's defence expenditure increased slightly during the 1970s, whereas that of countries such as the US or the UK decreased at the time.

Реферат на тему: NATO (реферат)

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