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US Department of Defense,
1 December 2000

Strengthening Transatlantic Security
A U.S. Strategy for the 21st Century
Engagement with Ukraine

The United States seeks to help Ukraine preserve its independence and sovereignty, fulfill its legitimate security needs, and play a constructive role in regional political, military, and economic stability. Ukraine’s long border with Russia and the important and complex—albeit sometimes
problematic—relations between them must be taken into account in our overall strategy toward Ukraine. However, we must keep in mind the important differences between the two and not base our policies toward one on the presumed reaction of the other. Indeed, we do not regard our
relations with these countries as a “zero sum” game, wherein efforts to help Ukraine move closer to Euro-Atlantic structures must come at the expense of parallel efforts with Russia. If anything, the opposite is true: our efforts with each should be mutually reinforcing.

In the security realm, U.S. strategy focuses on helping Ukraine re-structure its forces to make them increasingly interoperable with NATO and other Partners. In this regard we want to assist Ukraine in carrying out needed reforms of its defense establishment. These include the insti-tutionalization
and effective practice of civilian control over the military and greater openness in the military establishment as a whole. In addi-tion, Ukraine’s defense establishment must be sized and resourced in a realistic manner that reflects a comprehensive assessment of Ukraine’s security environment and is consistent with its overall national priori-ties of economic reform and revitalization.

To achieve these goals, we are proceeding on a bilateral track that involves a range of activities agreed by USCINCEUR and the Ukrainian Chief of Defense that includes:

- Bringing together senior U.S. and Ukrainian commanders and their staffs to discuss issues such as the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the defense ministry and general staff in a manner that promotes effective civilian control.

- Providing military education and training enhancements for Ukrainian officers and non-commissioned officers. This includes Ukrainian participation in courses at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany and at Harvard University’s “Generals’ Program.” This also involves sending U.S. teams to Ukraine for short-term programs (e.g., on civil-military affairs, military medicine, and air defense) or bringing Ukrainian military personnel to the United States (e.g., for familiarization with U.S. military education methods and technologies.)

-  Supporting Ukraine’s force contributions to SFOR and KFOR. Through joint planning and the conduct of live exercises, we are help-ing Ukraine to learn U.S. and NATO-compatible procedures and skills that will improve its capabilities to participate in such NATO-led crisis response operations. Under our State Partnership Program, U.S. National Guard units from California and Kansas conduct training and exercises on civil-military emergency preparedness with Ukrainian
border troops, internal troops, and Ministry of Emergency units.

- Maintaining a Military Liaison Team in Kiev, with representatives from EUCOM and the National Guard State Partnership Program, to facilitate continuous dialogue and a robust military to military exchange program.

At the same time, the United States is working closely with Ukraine, under the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative, to strengthen cooperation in the area of non-proliferation. Our efforts include improved training for border security and customs personnel and assistance to redirect the expertise of Ukrainian weapon scientists to work on peaceful scientific and engineering projects, such as improved safety and security for civilian nuclear installations and managing the environmental and health consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.

Our bilateral efforts are complemented by those of NATO, which reached agreement with Ukraine in 1997 on a Charter on a Distinctive Partnership. The Charter established a NATO-Ukraine Commission that meets at least twice a year for consultations on subjects such as peacekeeping, technical cooperation on armaments, economic and environmental aspects of defense-related
activities, civil-military emergency planning, and combating terrorism and drug trafficking. The NATO-Ukraine relationship has also been enhanced considerably by the establishment of a NATO Information and Documentation Center as well as a Military Liaison Office in Kiev.

We also seek to encourage closer multilateral engagement between Ukraine and its regional neighbors. For example, Poland and Ukraine recently have formed a joint peacekeeping battalion, which has been deployed to KFOR. This unprecedented arrangement between a new NATO Ally and a Partner is a hopeful example of how the NATO enlargement process and PfP can work hand in hand to improve security and stability in Europe.

Ukraine, of course, must do its part. In particular, our efforts to assist Ukraine in its desire to move closer to integration with the transatlantic community will not succeed if its government is unable or unwilling to implement needed defense reforms and, more broadly, vital economic and political reforms to free up markets and combat corruption.