To the Editor:

Richard N. Haass neglects one of the major achievements of U.S. foreign policy under President Clinton: the transformation of the NATO alliance to meet the critical challenges of European security for the twenty-first century ("The Squandered Presidency," May/June 2000). Haass sees NATO enlargement as only "a symbolic victory." He deprecates the overall strategic purpose of including fully within Euro-Atlantic institutions countries and peoples that had so long been under Soviet domination and treated as the playthings of great powers. He merely notes that "the hope of attracting support from Americans of eastern European descent was a crucial factor behind NATO enlargement."

There may be areas where the Clinton administration is open to criticism, but rebuilding NATO and opening a heretofore impossible prospect for European security is not one of them.

Robert E. Hunter

Senior Advisor, RAND Corporation, and U.S. Ambassador to NATO, 1993-98