Home > Uncategorized > Middle East To Far East: Pentagon And NATO Divide Up The World

Middle East To Far East: Pentagon And NATO Divide Up The World

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
January 21, 2013

”Meeting Today’s Security Challenges”
Introductory remarks by Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, NATO Deputy Secretary General at the ‘Munich Security Conference Kick-Off’ – Berlin Germany

Edited by RR

===

As we look to the evolution of our commitment to Afghanistan, we must not forget other changes in the strategic landscape – both outside our Alliance and within it, including the Arab Awakening and the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region.

A coordinated, transatlantic approach can help encourage China to remain a responsible stakeholder in the region and beyond, while consolidating positive changes as we have seen in Burma.

At the same time, the U.S. pivot will require European nations to be better able to address security challenges in and around Europe…

[W]e can continue to build on that progress…so that we can achieve greater cooperation between NATO and the European Union in developing capabilities, in engaging North Africa and the Middle East, and in tackling cyber threats and other new and emerging challenges.

It is increasingly clear that President Assad’s days are numbered…NATO had the foresight…to establish partnerships with several of the nations of North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region through our Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative…They could serve as the framework for NATO to help countries seeking to reshape their societies following the Arab Awakening.

===

Thank you, Wolfgang (Ischinger) and State Minister Mueller, for that kind introduction. And thanks to the Deutsche Bahn for getting me here despite the snowy weather. I didn’t want to miss this kick-off event given the importance of the Munich Security Conference. Let me add that It’s an honour to share the podium with such eminent political figures from Germany and from Egypt.

In Washington, just a few minutes ago, President Obama was inaugurated for his second term in office. Being an American, and indeed the first American Deputy Secretary General of NATO, I thought it would be opportune to focus my remarks on the importance of the transatlantic relationship for dealing with many of today’s security challenges. Because, despite all the changes and upheavals of recent years, the transatlantic community remains essential to sustaining our own security and stability, and for addressing new challenges and opportunities around the world.

Let me start with a few comments about NATO’s number one priority…Afghanistan…Some 100,000 troops, mostly from North America and Europe, are working together to help the Afghan government take the lead for security across the country…

But that will not be the end of NATO’s commitment to Afghanistan. We are already planning a post-ISAF mission that will focus on training, advising and assisting, the Afghan National Security Forces beyond 2014.

At the same time, closer cooperation with Afghanistan’s neighbours is needed to help prevent the re-creation of havens for terrorist training and other illegal activities such as narcotics production…

As we look to the evolution of our commitment to Afghanistan, we must not forget other changes in the strategic landscape – both outside our Alliance and within it, including the Arab Awakening and the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region.

In the coming years, the United States will continue its strategic pivot towards the Pacific. Given that North America and Europe share the same goals of open markets, open seas, and open political dialogue, there is every reason for Europe to support that pivot – and even to be part of it. A coordinated, transatlantic approach can help encourage China to remain a responsible stakeholder in the region and beyond, while consolidating positive changes as we have seen in Burma.

At the same time, the U.S. pivot will require European nations to be better able to address security challenges in and around Europe – and in the process, to help create a fairer sharing of the burdens within NATO…

For example, fifteen years ago, during the Kosovo conflict, the United States dropped 90% of the precision-guided munitions, and the other Allies dropped only 10%. Two years ago, during our mission…in Libya…it was the other way around.

Today, European Allies are involved in each of the 24 multinational ‘Smart Defence’ projects that we have agreed in NATO to improve our capabilities while getting “more bang for the Euro.” Europeans, in fact, are leading two-thirds of these projects. European Allies are also making important contributions to NATO’s fledgling missile defence system – and we expect to see further contributions in the future. At the same time, European nations are also making progress in the EU framework with complementary pooling-and-sharing initiatives.

I am confident that we can continue to build on that progress in the coming years – so that Europe will be better able to meet its security responsibilities; and so that we can achieve greater cooperation between NATO and the European Union in developing capabilities, in engaging North Africa and the Middle East, and in tackling cyber threats and other new and emerging challenges.

One very urgent challenge is the crisis on our south-eastern border. The Alliance remains deeply concerned by the situation in Syria…

[W]e are currently deploying Patriot missiles to…Turkey…This decision demonstrates our solidarity as an Alliance. But it also shows the ability of European Allies to deliver real security. And I want to use this opportunity to thank the German Government for the determination it has shown on this issue.

It is increasingly clear that President Assad’s days are numbered. Within our transatlantic community, I think we must begin to consider how we might help a post-Assad Syria make the transition…

NATO has considerable experience, including with disarming militias, securing military sites, and assisting security sector reform…We must be ready to make that expertise available if it is requested by the Syrians, in concert with the United Nations and regional organizations like the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

NATO had the foresight, beginning in the mid-90s, to establish partnerships with several of the nations of North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region through our Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. These partnerships provided the basis for four of our Middle Eastern partners to contribute military forces to our Libya operations.

They could serve as the framework for NATO to help countries seeking to reshape their societies following the Arab Awakening.

But let me add that, although I’m proud to be called NATO-centric, I realise that NATO doesn’t have all the answers. In the case of Mali, for example, it makes sense for the European Union, led by France and working with African nations and regional organisations, to take the lead in managing the crisis. But as we have seen in recent days, the ongoing efforts…have received tangible assistance from Europe’s North American partners in the form of intelligence, airlift and other logistical support…

About these ads
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rosemerry
    January 24, 2013 at 6:23 am

    What can anyone say to this flight of hubris? What hope is there for us all?

  2. AR
    January 26, 2013 at 6:21 am

    This article is typical of the Orwellian doublespeak that American Empire specializes in. You can hear it ever day from American “diplomats” or imperial procosuls, as they should be more honestly called.

    The American Empire’s ambitions are more aggressive than the Nazi Third Reich, as it wishes to dominate the entire world and maintain the unipolar American “world order.”

    Welcome to the American Fourth Reich.

  3. Kathleen
    November 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    For example, fifteen years ago, during the Kosovo conflict, the United States dropped 90% of the precision-guided munitions, and the other Allies dropped only 10%. Two years ago, during our mission…in Libya…it was the other way around.

    The allies can’t beat them if they are allies, so they must join them. It is a sick kind of emulation and so far down a dreadful path. Citizens of NATO, Say NO TO NATO as a true peacekeeper will do.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 475 other followers

%d bloggers like this: