Munich Security Conference Spotlights the Transatlantic Renaissance
By Douglas E. Lute
4 February 2014
This blog post by Douglas E. Lute, U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), was published on the State Department website on January 1, 2014.
Renewed commitment, reinvigorated engagement and refreshed cooperation with our European allies: This weekend, the transatlantic renaissance was in full bloom at the Munich Security Conference as foreign-policy leaders from around the world gathered to discuss, debate and engage on the critical issues facing the global community.
While the topics of the Munich conference ranged from Africa and Asia to the Arctic, it is no coincidence that such an impressive gathering took place in the heart of Europe. The United States knows that Europe is our indispensable partner as we address challenges across the globe. There is a profound connection between the countries of Europe and the United States that benefits not just our respective nations, but the broader global community.
Europe and America share a deep and powerful history: NATO celebrates its 65th anniversary this year as the gold standard of security — 28 Allies as a force for peace and stability globally.
Simply put, the United States and the countries of Europe are natural partners. We are better, together. Stronger, more effective, more efficient and more able to provide security for our homelands, and project stability globally. And in NATO, we have built an Alliance which is on duty every day, trained, prepared and ready to do just that.
With our NATO Allies, and together with over 40 NATO partners, the United States works to counter today’s threats, from ballistic missiles to piracy to terror attacks by nonstate actors, and remains poised to address emerging security challenges like cyberterror. As we transition our operation in Afghanistan to a mission focused on training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces, we will work together within NATO and with our partners to reinforce our exercises and modernize our equipment to guarantee that the Alliance can maintain the interoperability and readiness, as well as the critical relationships with partners, we’ve gained through 20 years of operations.
This September at the NATO Summit in Wales, President Obama will engage on these issues, alongside his fellow NATO leaders and Secretary General Rasmussen. At the Summit, we’ll focus on many of the same topics discussed this weekend at Munich — global security, emerging threats and the future of NATO, including the capabilities we must maintain and develop as an Alliance to counter future threats, and how we will broaden, deepen and strengthen our partnerships to make them even more effective, inclusive and responsive.
For 65 years, NATO has held the key to the peace which allowed our nations to grow strong, our economies to prosper and our citizens to be safe. As America looks to the Alliance of the future, our position is clear and our commitment is steadfast: NATO will remain the gold standard, safeguarding transatlantic security and projecting stability around the world.