Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Travels to Brussels

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
December 4, 2009
Secretary Clinton Waves at Schipol Airport

Trip Information Page | Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary

Secretary of State Clinton travels to Brussels December 4, 2009 to attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the level of Foreign Ministers to be held at NATO Headquarters. On the agenda will also be a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers with Non-NATO ISAF contributing nations and a NATO-Russia Council working lunch. She will also meet with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, as well as with newly appointed Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme and Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere, and EU leaders.

Read the Secretary's briefing en route Brussels here.



New Mexico, USA
December 4, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

( Note to Dipnote Staff; I tried to submit the following on the "Ask the Secretary" online form, and it kept giving me a timeout with a web note stating that "topic needs a value" I hope this gets corrected and the question can be passed onward and upward from here, thanks.)

Topic: Afghanistan and NATO

Dear Secretary Clinton,

Here we are trying to get the Afghans to take responsiblity for their own security, and between all the other nations in NATO combined, they can't come up with a matching number of forces to equal the US surge against extremism, in order to safeguard European security from the threat eminating from the AFPAK region.

In your opinion Madam Secretary, is it reasonable for the American public, through it's elected and appointed officials, to remind the Europeans that we've bled buckets of blood for their freedom and prosperity in the past and that they need to prove to us now they have the will and capacity to take responsibility for their collective security at home and abroad?

Just once I'd like to see them match us man for man on a common problem, and until they do, it's hard for them to convince the Amercan public that they've made equitable effort as our partners. In this case numbers do matter a lot more than financial pledges ever will I think.

Thanks for considering a timely question, and I'll continue to offer a few constructive ideas and comments going forward on Dipnote, if you wish to review them.

Good luck and Godspeed,


Maryland, USA
December 4, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

HI,You All & My Netizen Friend :)

I see Hillary is traveling again. I hope she had a good flight, and has a vibrant collaboration with her colleagues in Brussels. I Wish You,and your esteemed Colleagues the best in your deliberations.

..Have a good trip (inaudible) and See Ya...:) LOL...

Tennessee, USA
December 4, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

@ Eric: It is about more than Afghanistan politically and otherwise, there is a much broader picture and while I may seem to be a pessimist, I am a realist who tries to force middle ground. Without truth, there is no application of any finite principles. A book just written: A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam Wafa Sultan, may offer you an insight into the culture of Syria and general application of Islam there. While it most certainly is tainted due to her personal experiences, it provides insight of change desired by minorities within the culture, but provides for the realistic views of fundamentalist and their long range views and decision making. It also offers an insight as to how the civilian population is controlled.

I only wish any Dept. of State personal safe havens worldwide, and would love Sectary Clinton to bring back a box of chocolates for me. LOL! Best in the world.

New Mexico, USA
December 4, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Thanks for the recomended reading Joe, I'll check it out when I get a chance.

Here we are at the inflection point of the desirable and the do-able, and I think it's realistic to look at both in context.

I suppose if it were the 10th of Sept. 2001 and someone was to say terrorists were going to fly planes into buildings the next day, folks would have considered it to be an unrealistic expectation on their part, until the news told them different.

Now I don't know what it's going to take for Europe to come to a fundemental realization that they've got to get serious for their own survival, not simply to satisfy this citizen's notion of equitable burden sharing in the common defense.

Maybe someone flying a plane into the Eiffel tower, or nuking the Brandenburg Gate, I don't know. But at what cost will that realization come? I don't think they want to find out.

One thing that is realistic is the overwhelming probability that they either pony up all the resources needed now, or pay an unacceptably high price later for having failed to do so.

Believe me Joe, I don't want to ever have to tell folks, "I told you so." as I hate being right a lot of the time as it is.

Ari C.
Pennsylvania, USA
December 5, 2009

Ari in Pennsylvania writes:

Sec. Dr. Clinton,

Shabbat Shalom...

Just saw you on TV for the last two days. Man you have a busy schedule. Good luck in building concensus and coalitions.

Dr. Cole (R-PA)
Team Cole for 2016


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