The NATO Foreign Ministerial that just ended turned out to be just the success we hoped it would be.
Allies strongly endorsed President Obama’s approach toward Afghanistan, with countries pledging to do more in terms of troops, trainers, and trust fund monies. Allies and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partners pledged to contribute about 7,000 troops, and several thousand more will likely be forthcoming in the near future. ISAF countries also began a discussion on improving civilian coordination, with an eye to agreeing on new mechanisms by the time of the London Conference.
Allies embraced the President’s Phased, Adaptive Approach to Missile Defense, which will in the not too distant future help protect allied populations, territory and forces from growing missile threats.
Allies agreed to provide Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Montenegro and reached a compromise on Bosnia that enables Sarajevo to get MAP once it achieves the necessary progress in its reform efforts. Reaching this consensus was difficult, but in the end, all allies agreed to support the compromise.
NATO countries and Russia formally restarted the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) by convening the first formal ministerial meeting since December 2007. The NRC Ministers agreed to restructure the NRC, launch a joint review of 21st Security Challenges, and a Work Program for 2010.
Because of these successes, the road to the Lisbon Summit next November looks brighter than it did only a few days ago.