Today, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks on the future of European security at the L'Ecole Militaire in Paris, France. The Secretary said:
"As founding members of the NATO Alliance, our countries have worked side by side for decades to build a strong and secure Europe and to defend and promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. And I am delighted that we are working even more closely now that France is fully participating in NATO's integrated command structure. I thank President Sarkozy for his leadership and look forward to benefiting from the counsel of our French colleagues as together we chart NATO's future.
"Today, thanks to the partnership between our nation and others, Europe is stronger than ever. The bitter divides of the Cold War have been replaced by unity, partnership, and peace. Russia is no longer our adversary but often a partner on key global issues. Nations that once were members of the Warsaw Pact and eyed NATO with suspicion are now active members of our Alliance. And the European Union has grown to include 27 nations, from the British Isles to the Baltic states, and is poised to become even more dynamic with the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. As I recently expressed to the new EU High Representative Baroness Catherine Ashton, the challenges we face in our Euro-Atlantic relationship demand collective responses, and the European Union is an invaluable and increasingly effective force for global progress.
"So the accomplishments of the past half century have showcased how vital European security is, not only to the individual nations, but to the world. It is, after all, more than a collection of countries linked by history and geography. It is a model for the transformative power of reconciliation, cooperation, and community.
"But at the same time, much important work remains unfinished. The transition to democracy is incomplete in parts of Europe and Eurasia. Arms control regimes that once served us well are now fraying. And in too many places, economic opportunity is still too narrow and shallow.
"Adding to these ongoing challenges, the institutions that guarded Europe's and North America's security during the 20th century were not designed with 21st century threats in mind. New dangers have emerged, such as global terrorism, including cyber terrorism and nuclear terrorism; climate change; global criminal networks that traffic in weapons, drugs, and people; threats to Europe's energy supply, which, if exploited, could destabilize economies and stoke regional and even global conflict. Tanks, bombers, and missiles are necessary but no longer sufficient to keep our people safe. Our arsenal must also include tools that protect cyber and energy networks, halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, counter the threats of terrorism and destructive ideologies, in part by confronting the political, economic, and social conditions that give rise to such ideologies in the first place.
"The transatlantic partnership has been both a cornerstone of global security and a powerful force for global progress. Now we are called to address some of the great challenges in human history. And to meet them, we are required to modernize and strengthen our partnership."
Secretary Clinton continued, "[L]et me address some questions raised in recent months about the depth of the United States commitment to European security. Some wonder whether we understand the urgent need to improve security in Europe. Others have voiced concern that the Obama Administration is so focused on foreign policy challenges elsewhere in the world that Europe has receded in our list of priorities.
"Well, in fact, European security remains an anchor of U.S. foreign and security policy. A strong Europe is critical to our security and our prosperity. Much of what we hope to accomplish globally depends on working together with Europe. And so we are working with European allies and partners to help bring stability to Afghanistan and try to take on the dangers posed by Iran's nuclear ambition. We are working with Europe to help meet the crisis of climate change and revitalize the global economy. And we're working in the fight against extreme poverty, gender-based violence, and pandemic disease. Human rights and universal values, shared as part of our common history between Europe and the United States, must always be a cornerstone of our security efforts, because if Europe is not secure, Europe cannot lead. And we need European leadership in the 21st century."
Secretary Clinton then outlined core principles that guide the United States today as we consider the future of European security and our role in shaping, strengthening, and sustaining it. These principles include:
Dedication to the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of all States. The United States must and will remain vigilant in our efforts to oppose any attempt to undermine the right of all countries to pursue their own foreign policies, choose their own allies, and provide for their own defense. The United States strongly objects to any spheres of influence in which one country seeks to control another's future.
Recognition that Security in Europe Must be Indivisible. The security of all nations is intertwined. We must work together to enhance each other's security, in part by engaging with each other on new ideas and approaches. We want to work together with Russia to reaffirm the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. The United States is proud of what our two countries have accomplished together during the past year. We will continue to build a more substantive and constructive relationship based on our mutual interests.
Unwavering Devotion to the Collective Defense and Security of NATO Allies. This pledge is enshrined in the NATO treaty's Article 5, wherein an attack on one is an attack on all. The United States is working with our Allies to develop contingency plans for responding to new and evolving threats. We are engaged in productive discussions with European allies about their potential participation in the new missile defense architecture. We are also exploring ways to cooperate with Russia in ways that enhance the security of all of Europe, including Russia.
Commitment to Practicing Transparency in Our Dealings with Europe. To keep Europe safe, we must keep the channels of communication open by being forthright about our policies and approaches. The United States supports a more open exchange of military data, including visits to military sites. The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty also needs our attention. Our goal should be a modern security framework that strengthens the principles of territorial integrity, non-first use of force, transparency, and the right of host countries to approve the stationing of troops in their territory.
Belief that People Everywhere Have the Right to Live Free from the Fear of Nuclear Destruction. President Obama has declared a goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we will retain a safe, secure, and effective deterrent to protect us and our allies. The United States and Russia are close to concluding a new START treaty to reduce our strategic nuclear arsenals. The United States will also chart the future of its nuclear forces in the Nuclear Posture Review, host a Nuclear Security Summit to address the risk of unsecured nuclear material, seek to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, pursue negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, and move toward ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Recognition that True Security Entails Not Only Peaceful Relations among States, but Opportunities and Rights for the Individuals Who Live Within Them. Governments must promote and defend the human rights of their citizens so that all can live in dignity, free from fear of violence or oppression. The United States and Europe are acting together to expand opportunity, advance democracy, and protect human dignity around the world. The United States seeks to partner with and strengthen institutions to broaden the respect for human rights, to end the scourge of human trafficking across Europe, and to reach out to marginalized groups.
Secretary Clinton concluded her remarks by saying:
"Looking back on all we have achieved together over the past 65 years, it is remarkable how much has been accomplished -- Europe emerging from the ruins of war to become a showcase for peace and opportunity and prosperity. The condition of modern Europe, however, is not a miracle handed to the people of Europe. It is the result of years of careful, courageous work by leaders and citizens, in this country and others, to create institutions and erect policies that brought together former adversaries and united them in common cause. Now it is our turn. It is our responsibility to continue that tradition of leadership and renew those institutions for a new era. As we proceed, let us remember why we began this project in the first place, and why it is still vitally important today.
"This partnership is about so much more than strengthening our security. At its core, it is about defending and advancing our values in the world. I think it is particularly critical today that we not only defend those values in the world. I think it is particularly critical today that we not only defend those values, but promote them; that we are not only on defense, but on offense. There is so much that the West has to be proud of and to lay a claim to.
"We believe and we have the evidence to prove it that democracy works and can deliver for citizens if leaders are committed to the enterprise, and if democracies are about more than just elections; if we build institutions of independent judiciaries and free media and protection of minority rights and so much else, that we have worked and labored to create.
'We are closer than ever to achieving the goal that has inspired European and American leaders and citizens -- not only a Europe transformed, secure, democratic, unified and prosperous, but a Euro-Atlantic alliance that is greater than the sum of its parts, that stands for these values that have stood the test of time, and worked strategically to move toward a vision that may need to be updated and modernized, but is timely. The United States is honored to stand by your side as we take the next steps towards fulfilling that vision."
Read the Secretary's full remarks here.