U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently spoke at the NATO Strategic Concept Seminar in Washington, DC. Here is an excerpt from the Secretary's remarks:
"...Today we confront challenges that have parallels to the problems that faced the Alliance at its inception. Once again, we face a new strategic landscape. New technologies, new adversaries, and new ideologies threaten our security. And once again, there is little certainty about the future. But I believe that the original tenets of NATO's mission -- defending our nations, strengthening transatlantic ties, and fostering European integration -- still hold. So as we move forward with the process of drafting a new strategic concept, we should remember that the basic goals that defined this Alliance still bind us together today.
Amid that continuity of purpose, the ways in which we pursue our goals must change. As any good soldier knows, success in a protracted struggle is not simply a matter of having more troops or better equipment. It is also a function of how effectively you adapt to new circumstances. You don't win by fighting the last war. And NATO cannot continue to succeed by looking in the rearview mirror.
NATO's new Strategic Concept must consolidate the gains that we've made and reflect the new nature and origins of the threats we face today. Some of the new dynamics we're dealing with were beginning to appear in 1999 when NATO last revised its Strategic Concept. For example, we faced the question of whether the Alliance would engage in out-of-area operations. Today, NATO ships are combating piracy off the Horn of Africa. NATO's Training Mission in Iraq has provided instruction to more than 14,000 Iraqis. We have agreed to work together to counter the missile threat from the Middle East. And in the last two and a half months, Allies have answered President Obama's call to support ISAF's mission in Afghanistan and are scheduled to increase their contributions by nearly 10,000 troops. In an interconnected world, we cannot defend our people by crouching behind the geographic boundaries of the Alliance. Reality has redefined the area in which we operate. Full Text