Secretary Clinton departed today for Lisbon, Portugal. There, the Secretary will join President Obama in participating in the NATO summit, the NATO-Russia Council summit, and the summit of the ISAF troop-contributing nations and other major economic development donors, as well as the U.S.-European Union summit.
Speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, Philip Gordon, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, described the intensity of the upcoming U.S. government interaction with Europe, and how it reveals how central the U.S.-European partnership is to addressing global challenges.
"At the NATO Summit," Assistant Secretary Gordon said, "we plan to unveil a new Strategic Concept, lay out the approach that we and our NATO allies are taking to transition in Afghanistan, and advance our relationship with Russia. The new Strategic Concept -- the first in 11 years -- will chart the future course of the alliance and prepare it to meet new threats. NATO Secretary General Rasmussen has done a superb job producing a document with vision, clarity and focus. It places Article 5 -- our collective defense commitment -- rightly at the heart of why we are NATO Allies, while also recognizing that NATO is no longer just a regional military alliance. The Strategic Concept will also identify the capabilities we need -- including territorial missile defense and cyber early warning systems -- to meet new security challenges and better protect Allied populations. We look forward to a robust endorsement of it from allies at Lisbon.
"We also intend to revamp the way NATO does business through organizational reforms that will allow NATO to implement these capabilities more effectively and more rapidly. We will examine how to strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones. Partnerships -- with non-NATO members in Europe, with institutions like the UN, EU, and the OSCE, with strategic allies like Japan and Australia -- are one of NATO's most potent tools."
Speaking about the NATO-Russia Council, Assistant Secretary Gordon said, "NATO's relationship with Russia has been transformed in the last 20 years from adversary to partner. We are partners in dealing with a full range of security challenges. And the business of practical cooperation will enhance our collective security: Russia's and that of every ally. This is the first NATO-Russia Council meeting since the Georgia conflict in 2008 and an opportunity to demonstrate that we can extend our bilateral reset with Russia into the NATO arena. We have already demonstrated that we can practically cooperate while standing by our principles. We have consistently maintained our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia's neighbors and stood up for human rights within Russia.
"We now want to take this practical cooperation to a higher level, in areas of shared interest such as Afghanistan, missile defense, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and counter-piracy. NATO and Russia expect to agree on the NATO-Russia Joint Review of 21st Century Security Challenges to demonstrate a shared understanding of these issues and other potential threats. Let me add, however, that these efforts at cooperation will in no way limit the United States' or NATO's capacity to deploy missile defense or other collective defense capabilities."
Turning to the U.S.-EU summit, he said, "This U.S.-EU summit will be the first since the EU strengthened itself via the Lisbon Treaty. Our participation represents another opportunity to demonstrate that we believe that a strong and united Europe is a stronger partner for the United States. This summit in particular will highlight our expanded and strategic partnership in three concrete and crucial areas, the economy, security, and global issues.
"On economic cooperation, it is important to remember that the United States and Europe are each other's largest trade and investment partners, accounting some $4 trillion in flows and generating approximately 1 in 10 jobs. The relationship is central to both our economic futures. We will follow-up on the G-20 meetings last week in Seoul to sustain the recovery and generate jobs for our economies, by consulting on best steps to address current imbalances in the global economy and by addressing bilateral barriers to trade. The leaders will task the Transatlantic Economic Council to coordinate our policies to promote innovation and to get regulators to pursue greater collaboration, especially in new and emerging technologies.
"On security cooperation, we will identify ways to enhance our already significant common efforts on counter-terrorism and security, including through data exchange programs such as the Passenger Name Record agreement which protect both our privacy and our security, through cooperation on cybersecurity, and through sharing best practices to combat violent extremism. As the events of this summer demonstrated, both Europe and the United States face an ongoing threat and close transatlantic cooperation is crucial to addressing it.
"Finally on global challenges, the leaders will address a number of critical foreign policy issues such as Iran, climate change, Middle East peace, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In particular, we will look to better coordinate development assistance. The United States and Europe together provide 80 percent of the world's development assistance. We will work on ways to avoid duplication and get greater value from U.S. and EU resources, while better meeting the development needs of poorer countries, as well as those emerging from crises and disaster."
A full transcript of Assistant Secretary Gordon's remarks at the Atlantic Council is available here.