At the just-concluded NATO Summit in Chicago, the largest gathering of NATO nations and partners since the Alliance was founded, we delivered on the promises we made at our historic Lisbon Summit 18 months earlier.
First of all, we added details to the Lisbon roadmap for how we will gradually and responsibly wind down the NATO mission in Afghanistan. By the middle of 2013, every district and province in Afghanistan will have Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the lead for security, with NATO forces in a supporting role. By the end of 2014, the Afghans will be fully responsible for their own security, and the NATO-led combat mission will come to an end. But our engagement in Afghanistan will continue after 2014, with a new mission focused on training and advising the Afghan forces.
Second, even in this fiscally austere time, NATO leaders agreed to acquire the capabilities we need to deal with the threats of today and tomorrow. They declared that NATO has an operationally meaningful interim capability for territorial missile defense. U.S. missile defense ships are already in the Mediterranean and are now able to operate under NATO's operational control when necessary. We have tested and validated the Alliance's command and control capability. The United States has agreements with four countries -- Spain, Turkey, Romania, Poland -- to host U.S. missile defense assets. Allies committed to invest over $1 billion in command and control and communications infrastructure needed to support the NATO ballistic missile defense system. And the President has directed the transfer of the operational control of the radar in Turkey to NATO. All of this represents a major step in providing NATO with the collective ability to defend its territory against ballistic missile attack.
But NATO's leaders agreed on more than missile defense. In Chicago, NATO signed a contract to acquire the Alliance Ground Surveillance system, five Global Hawk drones, which will give the Alliance the ability to survey battlefields and crisis zones from high altitudes day or night, regardless of weather. This capability was vital to the success of NATO operations in Libya. Then, NATO had to rely on the United States to provide these drones; now NATO has acquired its own capability.
We also agreed to extend the Baltic air policing mission. NATO allies now provide aircraft to patrol the airspace of the three Baltic states, so that those nations can invest in other NATO operations, such as Afghanistan.
And NATO's leaders adopted a Deterrence and Defense Posture Review that describes the appropriate mix of conventional nuclear and missile defense forces NATO should have. We reaffirmed that NATO will remain a nuclear-armed alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist, and that these weapons will be safe, secure and effective, but we also are prepared to consider, on a reciprocal basis with Russia, reductions in non-strategic nuclear forces deployed in Europe.
In addition to adding to NATO's capabilities, we strengthened our partnerships with NATO partners from all parts of the globe. We met with the four countries that aspire to enter NATO -- Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, and Montenegro. And NATO leaders also met with counterparts from 13 countries from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe that have contributed significantly to NATO's operations and strategic objectives. NATO is becoming a hub for global security, a proven structure in which nations with common interests can join with NATO for our common goals and common defense.
In Chicago, we moved beyond words to actions, giving NATO real capabilities to help us face the security challenges, known and unforeseen, that we will face in the coming decades.
For more information on the NATO Summit, please see the Department of State's 2012 NATO Summit website. On Twitter, follow Ambassador Daalder (@USAmbNATO) and USNATO (@USNATO) for the latest news regarding NATO.