Ambassador Daalder on the NATO Defense Ministerial

Posted by Ivo Daalder
June 12, 2009
NATO Defense Ministerial June 11-12, 2009

About the Author: Ivo Daalder serves as U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

It was an extraordinary scene, today, in the NATO Council chambers. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, newly confirmed by a unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate just 36 hours earlier, was introduced by Secretary of Defense Gates to his 41 NATO and non-NATO colleagues who provide forces and military capabilities to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. Gen. McChrystal thanked the nations for the honor of leading their young men and women in bringing security and stability to Afghanistan. He will travel to Afghanistan on Saturday and immediately take up command of ISAF operations.

Afghanistan dominated the proceedings of the Defense Ministerial. The NATO Ministers agree to stand up a robust training mission for Afghan Army and Police forces. They also agreed in principle to restructure the command of ISAF to better address the implementation of President Obama’s new strategy, which NATO endorsed at the 60th Anniversary Summit.

The challenges in Afghanistan remain great – ensuring successful elections, enhancing Afghanistan’s governing and security capacity, defeating the insurgency. But NATO remains united in trying meet these challenges in the months and years ahead.



New Mexico, USA
June 13, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Iran is playing a bit of double game in Afghanistan," he told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels at the end of two days of talks with his allied counterparts.

"They are an important trading partner for Afghanistan, they profess to have warm relations with the Afghan government," he noted.

"At the same time, they're sending in a relatively modest level of weapons and capabilities to attack ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and coalition forces.

"They're trying to do what they can to hurt us and hurt our allies and partners in Afghanistan, which also ends up hurting the Afghan people,"

- Sec. Def. Robert Gates, June 12th

Source: - AFP


@ Ambassador Daalder,

First off, I'd like to wish Gen. McCrystal much success and "good hunting".

Secondly, we just don't make accusations like this without hard evidence to back it up with, and this has been an ongoing problem since Mr. Rumsfeld's time in office.

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in this ministerial to hear what others had to say about this, and the silence from our European partners has been publicly deafening on this issue to date in my observation of press reporting.

So what does NATO/ISAF intend to do about this?

And as a follow-up, what will Pakistan ultimately do about it?

Thanks, and if there's a link to Sec. Gates full remarks, perhaps you could post that as well.

Best Regards,


Maryland, USA
June 14, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, States people of the Web.&:)

It's good to hear thing's are going so well in Afghanistan.

I hope General McChrystal has a successful Mission there.

I know Afghanistan's people will feel better with a well trained security force working for them.

Have A Good Week Cya :)

July 13, 2009

Johnson writes:

Afghanistan is doing good job, its help to people,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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