NATO Summit: Turning Vision Into Reality

Posted by Ivo Daalder
May 31, 2012
NATO Leaders in Chicago

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.



June 1, 2012

W.W. writes:

what a mafia

New Mexico, USA
June 1, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Amb. Daalder,

I found the recent comments by a Russian general suggesting "pre-emptive strikes' on Nato missile defense facilities to be fairly disturbing...seeing as how if a US general were to suggest something like that in public he would be out of a job the very same day.

Maybe you can tell me what the plan is to address the Russian Federation's abject paranoia over NATO missile defense and the ingrained fear of some kind of attempt by NATO to invade Russia or target it's capabilities. I mean don't they understand that history has been a great teacher and that it should be obvious that NATO has learned something from Napoleon and Hitler's failed attempts?

What up with that bad attitude?

Make one wonder who's running the show over there in the Kremlin.

Now the President has said, "All nations must choose peace." and that "words must mean something."

And I think these two things will define the family of nations and civilization's survival in the face of rampant political stupidity that endangers the peace of nations.

And defines what may be a reasonable request to honor commitments made in international fora.

So here's an idea for a little get together post-UNGA 2012 among like minded nations and protagonists alike.

To rededicate themselves to the idea of living in peace with one another in the middle of nowhere at the very first "ground zero"(*)

Because I can't think of a more appropriate site to do that on, while offering world leaders a stark vista of what the alternative looks like.

And can and will you pass this idea onward and upward so the President can determin its merits?




(*) Site info;

Trinity Site
White Sands Missile Range, NM
(505) 678-1134, ext. 1700

•Hours: Open the first Saturday in April and October only, see gate opening times at the


""•Reservations: Not required
•Cost: Free
•Location: Driving directions below
Trinity Site
On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was exploded at the Trinity Site, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Today, Trinity Site is open to visitors twice a year. About 2,000 people visit every time it's open.
Sights at the Trinity Site include base camp, ground zero, the ranch house where the plutonium core was assembled, an instrumentation bunker and part of the original creater left by the explosion. On exhibit are Jumbo and Fatman bomb casings. Photography is allowed here, but not elsewhere on the White Sands Missile Range.

Bring your own food, but drinking water is available. If you drive in with the convoy from Alamogordo, it's a 170-mile round trip and no gasoline is available.

What about the radiation? According to the website, radiation at ground zero are about 10 times greater than the earth's background radiation. Staying there for one hour exposes you to about 0.5 to 1.0 milliroentgen (mrem), less than the 3 to 5 mrem exposure on a coast-to-coast jet airplane flight. The green, glassy substance called Trinitite, created by the blast, is still highly radioactive and should not be picked up. Pregnant women, small children and anyone else with concerns should consult their doctor before visiting.


New Mexico, USA
June 1, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:


I recieved the following reminder in my in-box today so as I can't attend this - perhaps the proposed "meeting of minds" outlined in my previous post may be forwarded to the conference attendees for their consideration as a small contribution to the debate, registered in abstensia.

Registration ends today for Monday’s “Generation Prague” conference.

June 4, 2012

W.W. writes:

it is an illusion of democracy made by an elite a lobby enslaving world population

are all men created equals ?

I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.
2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
3 But better than both
is the one who has never been born,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.


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