Munich Security Conference Spotlights the Transatlantic Renaissance

Posted by Douglas Lute
February 1, 2014
Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks at the 50th Munich Security Conference

Renewed commitment, reinvigorated engagement and refreshed cooperation with our European allies: This weekend, the transatlantic renaissance was in full bloom at the Munich Security Conference as foreign-policy leaders from around the world gathered to discuss, debate and engage on the critical issues facing the global community.

While the topics of the Munich conference ranged from Africa and Asia to the Arctic, it is no coincidence that such an impressive gathering took place in the heart of Europe. The United States knows that Europe is our indispensable partner as we address challenges across the globe. There is a profound connection between the countries of Europe and the United States that benefits not just our respective nations, but the broader global community.

Europe and America share a deep and powerful history: NATO celebrates its 65th anniversary this year as the gold standard of security -- 28 Allies as a force for peace and stability globally.

Simply put, the United States and the countries of Europe are natural partners. We are better, together. Stronger, more effective, more efficient and more able to provide security for our homelands, and project stability globally. And in NATO, we have built an Alliance which is on duty every day, trained, prepared and ready to do just that.

With our NATO Allies, and together with over 40 NATO partners, the United States works to counter today's threats, from ballistic missiles to piracy to terror attacks by nonstate actors, and remains poised to address emerging security challenges like cyberterror. As we transition our operation in Afghanistan to a mission focused on training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces, we will work together within NATO and with our partners to reinforce our exercises and modernize our equipment to guarantee that the Alliance can maintain the interoperability and readiness, as well as the critical relationships with partners, we’ve gained through 20 years of operations.

This September at the NATO Summit in Wales, President Obama will engage on these issues, alongside his fellow NATO leaders and Secretary General Rasmussen. At the Summit, we'll focus on many of the same topics discussed this weekend at Munich -- global security, emerging threats and the future of NATO, including the capabilities we must maintain and develop as an Alliance to counter future threats, and how we will broaden, deepen and strengthen our partnerships to make them even more effective, inclusive and responsive.

For 65 years, NATO has held the key to the peace which allowed our nations to grow strong, our economies to prosper and our citizens to be safe. As America looks to the Alliance of the future, our position is clear and our commitment is steadfast: NATO will remain the gold standard, safeguarding transatlantic security and projecting stability around the world.

About the Author: Douglas E. Lute serves as the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Go to and follow @USNATO on Twitter for more information.



Ed M.
California, USA
February 1, 2014
I'm sorry, Ambassador Lute, but this article is utterly farcical. The transatlantic alliance is an economic basket case, a bankrupt, de-industrialized wasteland where drugs, prostitution and gambling are now counted as an important component of GDP. Far from opposing "terror attacks by non-state actors," the transatlantic countries are actively supporting them in a wide variety of nations that are considered candidates for "regime change." Let's face it: the real "renaissance" is going on in Asia, and rather than taking sour-grapes potshots at it, as President Obama did during his State of the Union address, we should wise up and return to the policies which once made us respected around the world -- the very policies that were studied and are being successfully implemented in Asia (including Russia.)
Eric J.
New Mexico, USA
February 4, 2014

@ Amb. Lute,


Barrel Bombs in Aleppo
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC

February 4, 2014


Each and every day that the barrel-bombing of Aleppo continues, the Asad regime reminds the world of its true colors. It is the latest barbaric act of a regime that has committed organized, wholesale torture, used chemical weapons, and is starving whole communities by blocking delivery of food to Syrian civilians in urgent need.

Now, with air raids killing dozens more civilians in just the past few days, destroying apartment buildings, and barrel bombs striking a mosque today, the staggering civilian toll dramatically climbs. Each and every barrel bomb filled with metal shrapnel and fuel launched against innocent Syrians underscores the barbarity of a regime that has turned its country into a super magnet for terror. Given this horrific legacy, the Syrian people would never accept as legitimate a government including Asad.

While the opposition and the international community are focused on ending the war, as outlined in the Geneva communiqué, the regime is single-mindedly focused on inflicting further destruction to strengthen its hand on the battlefield and undermining hopes for the success of the Geneva II process.


Dear Mr. Ambassador,

It would seem that the premis of my following questions has become self-evident;

"My question is this, to my government; When it becomes obvious to you that folks prefer to find a military solution (including those arming the parties in conflict)to solve their national crisis, when do you kineticly intervene to deal with a regional crisis that has become militarized and threatens the peace and stability of the entire region? With or without diplomatic efforts underway to bring the parties to talks.

You can gain control over chemical weapons but the international community can not impose peace (or a halt to the fighting by overwhelming force being applied to eventually cause folks to cease and desist), on warring parties by rendering them incapable of making war on civillian populations?"


...and I'm wondering where NATO would stand on this, as a security provider?

I understand I'm not a diplomat, so there's not a lot of nuance in the phrase "impose peace" , but I used it to mainly describe the opperative mindset involved in any action taken to render it impossible for Addad to wage full scale war on anyone, period.

Nato has been at war with al-quaida and affiliated groups, as well as non-members for over a decade, and it's like any crisis is a magnet for them to exxacerbate and declare to the US and allies, " We're Here! , come get us!" while hundreds of thousands die, millions more are made homeless including a 110year old man who is quoted as saying that "Assad has made the Syrian people beggars.", while sitting in a refugee camp.

And I might add that all the surrounding countries who have opened their hearts and doors have also had to beg for help to address the burden of humanitarian catastrophe, simply because it takes a village to manifest solidarity with the distressed and at risk.

There are those who say "arm the rebels"...and personally I think there are enough guns in Syria to go round, the key is separating Assad from his toys of war.

"We live in a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants..." and it's completely self evident that these words are cas true today as when they were spoken by Omar Bradley in what some might consider to be less "complicated" times.

My point here is that genocide isn't complicated, we know what it is when we see it being carried out. Folks can call it all kinds of other things, but when the totality is considered as a whole, this also becomes completyely self evident in Assads's actions, and that of his military.

Yet the chemical weapons are still in their hands and they are being rather slow in meeting their deadline to get rid of them to a third party for disposal.

I wish I could be an optimist that a meeting that produced nothing in the way of confidence building after 8-9 months of diplomacy leading up to it, bodes well for a transitional governing arrangement in a hypothetical future for Syria.

But what will absolutely gurantee a transitional government takes shape is if Assad is no longer any factor in the equasion , nor is his ability to give orders.

And if I was going to be diplomatic about it with the Russians, I think I'd simply ask them (if I were in the position to), " Do you want to do regime change this time, or should we?" With assurances by all concerned that they'd have all the help they needed if they removed Assad from the equasion, humanitarian aid and otherwise as needed to pull Syria out of this tailspin and put that country back on its feet.

That's just my 2 cents to help folks arrive at a diplomatic solution eventually.

Best regards,



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