word about security today. After the relatively static security
environment of the Cold War, we now face a whole range
of new and complex
threats: a lethal
breed of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
failed states spreading instability, and criminal networks trafficking
drugs and weapons. We must be prepared to deal with those threats
when and where they emerge, or they will escalate and land
on our doorsteps.
approach may have been adequate during the Cold War. Today, it is
simply no longer good enough.
learned this lesson. In the Mediterranean, NATO ships are patrolling
to prevent terrorists or weapons
of mass destruction
from entering our countries through that vital sea lane. The
Alliance is leading extensive stabilisation operations in the
Balkans as well as in Afghanistan. We are training security forces
in Iraq, and assisting the African Union with its peacekeeping
mission in Darfur. Moreover, over the past half year, in response
to first Hurricane Katrina and then the earthquake in Pakistan,
NATO’s unique assets have been used to provide vital humanitarian
I explain this broader orientation of NATO, I am careful to
note that we are not turning into
some sort of
globocop – ready to deal with emergencies all over the
world. We simply do not have that ambition, let alone the necessary
means. However, all 26 Allies do now look at NATO as a very flexible
instrument, that we can use wherever our common security interests
demand it. And that new conception of the Alliance offers new,
unprecedented opportunities for transatlantic security cooperation
well beyond this continent.
area of NATO’s transformation
is in the military realm. If we want to be prepared to tackle
challenges to our
security when and where they occur, then we need the forces to
do so. What we need, in particular, are forces that can react
quickly, that can be deployed over long distances, and sustained
over extended periods of time. And we need the right mix of forces
capable of performing combat tasks and post-conflict reconstruction
we have made good progress in modernising our forces, making
them more agile and usable for modern operations.
for example, streamlined the Alliance’s military command
structure. We have also established a NATO Response Force to
be able to react quickly to any emerging crises, including natural
disasters. And we are looking into ways to better plan and resource
future operational engagements. Of course, military transformation
never happens quite as quickly and comprehensively as we all
would like to see it. There is always room for improvement. But
the overall direction of our military modernisation is very clear
area of NATO’s transformation relates to our
relationship with other institutions. In order to tackle today’s
complex security challenges, we must apply military, political,
economic, and other instruments in a well-coordinated way. This
means that NATO will increasingly act in concert with other institutions.
On the ground, whether in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq or Darfur,
this is already a reality. But we also need structured relationships
at the institutional level – to be able to coordinate strategically,
not just tactically. And this is a major dimension of NATO’s
current transformation as well.
We have made good progress in developing our cooperation with
the United Nations. What we need above all, however, is a much
stronger partnership between NATO and the European Union. A former
US Ambassador to NATO once said that, even though NATO and the
EU were based in the same city, it often seemed as though they
were on different planets. And it is true that, in the past,
our relationship has been characterised by considerable nervousness,
and even a degree of suspicion.
I think we
are seeing greater realism now on all sides. A realisation
that, the Union is bound to become
a stronger security actor.
But a realisation, also, that the EU can only be an effective
security actor when it is a partner for NATO, and not a counterweight.
Where that should lead to is a much more pragmatic, transparent
partnership between the EU and NATO, which extends well beyond
crisis management to cover the full range of security issues
before us. This will be a boon for all of us – NATO and
EU members alike.
area of NATO’s transformation that I wish to
highlight is the geographic dimension. Now more than ever before,
we need to look at certain countries and regions through a common
transatlantic lens. This is true for Russia and Ukraine, for
the Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as for Northern Africa
and the so-called Broader Middle East. Finding ways to help positive
change in these different regions, to foster democracy and stability,
should be a joint transatlantic effort – or it won’t
stand much chance of success.
are using NATO to promote this common transatlantic approach.
We are intensifying our cooperation
with Russia and
Ukraine, and indeed have opened an intensified dialogue with
Ukraine on its aspiration to join the Alliance. We are deepening
relations with our Partners in the Caucasus and Central Asia,
which are both regions of vital strategic importance. We are
enhancing our dialogue and cooperation with a string of countries
in Northern Africa and the Middle East – ranging from Morocco
to Israel. We are building new ties with countries from the Gulf
region. And we are developing closer contacts with countries
in Asia and the Pacific – to work together in meeting security
challenges that affect them as much as they affect us.
key areas of NATO’s transformation that I have
highlighted – conceptual, military, institutional, and
geographic – all underscore the comprehensive approach
to security that NATO has adopted. But I would like to mention
yet another aspect of transformation – a challenge that
in fact cuts across all other areas of NATO’s evolution:
I am talking about the challenge of making NATO more political.
We face new,
complex and truly global threats to our security. Parts of
the world that used to be well beyond
screens are rapidly growing in relevance. We must discuss new
approaches to the broader Middle East, the Caucasus and other
regions. And we must take our cooperation with other nations
and organisations to a new level.
all enormous challenges. They demand that we exploit NATO’s unique role as a structured, permanent forum for
transatlantic political discussion to the maximum extent possible.
Ever since I took office, I have been promoting such an enhanced
political role for NATO, and I am pleased that the Alliance is
now moving in that direction. Over the past year, we have had
more regular, and increasingly constructive, political discussions
at different levels on issues such as Iraq, Darfur and the Middle
East. And I am pleased that NATO is also increasingly seen and
respected as a political player – for example in the discussions
on the future of Kosovo and Afghanistan.
that there are many more issues that we should consider bringing
to the NATO table. And one that
leaps to mind is energy
security. NATO’s Strategic Concept includes elements of
the protection of vital supply lines as one area critical to
the security of Allies. Today, for reasons that are obvious – including
the potential of terrorists targeting our energy supplies – it
makes sense to me that the Allies should discuss this issue.
Of course, here in Norway I don’t have to explain at length
why this is an important subject. But I want all Allies to engage
in a frank and open discussion. To anticipate future trends.
And to develop a common perspective.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Back in 1949,
your country, Norway, was a founding member of NATO – and for the past 56 years, it has been a real pillar
of strength in the Alliance. Norwegian forces have made substantial
contributions to NATO’s operations in the Balkans during
the 1990s, and continue to show that same commitment in Kosovo
and Afghanistan today. But politically, as well, this country
has made major contributions. I wish to highlight the crucial
role played by Kai Eide, the Norwegian Permanent Representative
to NATO, in moving forward the political process in Kosovo. More
generally, this country has been a major driver behind NATO’s
post-Cold War transformation – the opening of our Alliance,
our partnership policy and enlargement process, our engagement
in crisis management, and our more recent adaptation to the new,
21 st century security environment.
I want, in
this context, to extend a word of appreciation to the Norwegian
Atlantic Committee – and to its Secretary
General, Chris Prebensen, who is very well remembered back in
Brussels from the time he spent at NATO Headquarters. During
the Cold War, and even the 1990s, it was relatively easy to explain
the international security environment, the risks and threats
that we faced, and NATO’s role in meeting those challenges.
The last few years, that task has become much more difficult – but
also much more important. National organisations such as the
Norwegian Atlantic Committee play a vital role in explaining
how the Alliance is responding to the new security environment
— and how member countries like Norway are both contributing
to, and benefiting from, that critical transformation process.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
NATO’s transformation continues. In November, when NATO’s
Heads of State and Government will meet in Riga, we will take
the adaptation of our Alliance another major step further. We
will confirm NATO’s expanding commitment to Afghanistan; we will
welcome the full operational capability of our NATO Response
Force, and agree on other measures to better support our operations;
regarding NATO enlargement, we will reaffirm the logic of NATO’s
open door policy; we will also look at the future of our Partnerships,
including at how we can build closer ties to other countries,
such as Australia or Japan; and we will deepen the political
dialogue among Allies about all subjects of common concern.
I hope that
I have made it clear why this is indeed a “new” NATO.
A NATO that provides security in new ways and new places. An
Alliance that undertakes new missions, and that features new
members as well as new partners. This is the new NATO of today.
An Alliance that provides Norway with tremendous opportunities
to shape the strategic environment in line with its interests
and values. And an Alliance that – I am sure – can
continue to rely on Norway’s strong political and military
support and engagement.