Britain’s Vision for Lisbon

The Lisbon Summit "will define the future of the Alliance."

From Nigel Sheinwald, the Hill :  Tomorrow, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron join other NATO leaders in Lisbon for a Summit meeting that will define the future of the Alliance.

NATO has already begun to change. Lisbon will take things further. Leaders will agree to a new “Strategic Concept” that will outline how NATO plans to retain its relevance as the most successful military alliance in history. So we will see changes to NATO’s military command structures to make them more flexible and deployable. We will see NATO not only protecting our homelands against military threats, but expanding its role to address some of the 21st century challenges to our security, including cyber threats and missile proliferation. And we will see NATO developing new capabilities to counter these dangers, including a Europe-wide Ballistic Missile shield for Alliance populations. …

The renewal of NATO in Lisbon will show that this old dog can certainly learn new tricks. But we should not be complacent: there is nothing preordained about NATO’s success or its durability. Its effectiveness as an alliance rests only its members’ capacity and political will to meet these new threats. That’s why – despite the formidable fiscal pressures – the U.K. has maintained our commitment to spending two per cent of GDP on our defense, as well as investing in the other capabilities needed to protect ourselves in the future. And why the British government stands foursquare with the United States to urge all our NATO partners to bear their share of responsibility for our collective security. That’s our vision for Lisbon. 

Sir Nigel Sheinwald is Britain’s Ambassador to the United States.  (photo: British Embassy)

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