Busy meeting of NATO’s Defense Planning Committee this week, with a decision on reducing KFOR, dedication of a memorial to those who died on NATO missions, and a forum with the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. NATO was careful to not declare victory in Kosovo, but instead described the KFOR reduction as a gradual process tied to continuing positive developments. 2009 is not even half over, and it has already been a historic year for NATO. Although many have wondered what de Gaulle would say about the reintegration of France into the military command structure of NATO, would it not be more surprising how Eisenhower, the first SACEUR, and the other founders of the alliance would react to yesterday’s ceremony to honor those who died in “out of area” missions?

From NATO (6/11/09): “Ministers agreed that the transition of KFOR to a so-called “deterrent presence” will be implemented in a gradual and phased manner. Ministers made clear that the pace of reductions in the KFOR troop levels will be decided by the North Atlantic Council as the situation evolves, taking into account security conditions.” (photo: NATO)