NATO Secretary General Rasmussen: First Major U.S. Speech

Amid administration debate over the way forward in Afghanistan, His Excellency Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivered his first major speech in the U.S. as NATO Secretary General at the Atlantic Council.

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Rasmussen addressed the future of the Afghanistan mission at a time of internal U.S. deliberation and when many European allies are wavering in their commitment to ISAF.  Additionally, he will discuss the new Strategic Concept for NATO as the alliance thinks about its future, the impact of the administration’s decision on missile defense in Europe and potential areas of NATO-Russia cooperation.

National Security Advisor General James L. Jones introduced the Secretary General, and Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe moderated the event.  Rasmussen’s address follows a speech about Congress’ perspective on the future of NATO by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at the Atlantic Council earlier in the day.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen became the 12th Secretary General of the NATO Alliance in August.  Prior to his selection as Secretary General at the April 2009 Strasbourg-Kehl NATO summit, Mr. Rasmussen served as the Prime Minister of Denmark.  In May, the Atlantic Council hosted Mr. Rasmussen for an all-day transition seminar that consisted of a series of strategy sessions with a small number of top former officials and experts to help prepare the then-incoming Secretary General to assume leadership of the Alliance on August 1.

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