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The Atlantic Council of the United States

The NATO Chicago Summit: Outcomes and the Way Ahead

Sherri Goodman,
Senior Vice President of CNA;
Board Director, Atlantic Council;

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall,
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe,
National Security Council;

Kori Schake,
Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and
Member of Atlantic Council;

Tobias Ellwood,
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Europe,
House of Commons;
Member of Atlantic Council;

Joshua Foust,
Fellow at the American Security Project;
Delegate at Young Atlanticist Summit;

Camille Grand,
Fondation pour la recherche stratégique;

Barry Pavel,
Director of International Security Program,
Atlantic Council;

Damon Wilson,
Executive Vice President,
Atlantic Council;

Jeff Lightfoot,
Deputy Director of International Security Program,
Atlantic Council

Time: 9:00 a.m. EDT
Date: Thursday, May 24, 2012

Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

SHERRI GOODMAN: Good morning.

It’s my great privilege to welcome a distinguished group of diplomats and national security and other leaders to the Atlantic Council this morning. There was a time when a NATO summit was a rather sleepy affair, but that certainly is no longer the case, now that it is a matter of global importance. And there is no one better to tell us what happened in Chicago and what it means than Liz Sherwood.

Liz – Dr. Sherwood-Randall, Liz Sherwood, is special assistant to the president and senior director for Europe on the National Security Council, and she’s – the position she’s held since early in this administration. She’s worked also at Stanford and at Harvard on the initiative on security problems and threats, co-founder of the Preventive Defense Project.

We had the opportunity to serve together in the Clinton administration when she was the deputy assistant secretary for defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, and was very instrumental in the Partnership for Peace and, in the early post-Cold War period, in the efforts to engage NATO with many partner countries – we actually often found ourselves on related trips in Europe and in Russia – and she served with great distinction in that role as in many others.

I often used to say when I was giving remarks that somewhere out there looking over me is my mother. Well, today I believe we are quite privileged to actually have Liz’s mother with us. So – (laughs) – I think it’s really wise, really quite, quite wonderful. And it’s wonderful to have so many of you here today.

So we’ve got a great program here for you today this morning at the Atlantic Council. Dr. Sherwood is going to give opening remarks. We’re going to do some Q-and-A here. We’ll give you all an opportunity for questions. We’ll take a coffee break, and after that we have a very nice panel that Barry Pavel is going to moderate with an international group of scholars and policymakers. Followed by that, the Atlantic Council’s Damon Wilson is going to give us a wrap up and a way ahead.

So let me introduce Dr. Sherwood. (Applause.)


Thank you all for being here. It is exciting to be on the – this side of the summit, because it was an 18-month project, actually, from the last time we had a NATO summit in November of 2010 in Lisbon.

I want to thank the Atlantic Council for doing this. I know Fred isn’t here, but to Damon, to Barry, Jeff, Sherri and all those involved on the board, you provide such important support for our work in support of the transatlantic relationship, and we’re very grateful for it. You played a significant role in Chicago as well; I’ll get to that in a moment.

Chicago did prove to be an excellent location for hosting a summit. First of all, the president was really jazzed about it. He loved having more than 60 world leaders in his hometown. Chicago put on a great show. The logistics were superb. And thus far, I haven’t heard any complaints from any delegation. I’m sure I would have had there been any problem, so we’re very thankful to everybody who worked so hard – state and local authorities, our secret service, the mayor, the host committee, so many who were involved in pulling off such a successful event.

And you all at the Atlantic Council played a very important role in putting together the youth summit that – Young Atlanticists who came to Chicago and held their own events. I had the privilege of speaking to them on the second morning of the summit during part of the ISAF meeting. And they were great, asked fabulous questions and really gave me hope for the future of this alliance because they were so energized. And I know Barry has been leading an initiative to really involve this next generation in the – in our work, and it’s critically important to sustain the alliance into the 21st century.

So I am sure that all of you have read every word of the NATO summit communiqué that was negotiated 24/7 for weeks on end down to the last minute. On Saturday – Sunday evening, when the leaders actually approved the summit communiqué, it was brought over to their dinner at Soldier Field, where the president was hosting his 27 counterparts and the NATO secretary-general, and they blessed it. So I will not regale you with details of that communiqué, but I would like to tell you what we got done at the summit and what lies ahead.

The summit’s theme was the revitalization of NATO. That’s something the president had set out explicitly to do from January 2009, when I came to serve him. He wanted to make sure that this alliance was prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century as effectively as it had met the challenges of the 20th century. And to that end, he was very specific about the requirement to make sure that allies could meet their Article 5 commitments to one another.

And so this summit, building on what was done in Lisbon in November 2010, focused on a number of initiatives, including on defense capabilities for the alliance, on the conclusion of our work in Afghanistan together and on building NATO’s partnerships, which reflects the emergence of NATO as the hub of a global security network. So I will speak about each of those three sets of outcomes at the summit and give you a sense of what we got done.

The first session of the summit began at 2:15 on Sunday afternoon after a formal arrival ceremony in which the president and the secretary-general stood on a – on a platform and welcomed each leader, with a big phalanx of photographers. And they came into the – essentially, a space was built to NATO spec inside of the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago with giant screens, so that every leader who spoke – this was really an innovation – every leader who spoke was broadcast on huge screens at the same time as they were able to be seen, of course, around the table by their counterparts.

The first session was focused on defense capabilities, and the president rolled out a set of initiatives under the rubric “NATO Forces 2020,” which we had worked long and hard to develop with all of our allies to showcase the capabilities that NATO is fielding that ensures that this alliance is greater than the sum of its parts.

And we had initiatives that included agreement on the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, or the DDPR, which a number of you have followed. They approved the DDPR as one of the acts of the capability session of the summit. And that was actually released in public, which is a first for NATO. The purpose of the DDPR was to ensure that the alliance has the appropriate mix of nuclear missile defense and conventional capabilities, and we sought to strike a balance between making progress in the NATO context on the president’s Prague agenda with regard to nuclear weapons and proliferation prevention and at the same time to reassure allies about our continued commitment to provide the deterrent capability necessary for the alliance. And so the DDPR reaffirms that NATO will remain a nuclear alliance so long as nuclear weapons exist and also that we will seek greater transparency with the Russians and potentially a negotiation in the future on nonstrategic nuclear weapons.

A related success, given the DDPR’s emphasis on the important role of ballistic missile defenses in broadening deterrence, was the declaration of interim capability on missile defense for the alliance. This was a huge step forward from what the allies agreed in Lisbon, where they took on the responsibility for developing a capability to defend NATO’s population, territory and forces in Europe against missile – a ballistic missile attack. This step toward transferring command and control from U.S. capabilities to NATO capabilities required an enormous amount of work behind the scenes on the part of our military, on the part of SHAPE, the NATO command and also, of course, allied militaries to ensure that we could transfer operational control of select missile defense assets to NATO, the first of which is the transfer of the radar that’s based now in Turkey. And in addition, we can transfer operational control of Aegis ships to NATO in time of crisis should the conditions warrant.

In addition, allies are making important contributions to this effort. We have Spain, as I mentioned – Turkey, Romania and Poland agreeing to host key missile defense assets, and all 28 allies have committed over $1 billion to support command and control and communications infrastructure to enable the missile defense architecture. We also recently had the Netherlands agree to upgrade their ships’ radars as sensors that can be tied into the NATO system. And because, for those of you who followed this missile defense architecture, it is adaptable; we are welcoming the contributions of other allies as we move to bring it on stream. And indeed, we have further steps to be taken. In 2015, we anticipate the declaration of initial operational capability and by 2018 the declaration of full operational capability in the missile defense system.

Two other significant Chicago “NATO Forces 2020” accomplishments that are squarely within the secretary-general’s Smart Defense initiatives, which were folded in – under this “NATO Forces 2020” rubric: NATO signed a contract to procure five Global Hawk unarmed aerial vehicles – unmanned aerial vehicles, excuse me – and agreed to extend our Baltic air policing mission. The commitment to acquire ISR assets – these Global Hawks that NATO is procuring – was very significant because we saw in the Libya operation last year that NATO lacked this capability and was almost entirely dependent on American assets to provide the kind of surveillance necessary in a military operation. And so what we judged was that this was a very important initiative we needed to push for delivery of at this summit to show, as I indicated, the reality that NATO is greater than the sum of its parts, and that when you belong to this alliance, there is benefit that is far beyond what you would have as an individual nation.

The Baltic Air Policing mission also is a significant achievement demonstrating the alliances’ enduring commitment to solidarity and collective defense and a way that we are working to use our resources smartly in a time of fiscal austerity. Because not all allies need to buy supersonic fighter aircraft, we have worked out an arrangement whereby those who have them are going to patrol the Baltic skies – continue patrolling the Baltic skies. The Baltic States, therefore, don’t have to buy their own planes but are contributing significantly with additional host nation support to this effort. And this is really a model for future initiatives in the Smart Defense arena.

I would just conclude that section by saying the president underscored in his intervention on Sunday afternoon during the session on defense capabilities how important it is to see this work as a first step. When Secretary Gates went to the allies last June in his farewell discussion with his counterparts, he ruffled a few feathers when he noted the concerns we have about allied defense expenditures, and he really did that with the best interests of the alliance at heart. And this president spoke explicitly about that with his counterparts and indicated, what we want to see based on what we’ve accomplished in Chicago is a renewed commitment to ensuring that defense spending is sufficient that allies will retain the capabilities necessary to be able to partner with us both in Europe and around the world going forward. And so that will be a significant element of our work together in the months and years ahead.

The second big project of this summit was to continue the work we have undertaken together in Afghanistan and agree on the next milestone in Afghanistan and agree on the way in which we will support Afghanistan after the end of NATO’s combat role in the end of 2014. This president had two events focused on Afghanistan at the summit. One was a dinner at Soldier Field that I mentioned at which they had essentially just the family around the table – it was 28 leaders, plus the secretary-general, and each of them had only one aide with them. In our case, it was Tom Donilon, the national security adviser.

And the focus there was on agreeing among allies on what NATO’s role will be after 2014. And it has been agreed among allies that NATO will, after it concludes its combat mission, remained involved in training, advising and assisting the Afghan national security forces who will have full control over their country at that point. So that mission, concluded at this summit, will ensure that Afghanistan secures the kind of support it needs to continue to do its job after we’re no longer involved in combat operations.

There were two other elements of the commitment that allies reached on the next day, which was during the large International Security Assistance Force summit. That was more than 60 countries – I think it was 63 countries around the table, and the EU and the United Nations represented at either heads of state and government or foreign ministers level. And at that meeting, two agreements were reached of significance.

One was on the 2013 milestone, which will be the point at which most of transition will have taken place and the Afghan national security forces will be in the lead all around Afghanistan. We will still be in a supporting role; we anticipate that ISAF forces will still engage in combat operations when necessary. But the ANSF will be in the lead.

And second, very significantly – although this was not a pledging summit; we did not pass a hat around to raise money; there was no number put out in public about the funds that were being raised – there was a very significant initiative undertaken by a number of allies to identify sources of support for the ANSF post-2014. And we are now confident that there are pledges on the table from a wide range of allies and partners both in Europe and beyond Europe to sustain the ANSF at a level that is sufficient for Afghanistan’s needs post-2014 and, indeed, beyond 2017. So we’re very confident that this will be – that the international community will continue to support Afghanistan and the work that it will need to do to provide for its own security.

Finally, a word on a signature initiative of the president’s. The final session of the summit was on NATO’s partnerships. This was something that has never happened before at a NATO summit. The president asked that we gather a group of partners who had demonstrated both the political will and the military capability to make a meaningful difference to alliance operations, both within and beyond Europe. And so at that last session of the summit, on Monday afternoon, the president, his 27 allied counterparts, Secretary-General Rasmussen met with 13 leaders of partner countries. And that ranged from the leaders of Australia and South Korea to leaders in Arab states – Qatar and the UAE; Morocco – and European partners as well, of course – Georgia and Sweden – all countries that have a made a very significant difference to alliance operations, whether in Kosovo or in Libya or in Afghanistan.

And the president spoke at that session very explicitly about the significant role partners have played and about the opportunity as we move into the future to see partners play an even more substantial role in alliance operations. This is because he sees that NATO is emerging as the hub of a network of global security partners. Although NATO is regionally-based, we face global challenges, and so partners can play an increasingly important role in ensuring that the allies can advance their shared interests.

And what the president asked the NATO secretary-general to do, with the support of all 27 allies, was to begin a process over the course of the coming months to identify ways to integrate partners more fully into NATO planning and NATO training so that – so that partners who are willing to step forward and do more for the alliance have the opportunity to shape the way the alliance develops an operation and executes an operation and even does the after-action analysis of an operation. So I anticipate that this will be an area of very dynamic work in the coming months and that this will be reported out as the foreign ministers and defense ministers meet in the coming year to look at the outcomes of this summit.

Let me say two others things before I pause for our conversation, Sherri. One is about the countries that aspire to NATO membership. The – Secretary Clinton and the other foreign ministers at this summit – allied foreign ministers – met with aspirant countries to talk about their interest in joining the alliance. And this included, of course, Georgia and Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro. While this was not planned to be an enlargement summit, a number of countries are proceeding steadily on the path to membership of the alliance, and we wanted to signal very clearly that the alliance’s door remains open for those countries that meet the alliance’s requirements. That was a very good conversation among a number of allies and these four countries that aspire to NATO membership. And of course, that’s not an exclusive list of countries, but those are the ones that are the most advanced along the path.

And last, a word about Russia. As you know – I think you probably know that the new Russian president indicated to Secretary-General Rasmussen that he was not going to be able to come to a NATO summit and therefore did not want to be invited to a NATO summit because he was busy trying to form – he would be busy, he anticipated, forming a new government. And indeed, he just announced his government this week. So we did not hold a NATO-Russia Council summit at Chicago.

However, the Russians were invited to participate as an important transit country in the ISAF summit, and they attended. And the president indicated – in his interventions with his counterparts, he described the importance of our continuing work with Russia to build on the cooperation we have established with regard to Afghanistan, where the Russians provide critical transit support, and to look for other ways to develop the partnership between NATO and Russia, including our commitment to continue to find ways to cooperate with regard to missile defense, where we see that there could be opportunities should the Russians want to seize upon them.

So with that, I think I’ll stop, and I look forward to your questions. Thank you.

MS. GOODMAN: That was a terrific, terrific tour. Can you – is the mic on – yeah, OK – of what happened in Chicago and what its implications are. And I am sure that there are many in the audience with questions. So I will start with a few, and then we will open the floor.

So since someone else will undoubtedly ask this question, I’ll just ask it first. In the so-called pivot to Asia, Liz, in U.S. defense strategy, is that a sign that the Asia-Pacific theater is more important to the U.S. in the 21st century or that the trans-Atlantic alliance is indeed in good, working order and the U.S. is pivoting from a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: You’re closer on your second interpretation, Sherri. I would say that the pivot to Asia means that we see that our strategic challenges lie principally in Asia. And if you read through the rest of that document, it indicates of course also in the Middle East and that Europe does not present a significant strategic challenge, as it did after the Second World War, when the Soviets threatened to gobble up Europe. And that’s why NATO was created.

So the important message there to all of our Europeans allies is you’re part of the solution, not part of the problem. And we look forward to working together, both to expand democracy and stability in Europe on the eastern periphery where it has not fully taken hold, and also to working beyond, where we cooperate so intensively with our European allies in the greater Middle East and North Africa.

The one area where we do not have significant cooperation yet with Europe is in Asia. It’s not that we don’t cooperate in the sense of being at odds with one another, there just isn’t a very rich dialogue. And one of the areas in which we would like to expand our work with our European allies is on Asia in the future.

MS. GOODMAN: Good. As you alluded to, former Secretary Gates warned a NATO gathering last year that the alliance faces a dim if not dismal future and possible military irrelevance. How has the Chicago summit affected, in your view, that particular assessment?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: I think Chicago showed that we can deliver, and that when we identify specific priorities, specific shortfalls for the alliance, whether in terms of meeting a new threat – and that is in the development of ballistic missile defenses – or in meeting a capabilities gap in the development of the ISR assets being procured with the Global Hawk aircraft.

The alliance can mobilize resources, even in a time of austerity, and move forward together. And so my confidence, based on this summit, is that we have the capacity, by setting priorities and making choices about what is most important to do together, that we can get it done.

MR. GOODMAN: While NATO members, including the U.S., are eager to leave Afghanistan and end combat operations, will, in your view, the Afghan security forces left behind indeed be able to ensure a stable nation there?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Well, they are working very hard to do so. And the evidence from our commanders is that they are increasingly capable of it. Even in the most recent events in Kabul, where we saw some pretty dramatic attacks, the Afghan national security forces handled it very effectively. And so we believe that over time, through the work we’re doing with them and the continuation of our training and advising and assisting mission, they will be capable of owning their country.

MS. GOODMAN: You spoke much about how to reset NATO and move towards the future. What future missions do you foresee NATO undertaking in a world increasingly shaped by political change in the Middle East combined with continuing nuclear and terrorism challenges, and even the non-traditional threats emerging on the horizon, such as water and resource scarcity?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: First of all, NATO is about the habit of cooperation among 28 countries every day, across their governments and in Brussels. And one of the most remarkable qualities of NATO is that behind the scenes, although you have a summit maybe once every 18 months, we are engaged in intensive interaction, not just on defense and security issues, but on the political issues of the day, on issues such as water and resources.

It creates a structure whereby we are coordinating with one another and thinking through the challenges we face and looking to maximize our leverage together. And so I see NATO continuing to play that very, very important policy coordination role across a wide range of issues and I see NATO preparing to meet a wide range of threats, because we can’t predict where we will be called upon to act.

So, for example, no one would have imagined that NATO would have mounted a military operation over Libya, even six months before it happened. And yet, within nine days of a U.N. Security Council resolution, we had planes up in the sky over Libya. And that was because of the work that’s done every day in the integrated military command structure in which 28 countries participate to be prepared and to have exercised together, develop doctrine, trained, exercised, procured in a way that is interoperable. And so what I want to ensure is that NATO can respond to a wide range of contingencies and be ready to act when called upon.

MS. GOODMAN: Well, speaking of Libya – a mission that was designed for the protection of civilians at risk there – as we know, there are other civilians in the region at risk today, including in Syria. What can you share with us about thinking within NATO about Syria?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Well, there are, of course, intensive consultations among us bilaterally – among allies about the situation in Syria. And the alliance has had discussions as an alliance as well about Syria. So at the foreign ministerial meeting that took place in Brussels in April, the Turkish foreign minister briefed his counterparts about the situation in Syria. And we have continued an ongoing conversation about what is happening there.

Now, at present, there has been no request by the United Nations for any NATO mission. And the fact is that the Syrian situation is a very different one than the one in Libya. And so it is possible that there will not be a role at any point for NATO in Syria, or it is conceivable that at a certain point in time, the United Nations may – the Security Council may determine that it is time for more action and that NATO would be asked to play a role, perhaps, in humanitarian relief. But at present, there isn’t a specifically identified role for NATO play.

However, again in the context of the ongoing relationships we have with all our NATO allies, we are having ongoing quite intensive consultations about Syria. Indeed, we have some senior Turkish officials in Washington today for conversations about Syria.

MS. GOODMAN: Well – and speaking of Turkey – which has long been a staunch NATO ally and is becoming an increasingly important global strategic partner – say more about Turkey’s role in NATO and as a strategic partner in the region in the 21st century global security environment?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: This has been a big priority for the president. When we began our work together in January 2009, the relationship was badly frayed. And we assessed that Turkey was strategically very important and that we needed to invest in rebuilding this relationship. And it has been a very important one, of course, as the Arab Spring has unfolded. And we have done a tremendous amount of work with Turkey.

Turkey has reinvested in NATO in the past few years, choosing to agree to the missile defense initiative that we presented in Lisbon and then agreeing, at some political cost domestically, to putting this radar in Turkey, which I just indicated was transferred to NATO’s command and control at the summit. And so we see Turkey as a critically important NATO ally. It’s been a NATO ally since 1952 and participates in every alliance initiative. And we value its role as an ally tremendously.

MS. GOODMAN: OK. Now we’re going to open for questions. I’d ask as I recognize you to state your name and affiliation. Terrific, I see a hand in the back.

Q: Hi. I’m Elana Jervich (sp). I’m from – (audio break) – how close is Montenegro to securing that invitation for NATO membership? Thanks.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: I can’t give a date or time, but I would say that every ally has a very clear program of action that is required, and NATO has devoted tremendous resources to assisting countries interested in joining in proceeding along that path as efficiently as each country is able to do so. So we don’t have a date set for a next summit. But certainly that will be something that we’ll be working with Montenegro to achieve in the coming years.

There’s a hand around the corner there.

MS. GOODMAN: OK, I see a hand in the corner there.

Yeah, go ahead.

Q: Hi, I’m Daniel Collesi (ph); I’m a student from Stanford, California, and I’m writing my thesis on NATO’s policy on nonstrategic nukes. And I was just wondering what the Obama administration hopes to see happen to the 200 or so B61 gravity bombs in Europe and Turkey.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Who are you working with at Stanford, Daniel?

MS. GOODMAN: (Laughs.)

Q: Scott Sagan.

MS. GOODMAN: Yeah, good.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Scott is a colleague and former mentor of mine.

MS. GOODMAN: Right, exactly.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Scott was my TA when I was an undergraduate at Harvard, and I’m happy to know that he – you are in such good hands.

So as I indicated, the defense – the “Deterrence and Defense Posture Review” will be a very significant document for you as you work on your thesis. And as I also said, it’s highly unusual, but it’s been made public. So you can get access to it on the NATO website.

The alliance, as of last year when Secretary Clinton spoke in Tallinn, I believe – team – my team is out there. Am I correct? It was the Tallinn principles, yes. Secretary Clinton stated clearly that we are interested in further reductions in nuclear weapons in the context of reciprocal reductions, a negotiated process with Russia to reduce its vastly superior arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

And so what would – we have indicated in the DDPR we’re interested initially in transparency measures, because there needs to be a lot more transparency with regard to where the weapons are positioned. There is the possibility of pulling weapons back so that they are not positioned in such a threatening way on Europe’s borders and potentially in negotiation in the future. But that will depend upon the interest of our negotiating partner, of course.

MS. GOODMAN: Yes, gentleman in the back.

Q: (Off mic.)

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Hi, Tobias (sp), welcome.

Q: – Europe – (off mic) –

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: (Chuckles.) Indeed.

Q: (Off mic) – many questions now – (off mic) – taken on Operation Atalanta, the piracy operation down in – near Somalia. Do you have a – (off mic) – whether there’s a threshold of interest that the European Union should be involved in military matters or whether they – this – (off mic)?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Tobias (sp), thank you so much for asking that question.

At the summit, the European Union was represented both at the first session on defense capabilities – your two presidents were there, both Barroso and Van Rompuy. They were also present at the ISAF meeting the next day, and our – and we held a special event, which was a meeting of Secretary Clinton; your high representative for foreign policy, Cathy Ashton; and Secretary-General Rasmussen. And the purpose of that was to emphasize our strong commitment to strengthened, enhanced and expanded NATO-EU cooperation.

Now that said, what’s important to us, because we don’t have a seat at the table at the EU, is to ensure that what Europe does as Europe and what European nations do nationally is rationalized. We want to see more European capability. We want to see a stronger Europe. Our only concern would be if what the EU does is duplicate effort rather than add value.

And so in terms of a European defense capability, we’re all for it as long as it adds capabilities; it is additive, rather than being something that is duplicative or potentially a waste of resources, because clearly there are not enough resources to go around right now and every euro counts. So we want to make sure that what you’re doing is beneficial to the collective.


Right here in front.

Q: Robert Beecroft, Department of State. I’d like to drill down a little further on Turkey. There has been – as you know, there used to be a thing called the quad –

MS. : Right.

Q: – which was sort of the directorate inside NATO. There has been some talk recently about expanding the quad to be a quint, and including Turkey as one of the true determining powers inside of NATO. How do you see this in terms of the political and strategic realities of Turkey’s role right now, and how doable is it, and should we be going down that road at all?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Robert, since you are part of our government, I just – I haven’t seen these proposals. (Laughs.)

MS. GOODMAN: Yeah. (Laughs.)

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: But I’m glad to respond to your question. I think the way we approach conversations with allies is – to use a term that will be, I think, illustrative, it’s – we use variable geometry. So you can have –

MS. GOODMAN: (Laughs.)

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: – you can have a quint that includes five countries that have nothing to do with the quad. You may want to have Turkey and several of the original quad, the quad being – the quad he’s referring to is Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Or you may have a quad meeting, the original quad.

So we don’t – we don’t hold to formal groupings in that way or even informal groupings that would be exclusive. We work with the countries that have – as I indicated earlier, who demonstrate political will and military capability. And we identify, according to our need, who needs to be at the table.

I would say Syria is a very good example, Sherri. Obviously when we’re working on Syria, Turkey’s got to be at the table. Turkey has an enormous border with Syria and a great stake in what happens there. It’s a NATO ally, and we have an Article 5 guarantee with Turkey, and so that’s an example of the kind of issue that we would of course want to engage with Turkey and other allies about together.

MS. GOODMAN: Yes, right here.

Q: Thank you. Thank you. Dr. Steven Shapiro, a council member from New York. I’ve had the privilege of traveling on fact-finding missions for three different NATO commanders through North Africa, the Balkans and most recently the Baltics. And I would like to just focus on the Baltics since you raised them today.

There seems to – what came out of our meetings there was a very different sense of confidence with respect to the Article 5 commitment and the measures that NATO takes now to demonstrate commitment and confidence there. The air policing, for example, that you mentioned is a full 34 minutes away, and that doesn’t instill confidence in them. But more importantly is the issue of the aggressive use of soft power from the East. And that soft power includes economic, obviously energy, plainly cyber, demographic, newspaper, real estate. You could go on and on. And I know there are some representatives of those embassies here today.

And the question persistent to us in the recent visit was, does Article 5 kick in in the event our airports are shut down through cyber, or does Article 5 kick in in the winter when our cities are deprived of gas? These are nonkinetic acts, but they’re equally aggressive, and they don’t look much different than a kinetic act which could achieve the same result.

NATO had no answer to us when we came back and debriefed on these issues. “Energy policy,” quote unquote, as a Washington issue, wasn’t viewed as a threat in that way. And the other aspects of it are deemed capitalist behavior, and thus we applaud them. So I wonder if there was some discussion of that. I wonder how you would respond to this Baltic concern and whether NATO is beginning to embrace the concept that nonkinetic aggression can be equally devastating.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: I’m not sure who you talked to and who gave you the responses you’ve described. I mean, the president from the outset directed that we develop contingency plans for the Baltic states. And we can’t of course talk about those in public – (chuckles) – but – other than saying that they exist, but we can’t go into the details of them. But we are confident that the Baltic states can be well defended, should they be threatened, and we have a very effective deterrent in place.

Q: (Off mic) –

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: With regard to new threats, the alliance has committed to working on cyber defense. That was one of the Lisbon initiatives; that’s under way. And on energy policy, while it’s not explicitly in NATO’s mandate to defend against an energy – what you’re describing as an energy attack, energy is also on the agenda at NATO.

So as I said, I don’t know who’s giving you the answers they have given you, but these are issues that we work on every day, both bilaterally and in the NATO context and in other contexts as well, frankly. We work on it with the EU, to Tobias’ question on the whole issue of energy security. We work on it with the OSCE, and so – I see one of my close colleagues, one of the ambassadors of one of our Baltic allies. I wonder if you wanted to add anything, Marina (sp), in answering this question?

MS. : (Off mic) – and we’re going to jeopardize the time here.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: She wants to do it privately, OK, yeah.

Q: (Off mic.)

MS. : Yeah.


Q: (Inaudible) – American University; I’m also a member of the council. Thank you for your presentation today, and my question is about Georgia. Let’s assume that developments – internal reforms, internal developments in Georgia – elections this year, parliamentary elections, next year’s presidential elections – all are free and fair. Everything goes well in terms of reforms, and Georgia continues its commitment of forces in Afghanistan and other operations.

Do you see – and Secretary Clinton mentioned about enlargement – do you see Georgia being given membership action plan or some other mechanisms and clear kind of road map for membership in the foreseeable future? And would it be – would other factors like Russian resistance or other factors be the obstacle on this development? Thank you.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: So the interesting thing about our work with Georgia is I think that the – our colleagues in Georgia increasingly recognize that they’re on a very sound path and that they don’t need a membership action plan, that there are many paths to membership in the alliance. And we’re doing so much work together. They are doing very important – you, Georgians, are doing very important work in Afghanistan with us. And there are other elements of our cooperation that are expanding as well. So I would say the important thing for everybody who is looking to the possibility of joining the alliance is to work within the framework that works best for you. And what’s working right now for Georgia seems to be very effective.

We’ve just also agreed on the development of our bilateral defense cooperation with Georgia, based on the visit of President Saakashvili to the Oval Office earlier this year. And as the president has stated repeatedly, countries must be free to choose their own alliances. And we respect Georgia’s territorial integrity and have repeatedly stated that. And so others will not influence the alliance’s decision when that time comes with regard to Georgian membership.

MS. GOODMAN: Yes, in the back.

Q: Stephanie Crystal (ph), National Defense University. In the summit declaration there was this reference to the irreversible transition to Afghan forces, and I was wondering how do you anticipate that this might affect negotiations with the Taliban or Afghani opinion of ISAF forces?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: I can’t comment on negotiations with the Taliban. With regard to the Afghans’ view of ISAF forces, the whole point of the milestone in 2013 is to put us on a gradual glide path towards transition, rather than having transition be kind of falling off a cliff. So the idea is to ensure that we do the work necessary to increasingly transfer over a period of time, very deliberately, responsibility to the ANSF and ensure that they feel ready when they take that full responsibility. And we will remain behind them.

And so the period between mid-2013, whenever the milestone – there isn’t a date attached to the milestone, but sometime in approximately the middle of 2013 to the end of 2014 – we will still have the capacity, we will still have combat capabilities in place and be able to support them in situations where they require. But the idea is to increasingly enable them to play that role.


Q: Isabel Consuel (ph), National Defense University. My question relates to partnerships. And we’ve had in Chicago three meetings involving partners showing a great deal of flexibility in the way we approach partnership at NATO. Certainly good news in terms of the tasking that was given at the previous summit in Lisbon regarding flexibility towards partnerships. My question relates to the future. Looking at the declaration, there is no tasking as to how to develop partnership further. You hinted at the fact that we might work in terms of planning, training, but there is no tasking. How do you see that work going forward?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: I am confident that the secretary-general will seize the initiative, based on the discussion that took place at the partnership session and the request that President Obama made in that session of the secretary-general and the secretary-general’s acceptance of that request to work to develop new modalities for involving partners who have the – as I said, the political will and the military capabilities to contribute. This will not – I want to underscore this, because some people then get nervous that maybe that means we’re going get rid of the partnership structures we have, or maybe it means we’re looking to create new partnership arrangements.

We have terrific partnership structures as agreed at Lisbon. The purpose here is to think through the question – and I’ll give you an example, of Australia. Australia has been involved in combat operations in Afghanistan, is a very significant contributor of capabilities. Australia needs to find a way to have a voice in the policy development process, and that doesn’t exist yet in the alliance. And so the question is how do you build into an operation those partners who are willing to step forward and commit resources over an extended period of time? How do you find a way for them to play the role that’s not just – as could be said, they shouldn’t just be in on the landing; they should be in on the takeoff? And that’s the question that has been asked and the work that is going to get under way, guided by the secretary-general working with the North Atlantic Council in permanent session.

MS. GOODMAN: Gentleman in the back.

Q: Thank you. I’m Gerry Livingston from the German Historical Institute, and I’ve got two questions about Germany. First question is: German defense spending has been going down. It’s now under 1.4 percent of the GDP. Was there any indication from the German representative in Chicago that this decline would be reversed? And the second question is the United States has announced it’s going to be withdrawing substantial numbers of troops from Germany. What does this say about our commitment to security in Europe?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: The German representative in Chicago was none other than the chancellor, with whom the president has a very strong relationship. And we have been very explicit that we’re very concerned about the trajectory of German defense spending and about what that means for German capabilities. And Germany, we continue to argue, is a central player in NATO and in Europe, and we’d like to see Germany field capabilities equal to its economic clout.

With regard to our forces in Europe, we are going to bring back an additional brigade combat team from Europe as we rebalance our forces after we are able to complete the transition in Afghanistan. However, in that context, we’ve also committed to a rotational training project to bolster the NATO response force, which exists in theory but not sufficiently in practice. And the idea there is to ensure that as forces come home, not only U.S. forces but allied forces who have achieved a degree of interoperability in Afghanistan through our work on the ground together, that we exercise and train continuously with those forces in Europe. And so the Army is working now to develop a concept for this initiative, which will ensure that we not only exercise for the kind of work we did in Afghanistan, but again for the full spectrum of operations that we might have to undertake with allies in the future. And we’ll be using the training facilities that are located in Germany for that purpose.

MS. GOODMAN: Way far in the back.

Q: Hi, Jerry McGinn, independent defense consultant, and I was co-chairman of the NATO Industrial Advisory Group study last year that focused on trans-Atlantic defense, industrial, and technological cooperation. So I wanted to follow up on that previous question and ask a broader question about, you know, with defense spending, and particularly the European allies, kind of going through the floor, there’s been talk about smart defense and pooling and sharing capabilities, and there was – that was a big, central plank of the Chicago summit. I’d like your comments on how you think the meat that came out of that – the projects they talked about – there were 22 – what was your sense of those, and where do you see these kind of initiatives going forward? Thank you.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Given the economic circumstances in Europe today, there was a lot of interest expressed by leaders in Europe for opportunities for European defense industry to participate in NATO procurement. And of course, we’re in a very competitive marketplace, and my view of that is may the best man or woman win, whoever –

MS. GOODMAN: Right, best company. (Laughter.)

MS. ELIZABETH SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Well, that’s the point, the best company. Thanks, Sherri; it doesn’t have to be gender-specific. (Laughter). And so we’re – we welcome the participation of European defense industry in efforts like the new missile defense architecture. There are plenty of opportunities for that, and this is a very significant aspect of what sustains this alliance. It involves populations across the continent and can create additional stakes in commitments to defense spending at the level that would be sufficient. We share the concern, as I’ve indicated already, about the declining defense budgets in Europe.

Now, there are also issues with defense spending that is not as rational as it should be. And we have just been through our own national review, which, indeed, the president described to his counterparts at the session on Sunday, the defense capabilities session, talking about how we made some very difficult choices and sought to ensure that what we were spending money on was consistent with the strategy. And he urged his allied counterparts to do the same, not only to raise their game in terms of spending, but to ensure that what they spend on is what really needs to be invested in for the future and isn’t just about legacy systems or the ways – the way that things have been done in the past, which may not be at all relevant to current or future threats.

MS. GOODMAN: Gentleman in the back, and then Damon (sp) and then – excuse me, in the – by the pillar here.

Q: Thank you. Norman Ray.

MS. GOODMAN: Oh, good to see you.

Q: Liz – I’m with the SPECTRUM Group now.


Q: Along with everyone else, I actually did read the communique – (laughter) – and on the theory that the communique is supposed to communicate.

MS. GOODMAN (?): Only to NATO nerds like the people in this room, I have to say. (Laughter.)

Q: I’m a wonk.

MS. GOODMAN (?): You can test my mother. She hasn’t read the communique. (Laughter.)

Q: Well, there are a couple things that stood out, and I want to mention of them. I’m not so sure it’s a question; it may just be a statement. The communique alluded to the threat by the chief of the Russian General Staff to pre-emptively attack allied territory, ballistic missile defense site. The communique alluded to that and said it was regrettable. Was that the best we could do?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Well, Norm, you know, I think that we have a project under way of trying to encourage the best in Russia and not play into the worst. And in that – in this case, we’re trying to help the Russians see that there are opportunities that will benefit them in cooperation with us on missile defense. And there have been statements made both publicly, and we’ve also had private communications with the Russians in which it has been acknowledged that there are elements of the Russian government that sometimes speak without the full agreement of other elements of the government – sometimes happens in our government too.

So we have a lot of work to do, clearly, on missile defense, because the Russians continue to see it as a threat, whereas it is not at all designed against them; it’s designed against other emerging threats. And we think that there are opportunities to cooperate if they can see a way forward to do that.

MS. GOODMAN: Damon (sp).

Q: First I just wanted to say congratulations, Liz. It’s a big deal to get through a summit like this, particularly one that we are the host for.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: (Chuckles.) Yes.

Q: So I appreciate how much work you’ve put into it. And thank you for that, and thank you for coming here to talk about it. Just one comment and two short questions. I know we’re running short on time.

I just wanted to underscore, I thought your point about partnerships is actually among the most significant things to come out of Chicago and the least appreciated, certainly by the media. They didn’t pick up on – much on that at all. And so I think it really has opened up to where you can go on offense in terms of creativity with policy, a real new way of thinking about how the alliance operates in the world. And so we look forward to seeing the work play out at the headquarters. We look forward to the Atlantic Council actually drilling down on that topic as well because we agree with your assessment that that’s – that actually is one of the big opportunities coming out of Chicago.

Just two small questions. You mentioned that the foreign ministers before Chicago had met and had conversations about Syria. But did Syria come up in any capacity in – at any of the meetings or levels in Chicago?

And second, in the enlargement – or in the foreign ministers’ meeting with the aspirants, Secretary Clinton’s statement that Chicago should be the last summit that’s not an enlargement summit was a pretty significant statement for the secretary of state to make. And I just wonder how much you think that reflects where the alliance is, where it’s going and how you see that moving forward.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Thank you for the compliment on partnership. You’re right. I mean, it really is the most innovative element of the summit.

On the Syria question, to the best of my recollection, there was no, at 28, discussion of Syria. There were side conversations. However, the previous weekend when we were at Camp David, there were extensive conversations about Syria among the G-8 leaders. And we continue to work to find a way to secure Russian support for action that might be mandated by the Security Council.

Finally, on Secretary Clinton, Secretary Clinton speaks her mind and her heart. And she’d like to drive this process forward. And I think there is a range of views in the alliance. Some are more hesitant about the obligations that we would take on and the responsibilities that accrue and whether the aspirants are prepared to meet those responsibilities. And so there’s just still work to be done.

And I think the most important message, however, is one that I underscored, Damon (sp), which is that the door is open. And you know, there are other countries that have contributed very significantly to the alliance who, as I mentioned, were at the partnership session, like Sweden, like Finland. You could conceivably see a situation in which there was Nordic in joining. That hasn’t been stated thus far; the politics don’t support it in some of those countries yet. But we could have a whole different kind of enlargement than has yet been foreseen in the future, because they’ve played very significant roles and contributed extraordinary capabilities. The performance of the Swedish air force in Libya was remarkable and effective and precise. And so we welcome those contributions to alliance efforts in the future.

MS. GOODMAN: OK, Liz, in our few minutes remaining, I have two final questions for you.


MS. GOODMAN: OK, so picking up on the Nordic point and the – as you mentioned, NATO as the hub of an emerging global security network, a region that is becoming today more accessible as a result of global change is the Arctic. And there’s increasing interest and possibility of access to the vast energy, fishing and other resources available in the Arctic. What role, if any, do you see NATO having in the Arctic as this emerges as a new global area of interest and access?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: It’s a – it’s – timely question, Sherri, because next week I’m going to Norway with Secretary Clinton. She’s doing a trip to Europe that will include a stop, I think, in northern Norway, and part of the conversation will be about the perspective of our Nordic allies on security in that region. So maybe at a future meeting of this august group, we can talk some more about that.

MS. GOODMAN: OK. I think that would be – because I too have heard the same from Nordic countries who have been here recently, and even when I was in China last week that subject came up – so an increasing area of importance.

Finally, if the president asked you to prepare the agenda today for the next NATO summit – (laughter) – what would be on it?

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: I have to go into rehab first. (Laughter.)

MS. GOODMAN: In other words, you’re not doing another NATO summit. One big one is enough – (inaudible). (Laughter.)

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: I loved doing the summit. And you know, I will say that I think the – certainly the three elements of the summit that we just held will need to be on the agenda again. So we will want to drive forward on defense capabilities. We will want to achieve what we have set forth in Afghanistan and sustain the level of effort into the future, albeit a different kind of effort.

And on partnerships, I want to see progress on just what I described, which is that we have developed a new way to work with partners that is much more – it does – while we have to maintain the core – those who are members have a different level of commitment to one another, the Article 5 guarantee – we need to find a way for partners willing to step forward to participate such that it gives them a feeling of ownership. And that’s a very important element of incentivizing partners to continue to contribute and indeed to contribute more in the future, which will be to the benefit of all allies and partners.

I’ll just add one final point, because the president has spoken about this, Sherri, and it’s a significant way of thinking about this alliance. He sees the Atlantic alliance as a unique American asset and as a unique asset for all the members of the alliance. And for those who are partners, we also need to find a way to benefit those partners by building them in to a greater extent into the way the alliance develops its initiatives and implements them.

MS. GOODMAN: Well, Liz, let me thank you very much. You and I both came of age in the Cold War when the alliance was sort of central to all security matters. And now we have seen it emerge as continuing to have a central role, but also to be the hub of a much larger spoke that is very comprehensive, as your remarks have been comprehensive, coherent and cooperative. So thank you very much.

MS. SHERWOOD-RANDALL: Thanks, Sherri. (Applause.)


BARRY PAVEL: Well, welcome, everyone. Again, I’m very excited about this panel which we have convened to assess what you just heard and to recommend effective ways forward for the alliance and for our collective efforts. I’ll introduce each of my panelists briefly. Each of them is esteemed and very experienced and very expert, so to give them justice, I should really spend five minutes on each, probably spend 15 seconds. But in no particular order, we have Mr. Tobias Ellwood, who is an MP in the British Parliament. He was born – he was elected as a member of Parliament for Bournemouth East – I’m sure I pronounced that wrong – in May 2005. He was appointed opposition whip in January 2006. In July 2007, he was promoted to the post of shadow minister for culture, media and sport, which does not include NATO, as far as I know. After the May 2010 general election, he was appointed parliamentary private secretary to the defense secretary, which was Liam Fox. In October 2011, he was appointed parliamentary private secretary to the minister for Europe, the Right Honorable David Lidington, in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We also have – so thank you for coming, Tobias.

We also have on the far end Joshua Foust, who is a fellow of the American Security Project. And you heard Liz Sherwood-Randall talk about the Atlantic Council’s Young Atlanticist Summit, which we had within the perimeter in Chicago, where we talked with a variety of officials, ranging from General Allen to Liz to the president of Bulgaria. Joshua is a delegate in our Young Atlanticist Group. He’s also a correspondent for The Atlantic, a columnist for PBS’s “Need to Know,” and a fellow at the American Security Project, as I said. So welcome, Joshua.

We have all the way from Paris via Tampa Mr. Camille Grand, who is the managing director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique. Please don’t be upset by my French accent. He was appointed by his board in May 2008 and has been in office since September of 2008. He is a very prolific and key contributor to the debates on these issues, so we’re just thrilled that we could have Camille, and so welcome, Camille.

And them to my immediate right in the subdued suit is Dr. Kori Schake. She’s a research fellow currently at the Hoover Institution and an associate professor of international security studies at West Point, the United States Military Academy. Kori’s also a frequent contributor to Atlantic Council efforts, just gave testimony at a major Capitol Hill event that we had before the NATO summit, and a long-time colleague of mine. So I’m thrilled that she could – that she could be here.

I’ll just speak for a couple of minutes to frame the issues, and then I’ll turn to the panelists for their views. So it strikes me that there’s sort of roughly five issues that we could discuss. And I’ve asked each of the panelists to address all or some subset of them. And so first, Afghanistan, I think some of the key questions are how much progress did the summit really mark? Were the worst outcomes that some expected before the summit – were they avoided? Does NATO have a strategy-driven way ahead to achieve the coalition’s objectives and transition to Afghan national security force responsibility as we move towards the 2014 deadline? And then how clear is the strategy beyond 2014? We’ve heard in the communique that NATO will have a presence of some sort. What are the guiding objectives for that presence? What’s the strategy, what are the missions and then what are the key supporting posture and footprint that NATO forces will have? I think these are critical questions that should be answered regarding Afghanistan. And I know Tobias and Josh will address – will address that.

Smart defense is another topic we’ve heard about. Did the summit mark sufficient progress such that the way ahead is clear and adequate on smart defense? Are the 22 projects that were mentioned – whatever they are; we don’t have the list – are they enough to ensure that NATO could even do another Libya-type operation a few years from now? I think this is a really essential question, that NATO has the wherewithal to achieve its strategy. And sort of my bottom line is: Will NATO do a better job of coordinating on national defense cuts to avoid surprises, and hopefully even better, to cohere more effectively? And so ill it act as a clearinghouse to discuss major defense cuts that any of its members undertake? I haven’t seen that yet, but it would be an important process to take a look at.

Third, I think strategic capabilities – which I consider nuclear weapons, missile defense, cyberspace and space capabilities – these are particularly important in light of the challenges that the alliance has said it needs to address in the future. Progress was certainly made at the Lisbon summit, as Liz Sherwood-Randall said, on cyber and on missile defense. Did you see more progress in those areas? And how about the critical area of space capabilities, which is arguably as important and in which the alliance is as vulnerable as it is regarding cyberspace.

And then lastly, nuclear weapons, which I know Dr. Schake has been a strong commentator on – the alliance – I noticed in the communique – I didn’t read every word, but I read many words – the alliance called for reciprocal reductions with Russia. But I was surprised not to see the word “proportionate” reductions, and I so would love to have a discussion on those questions.

Fourth, the question of partnerships, which we heard Damon Wilson ask about: Was the NATO summit meeting with the 13-most-valued contributors from Asia, from Europe and from the Middle East a landmark of historic significance, as it has been characterized? Will there be follow-on work that expeditiously establishes arrangements to better ensure linkages with key partners at the political level as well as at the operational level? And some of that work is ongoing.

And then last, in the area of partnerships, the Middle East is essentially boiling, and how far should NATO go at engaging various regional partners surrounding the regions in turmoil?

Last but not least is the question of the open door and enlargement, the summit agenda and outcome on this question. Was it sufficient? What signals will the key NATO membership aspirants take from the results of the summit, from the meeting? What is the way forward really on this critical endeavor for making Europe whole and free?
And so with that, with those very weighty questions, but we have a very weighty panel, I will first turn to Dr. Schake for her comments.

KORI SCHAKE: So thank you, Barry. My assessment of the summit is that, this is basically good news. They stuck to the 2014 timeline outlined at Lisbon, and that’s good for us and good for Afghanistan. That French – the new French president’s commitment to withdraw French troops didn’t get reversed. It would have been nice if that had been so. But among the difficulties that the military folks in Afghanistan are having to deal with, they can probably put more strain on American forces or more strain on the Afghan forces (and fill that ?). I actually think it’s hugely significant that President Obama’s decision 18 months ago didn’t start a rush to the exits. I think Lisbon was the important commitment. I think it’s terrific that everyone stuck to the Lisbon commitments and didn’t get rattled by President Hollande’s choice.

On – so I think Afghanistan is pretty good news. It is disappointing that President Obama wasn’t able to get people to commit to significant numbers and publicly commit to significant numbers on support to Afghanistan after 2014. I do think we have a strategy. Unfortunately, I think our execution of the strategy is going well on the military side and we are dramatically underinvested in the nonmilitary pieces of it. And by that I do not mean financial assistance to the Afghans. I mean the roll your sleeves up, help get the presidential election arrayed in a way that is going to reconnect Afghan citizens with their government, that is going to show Afghans that there is a post-Karzai and constitutional path forward to the country that they clearly want for themselves. We are doing the military piece wonderfully, but that’s mostly what we’re doing, and that is insufficient to the goals. So I think the strategy is right. Our execution of it is much too heavily weighted on the military piece of it.

Do you want me to go through all five of your questions, or do you want me to launch an initial – (inaudible)?

MR. : Whichever you would like to address.

MS. SCHAKE: OK. So again, on the nuclear issue, I actually think the alliance – if I had been asked to bet money three years ago that the outcome would be the NATO allies committing to a very sensible reassertion of the importance of nuclear deterrence in keeping peace in Europe and the United States and Canada, I would not have bet that we would get this outcome. I think the NATO strategy language on nuclear deterrence is terrific. I think the burden-sharing arrangements associated with it that NATO allies committed themselves to are enduring both on the American side and on the European side. And given the dust that was kicked up six or eight months ago, NATO leaders have had three different opportunities to walk back from the status quo. And instead, they reinforced and strengthened it. And I think that’s terrific.

Third, on smart defense, it’s a great idea. You make such a good point, Barry, that what we need to focus on is simply coordinating what each of us are doing. Money’s tight everyplace now. And it does seem to me that banging on Europeans to spend more when, in fact, the gap between European NATO allies and anybody they would conceivably fight is enormous. We are only measuring the gap between American capabilities and European and not the gap between Europeans and anybody they want to use military force to affect. And I think that’s a mistake. And it not only undervalues what Europeans contribute, we’ve gone a long way to persuading ourselves and Europeans that they can’t do anything without the United States. And that’s fundamentally untrue. And maybe I’ll stop there.

MR. PAVEL: Thank you, Kori. Very, very, very, very clear and well done. Tobias, how about you?

TOBIAS ELLWOOD: Well, firstly, can I say – thank you very much – indeed, what a privilege it is to be sitting here today and being able to share thoughts and also hear what you have to say. The Atlantic Council plays an important role in bringing together ideas from Britain and the United States. And our new defense secretary, Philip Hammond, was very appreciative of the exposure that you gave him when he came and gave a speech not long ago, as did – was Prince Harry who – getting the award that he got for the work that he had done with our soldiers.

I mentioned Philip Hammond simply because he is a name that maybe you’re not so familiar with on this side of the Atlantic, the new defense secretary. He has a(n) incredible attention to detail. And he was able to make an announcement in Parliament last week, which, in my short time of being a parliamentarian, I’ve never heard. He was actually able to come in and say I’ve actually balanced the books in the department for defense, which is quite something considering the scale of procurement, the length of the procurement cycles and so forth. But we had been borrowing money which we didn’t really have. Consequently, tough decisions have been made. But we now have an army, air force, navy, which is smaller than, obviously, that we had liked, but at least it does exist not just on paper, but in reality as well.

And I think something which was touched on in the previous discussion with Liz is actually the economic bearing on all the considerations that we’re debating today – the fact that there isn’t money in the pot, that Britain in 2010 had the worst deficit of all G-8 countries. We have now managed to bring that under control. But a consequence of that is every single department had to take a hit; 7.8 percent cut in defense – in the defense budget itself. So whilst we would like to see all NATO countries meet their 2 percent GDP target, it is difficult in this climate. And politicians who don’t necessarily look at things through the prism of – you know, in the military context will see – and I think France – it would be really interesting to see what happens now with a changing government in France is whether we’re going to see budget cuts there as well.

Where, I think, Britain’s patience, indeed NATO’s patience, has been tested from – is in Afghanistan. Is there the appetite to go into another operation which could last a decade? Or – and why did it last a decade? And I think these are some fundamental questions which we’re not going to answer now, because the focus isn’t on why did it take so long to get to where we are or where we would like to have been. The focus now, as Chicago has pointed, is being able to extract ourselves out and lead the best possible job in hand to hand over power to those that we’ve trained up and hope that things go well.

I think in the longer term, we have some more fundamental issues to address. Why is it, for example, Britain went down to Helmand province in the first place. We’ve now all become experts in Afghanistan. We’ve read all the books. We are familiar with the Treaty of Gandamak, the Battle of Kandahar and so forth. We know who Lady Sale was, Dost Mohammad and all these other – Zahir Shah and so on. But when we went in there, we didn’t know any of these things. And sending Brits down to Helmand province, where we have a bit of a reputation from a few decades – you know, centuries prior, it didn’t necessarily – wouldn’t necessarily make sense. And I think being a little bit more cognitive about the areas that we may be engaging in is something that we need to learn from that.

But another aspect of this is also the focus that is placed on looking at engagements – Iraq and Afghanistan in particular – through the lens of the military context and indeed perhaps through USAID as well. When actually if there are some – if the fundamentals aren’t there for good governance, it doesn’t really matter how good an umbrella of security you create. If our soldiers liberate Gereshk, if our soldiers liberate Musa Qala or Kajaki or any of these tiny villages or hamlets, any part of southwest Afghanistan, they then can be proud of what they’ve done. They have pushed the enemy out. But they then stop and turn around and look over. They expect other agencies to come in and start doing the next phases of stabilization and peacekeeping and so forth. And currently, they’re not actually trained to do that.

Now ironically, after 10 years of being in Afghanistan, the platoon commanders that are leading Sandhurst are now trained to go and find the guy with the longest beard in the little village and say let’s sit down and talk about how – what you guys need and what we can actually provide and whether I can get hold of some money to make ends meet. That is a scale of understanding of insurgency, counterinsurgency and stabilization which is beyond what NATO normally does.

And those, I think, are the interesting, more fundamental questions and speak frankly about DFID, the Department for International Development, the USAID equivalent. It 10, 15 years ago didn’t do this sort of thing. It enjoyed tackling poverty. That was its remit in Africa and other places around the world. But coming in in the aftermath of a – an insecure environment and trying to provide those important building blocks to allow a community for us to win over their hearts and minds is something which was a bit of an anathema. And to see how that particular agency has grown to become experts in this is actually very good indeed.

But I’ll end on this point, because I could speak for a long time on this. I think our opportunity to recognize what are the building blocks of good governance in even like a place like Afghanistan were missed between 2001 and 2003, when there was – we were the liberators, when there was an open door to really decide and work with the Afghans to say what sort of process would actually make sense, instead of empowering this one person at the very top, thinking perhaps, well, if we control him, we control everything else like that. Well, if we come in here and now suggest changes to governance, he’s going to quite rightly say you’re interfering with domestic matters. So our opportunity actually disappeared there.

So I think there are many lessons to be learned. And it was good to see in Libya, there was a deliberate – not deliberate, but there was a – there wasn’t a push to complete the warfighting phase of it, because the more time you had in Benghazi for the locals to determine who was going to run the water supplies, who was going to actually sort out the policing and the training schools, who was going to do all these other minute are important aspects of society-building was – gave them the space before the actual – the guns were actually sort of put down and then people said, right, now what exactly happens? And I’m afraid that something similar happened in Iraq, where it was seen through the – you know, the context, the lens of – from the military perspective and not from these other aspects of it.

I’m just, finally, reminded of Eisenhower who told his generals in the Second World War in the landing – D-Day landings: Go to Berlin. Charge to Berlin. First one there gets the big prize. But just remember this. Everything that you see – Patton, Montgomery and so forth – everything that you see on your way to Berlin, to defeating the enemy, is your responsibility. So you’ve got to defeat the enemy. You’ve got to actually deal with refugees. You’ve actually got to get employment going. You’ve actually got to sort out all those businesses. There’s nobody coming behind you for a good six months to a year that’s going to take over those responsibilities. So yes, keep your front line going, but make sure you’ve got everything in the rear actually covered itself. And that, I think, are the – some of the skill sets that we’ve – we need to sort of rediscover.

And a big question for NATO as we go forward is to say where can those skill sets in the variety of offerings that come from all these countries that are there to allow us to have that full spectrum of capability to make sure that the next engagement, if it is anything as large as this, does not last 10 years and does not end up with a possibility of civil war, which, sadly, is very much a reality because, from a political perspective, the people who I’m going to look to try and vote me back in haven’t got the tolerance to say let’s do it all again, no matter how good, no matter how great a cause that actually is.

MR. PAVEL: Tobias, thank you very much for addressing your views on Afghanistan so comprehensively. Camille, what are your thoughts on the broad summit outcomes?

CAMILLE GRAND: On the summit itself, I think it’s – I’m sorry to say that it was not – it’s not going to stand as a historical summit. It was not an enlargement summit, so there are not – not a big change in what NATO looks like, and it was not either a summit with major policy documents, such as a strategic concept. So in many ways it was more of an implementation summit. Many decisions were taken in Lisbon and took a step forward in Chicago. So it was not one of these – maybe a summit that will stand out and that we will be discussing in the next 10 years to point at some of its results.

Having said this, there are indeed some good news that came with the summit. As Kori, I would think that the DDPR, the Defense and Deterrence Posture Review, is an interesting outcome and document because it does close a pretty divisive debate that was not settled during the Strategic Concept in 2010. So that’s – and I think it’s important for the alliance and it was a very – and it’s an important message for some of the allies that were concerned about the demise of extended deterrence.

The second thing is, I think the growing focus on capabilities is indeed very interesting. What I fear, in a way, is that it’s only heading in a direction where smart defense at the moment, from my perspective – and I know I’m a bit tough here – is still very much of a bumper sticker. So what we need there, in spite of the 22 projects – and there are some of them that are very interesting, but it’s the changing mindset that we need, and we’re not there yet. And this is going to be the big challenge for the next couple of years to see how these projects turn into a changing mindset.

On capabilities, I think you were, Barry, a bit too kind in saying we should coordinate on cuts. I think we need to coordinate on what sort of capabilities we need, and maybe not only say, I’ll inform my partners of further cuts, because what I think is the critical issue is to address some of the capability shortfalls that have been identified in Afghanistan and Libya.

And for the Europeans – and I’m not hoping or even suggesting a major increase in European defense spending, but I think that the Europeans need to focus on some of these core capabilities, these core enablers that will enable them to act and to take their fair share in future operations, even rather small operations like Libya, where we saw some of these capabilities missing. It’s interesting that as part of the smart defense layout, there are air-to-air refueling UAVs that are – that are part of the list of projects that are going to be worked on.

Where I would see, nevertheless – and I would also emphasize partnership. I think it’s extraordinarily important, when you look at the role that some non-NATO countries have played in the operations, again and again, talking about the Nordics, Finland and Sweden, talking about Australia, we have many partners that have been there and have even been there when NATO allies were not there. So that’s – you think of Libya. So I think it’s interesting to point out that and to sort of give them more room, not only a sort of sit-at-the-table to be briefed afterwards, and I think this is critical.

To wrap up, I mean I would point at a couple of outstanding issues. We sort of muddled through with them in Chicago, but missile defense is not truly resolved. There is still this sort of a hope somewhere that we can find a deal with Russia. I don’t believe this is feasible, primarily for political reasons, so how will be manage that? Because in Lisbon it was part of the package for some allies. So that’s going to become more and more difficult.

And on missile defense, we still need to find out who’s going to pay for what, because at the moment what we’re talking about is some U.S. capabilities, primarily U.S. capabilities, being deployed in Europe. So – and I’m not sure this is going to fly forever in this city in the coming years. So I think that’s a big issue.

Finally, on Afghanistan, the only thing I would say is that I’m a bit puzzled at the way we manage this. I think it’s a strange way of waging a war by having a debate on the strategy, a public debate on strategy, that is completely open to our adversaries, setting deadlines for departures, whether it’s the French or the overall system. It’s a bit puzzling, when you look at that, to have – when we say this is so important and that we manage it in a sort of awkward way.

So I would really hope for a strategy – and I’m not talking about what the troops do, because they do a great job, but a real long-term strategy of what we want to do. What do we want to achieve post-2014? What sort of presence do we want by then? What sort of trainers do we want? Is there room for special forces? I was just in Tampa at the Special Operations Command. I mean, these guys are thinking about that all the time, and the NATO leaders are not discussing that at all.

All these issues – what sort of money do we want to pour into Afghanistan? Is it a wise thing to pour money into Afghanistan, or is it another way of giving opium to an addict? So, I mean, all these issues are there, and we, I’m afraid, haven’t discussed them thoroughly.

Thank you.

MR. PAVEL: Thank you very much, Camille.


J0SHUA FOUST: Thank you. I’m actually grateful to Camille that I’m not going to be the only pessimist up here.

One word that hasn’t come up in the previous three panelists talking about Afghanistan has been Pakistan. And actually Pakistan is one thing that went, I think, very wrong at the NATO summit this past weekend. Neither President Obama nor any of the NATO member countries were able to convince Pakistan to reopen its supply lines, which means that moving any supplies in to continuing the war, or out once we’ve decided to pull them out, are going to cost somewhere around the order of 20 times more than they do using the Pakistani routes. So especially when we’re looking at the war from a fiscal perspective, the failure to get Pakistan on board is a really serious issue, potentially a failure condition of the exit strategy.

At the same time, issues of safe havens within Pakistan, Pakistan’s various meddling throughout Afghanistan’s politics, also went unresolved. And I think this is something that tends to go unspoken. in a lot of the exultation about convincing France not to completely withdraw next year, gets left behind.

At the same time, I think the issue of finance is also a very critical issue facing the Afghanistan strategy. Once 2014 comes and goes, we are looking at, for NATO, somewhere between 5 (billion dollars) and $8 billion a year to maintain the Afghan security forces more or less forever. With, I think, the exception of the U.K., there were no pledges of permanent funding to support the Afghan security forces after 2014. If people don’t pay for the security forces, they will go away. And if they go away, there will be chaos. This is also a really critical issue facing the withdrawal strategy in Afghanistan.

In addition, there remain lots of questions about the ultimate makeup of those forces that could potentially be going too far into the weeds. Alexander Vershbow, the deputy secretary-general, said that by 2017 or so, they’re planning on taking about 120,000 Afghan forces out of commission but could not say what the demobilization plan was, what the economic plan was for making sure they’re employed, any number of issues that come with demobilizing a huge number of people with guns and no income. So there are a lot of these kinds of phenomena that are facing our strategy in Afghanistan that need to be addressed because NATO’s success and the success of the withdrawal strategy relies on them.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, I guess, because we need time for questions. But on one other issue of smart defense, I’m actually a pretty big skeptic of the concept. One of the key ideas behind it is this idea of pooling and sharing resources. And considering the difficulty of ever getting consensus through the NAC to take action, I think that’s just an appalling weakness in the strategy and an idea of getting around smaller defense budgets.

We have representatives from the U.K. and from France on this panel. They’re sharing aircraft carriers now, but they didn’t agree whether or not to go into Iraq. If they have that kind of a disagreement before, who gets to decide how their equipment gets used that they’re sharing? That’s something that’s not resolved yet. The leadership hasn’t resolved it and they don’t know how they’re going to resolve it. So if NATO as a whole is going to adopt this idea of sharing their resources such that any country saying no becomes an absolute failure condition for other member states taking action, I think that also represents a really critical weakness in terms of maintaining consensus within the alliance, maintaining their operational capacity and their ability to take action in the future. So on those two big issues, I think, there are really serious flaws in what’s coming out of the summit and what’s coming out of officials moving forward.

I share most people’s, I think, guarded optimism, actually, about missile defense. The way that it’s being structured actually makes the claim that it’s not aimed at Russia credible, because it doesn’t pose a strategic challenge to Russia’s nuclear capabilities. But as I think Camille said, the politics of that – the politics of Russia really need to be resolved. And they don’t get engaged with to, I think, a sufficient extent. And again, until those politics with Russia get resolved, you’re going to run into that same issue of Russia assuming the system is aimed at them, even though it’s not.

OK, so I guess for discussion’s sake I’ll end things there and turn it back over to Barry.

MR. PAVEL: Thanks very much, Josh.

So before I turn to the audience, I just wanted to go back to the panel. But if those in the audience have questions, please prepare them.

I think we heard sort of general skepticism across the board on smart defense; I thought general optimism on the DDPR and the public results of that that Liz said would be – would be made available. I would like to ask Kori to address some of the concerns that we heard to your right on Afghanistan. And I would like all panelists to talk about the – sort of the missing-agenda item, which was open door and enlargement. Didn’t hear much about that; previously a plank of America’s NATO policy. And I would – I wouldn’t want to not give you the opportunity to address that.

So Kori?

MS. SCHAKE: Sure. Let me start with the open-door policy. I am not – I agree it’s the big missing deliverable. But I also think NATO countries are exhausted. And they’re exhausted for good reason. The economic wear and tear on us all since 2008, the degree of difficulty associated with what we’re doing in Afghanistan – and I agree in almost complete – with the – with criticisms that have been raised of what’s been done.

So I do think that the open door is a hugely important signal; and not just the NATO open door, but the consolidation of Europe as a community of values, as a place that if countries and peoples make a set of choices that mark them as European, that they have the possibility of becoming members of Europe’s two great organizations, NATO and the EU. That has been an enormously positive force since 1991. And there are countries that feel that magnetic tug, and we need to be responsive to that.

That said, I think people are just exhausted, and that shows. But that’s also not – there are not countries that to my mind looked obviously ready to come across the transom and were held back. I’d be interested in other folks on the panel’s judgment. So I’m not that worried about it.

On Afghanistan; I agree, it’s extraordinarily hard. And we, especially the United States, have made it much harder by the choices that the president made about the timeline – about resourcing, given the timeline. This is going to be a very close-run thing. And it could still go bad in all sorts of ways. But the – we – as General Sir David Richards likes to say, we are where we are, right? And where we are is about 80 percent of the way to a pretty good outcome.

And that pretty good outcome does depend on fixing our relationship with Pakistan, which is in my judgment one of the most important strategic bungles the Obama administration has (bought in ?). You know, soldiers have a joke that we haven’t had a 10-year war in Afghanistan; we’ve had 10 one-year wars in Afghanistan, because the emphasis kept changing. That is true in spades about our relationship with Pakistan, right?

Initially coming in, President Obama said that, you know, he would unilaterally strike inside Pakistan. And then we were going to have this $5-billion-a-year aid package and a strategic dialogue to bind us together. And then we realized that they’re actually not on our team, which was evident from the start; otherwise Candidate Obama wouldn’t have said what he said about unilateral strikes into Pakistan.

This is a hard relationship. It’s going to be a hard relationship. But we should also bring a little bit of humility to this room. It’s entirely possible that the Pakistanis understand this problem better than we do – going back to your original point. And the fact that they disagree with us doesn’t actually make them wrong, especially since they’re going to live in the neighborhood for a lot longer than any of us are going to care about the neighborhood. We need to actually colluge (sic; colligate) together a common approach between us – those of us involved in Afghanistan and the Pakistanis.

Clock’s ticking. We have about 18 months to do that. And we need to do it with a lot more investiture than thinking that inviting them to come to the margins of the summit will drive down that 150-times cost of getting – we just need to do this better. And we actually even know how to do this better; we just aren’t.

MR. PAVEL: Thank you; very helpful.


MR. ELLWOOD: Just on the enlargement. It’s easy to look at the – NATO on paper and say, my goodness; this is a powerful force here. In reality it doesn’t work that way, because the caveats that are put in – the politicians themselves, which prevent soldiers, sailors and so forth from being able to either in some cases go out at night – so there are certain nations that were not allowed to deploy after dark in Afghanistan. And of course that does change the scenario a little bit and – if you are trying to sort of hunt down the enemy.

And that does mean to say, you know, with – (inaudible) – enlargement is fantastic; of course it is. But at the end of the day, NATO is a massive toolbox for which the politicians themselves have to commit. And if the politicians don’t commit, then no matter how sharp the tools in the box are, they may not actually be used themselves.

MS. SCHAKE: Great point.

MR. ELLWOOD: But on the – in – on Afghanistan itself, the – you know, the timeline is actually critical. I think absolutely the analogy of – each year we had a different sort of strategy. We had brigade commanders going into Helmand, each rewriting a plan, coming up with something which would give them another sort of regimental banner, you know, to put on their flag, and then realize how tough it was. They would have a massive, great big operation, then realize it was all pretty difficult. And then they would just go quiet and then say, wait for the relief to come in and do their six-month tour and then get out. And that – it wasn’t until really General McChrystal came on that we got some focus in there.

And yet – don’t – (inaudible) – me; I served in the armed forces myself. But I just think that we need, in these situations – particularly looking upstream – be a little clever about it. You know, have a more – maybe a Bretton Woods style about it. What was it that actually allowed trade to move, you know, after the Second World War? It was getting markets connected.

In 2009, I remember visiting Helmand province. And finally, a road was being tarmacked between Marja and to Lashkar Gah. Lashkar Gah is – (inaudible). There – it’s – there’s no Taliban there. It’s a thriving place with chickens running up and down the streets – you know, bustling places, as you can imagine in any – in any sort of Asian sort of small city. Out in the sticks, though, of course it’s not so good. And that’s where the bandit country is.

Soon as you tarmac that road and you metal that road, you then link those people who are unemployed with the possibility of getting jobs and so forth, where also the NGOs are piling money in because they feel safer in the bigger city itself. We didn’t really get that until 2008. So actually allowing those markets to develop – it gives some hope to those people. Have some sort of plan, rather than just focus on security itself. We took an awful lot of time in actually getting there.

And I think that’s where we’re sort of missing. And where we have a say, as you – pointed – Kori pointed out, we have about 18 months now. We’re spending 8 billion (dollars) – I don’t know what the figure is now – a month, $8 billion a month. There must be better ways that we can utilize that money.

I’d just say, the point on the Afghan forces – which could be a tricky one, because as many of you all know, the army is all made up of Uzbeks and Tajiks, mostly from the north – ANA. The police are all made up of southern Pashtuns – ANP. Two ethnic groups; we’ve just armed them to the teeth. You know, they need to get on. Otherwise goodness knows what could actually happen.

What I would like to see is – the reason why they’re actually doing those jobs is not so much because they feel that they want to, you know, create peace. It’s because they’re on the payroll. And that actually prevents them from joining another organization which gives money out, namely the Taliban. What I would like to see is half of – you’ve got to demob these people – but take the brighter half of the army, start training them as corps of engineers so they are building roads, railways and all the utility bits and pieces –

MS. SCHAKE (?): Great idea.

MR. ELLWOOD: – so there’s – you know, village see change that is taking place. We could then pay for that. These – then you demob them, and they become utility companies. And they could continue to be paid for by ODA funding – international funding, because you can’t obviously pay military. But you can pay these organizations which are just doing basic improvements to infrastructure itself, which would then allow this country – would allow trade to come in. And that, I think, would then be the ultimate defeat of the Taliban, because the locals themselves would say, I’ve got a future. I can actually finally see where we might go forward.

MS. : Great.

MR. PAVEL: Thanks, Tobias.

Any other thoughts from the panel before we turn to the audience?

CAMILLE GRAND: On enlargement, I think we have to be honest. I mean, we are not talking about Bosnia and Montenegro and finding a trick for Macedonia. That’s not – that’s not the big issue. So there can be a next round of enlargement if we’re talking about that easily. When we go back to the sort of Bucharest Agenda, thinking about Georgia and Ukraine, the situation is – doesn’t look good. You know, the situation in Ukraine has evolved in a direction that I’m not sure wants us to – I mean, leads us to really wish for an enlargement to Ukraine. And Georgia is partially occupied in a very messy situation. And we are in a – in a very tricky position when it – when it comes to deciding on enlargement in these two cases. So I would, you know, draw a line between the easy cases that will happen somehow and the broader agenda of a Europe whole and free up to the Russian border or including Russia at some point. But it’s funny to see how the glimpse of a debate about Russian membership in NATO that started a couple of years ago has completely disappeared – (laughter) – with the latest election in – (inaudible).

On Afghanistan, you know, we have to also go back to facts. Just the – moving out the troops and the – and the hardware from Afghanistan is one container every seven minutes from now until the end of 2014. So that’s, you know – it means that Kandahar and every airport and Bagram and so on will look like JFK for the next couple of years – (chuckles) – with tours from there if we don’t find a solution to – through Pakistan.

MR. ELLWOOD: Or you abandon it.

MR. GRAND: Or we abandon it, but do we – can we afford it?

MR. RUNDE: No. (Laughter.) We can’t afford it. That’s –

MR. FOUST: Camille stole most of my thunder, actually, in the enlargement question, although I would potentially disagree with Macedonia. That seems to be coming to a bit of a head, especially with the recent ruling in the ICJ. I think Greece and Macedonia’s inability to resolve the naming dispute is going to remain a permanent issue between the two of them. And, I mean, unless somehow Greece’s politics on that can be either persuaded or wrestled with in some way, we’re not going to see any movement.

Just one brief comment on the Afghanistan question. A couple of years ago, when I was an adviser to the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, one of our big jobs was working with the Afghan National Army. Most of the officers who were signing up for the ANA were signing up specifically, braggadociously, exuberantly to fight Pakistan. And actually, the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan after 2014 is going to be an interesting one to watch as well. Something like 500 people, 500 civilians died in cross-border attacks between the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan last year in artillery barrages, sometimes militia raids, sometimes missile fire if it was coming from Pakistan. So there are – things between those two countries are coming to a head.

And I think, in a lot of ways, NATO and the United States and the U.K.’s inability to make progress on the Pakistan question, in a way, is also wrapped up in our involvement with the Afghan government itself as well. And, I mean, it’s – it is something that requires politics, and it’s something that requires grappling with Pakistan, but it’s also something that requires grappling with Afghanistan as well. And the Afghan government has its own escalating role to play in that crisis that needs to be addressed in some way.

MR. PAVEL: Thanks, Josh. Well, why don’t we turn to the audience? No shortage of issues that they’ve addressed. And so we welcome your questions.

Yes, in the second row.

Q: Bill Coltrider (ph), Center for Alcoholism and Drug Research and Education. First thing is, a great book, 170 years ago, 1838, a wonderful book, Diana Preston, great, great book. I have two questions. First, Afghan – (inaudible) – Afghanistan increased $200 per kilo. Unbelievable response. Second question: U.N. fund scrutinized corruption. Unbelievable. Your thoughts. One more question. Hamig Glosa (ph) and Yuri Federov (ph), based in Vienna, estimated $450 billion narcoterrorism. (Off mic.) Thank you very much.

MR. PAVEL: Thanks. So we have questions of the harvest, we have questions of narcoterrorism.

MS. SCHAKE: I’ll address one piece of it, which is I was quite struck when I was last in Afghanistan that the head of the U.N. project there looking at drug trafficking told me – I asked how do we begin to get a handle on this? This is so obviously a huge, glaring danger sign. And her answer was, you work it through the judicial system, right? People know who the drug traffickers are; they’re just not being prosecuted.

And so part of our governance strategy, part of reconnecting Afghans with a government that they both believe is acting in their interests and actually is acting in their interests, is beginning to address law-and-order issues. And at least it sounded sensible to me that her advice was start by prosecuting people, because that – the justice system is actually both where the Taliban get a lot of the support that they have because they’re administering justice. Even if you don’t like that justice, it’s law and order in a way nobody else is.

We need to invest in the nonmilitary elements of our strategy. We have underresourced them, underattended to them. I simply note that when President Obama gave his speech in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago, all he talked about was the military piece of what we are doing. He did not mention at all the diplomacy, the assistance, the governance issues. Our strategy hinges crucially on those pieces of it for exactly the reasons you said.

MR. FOUST: If I – if I could follow up on what Kori said, I think there are – there are a couple of issues that get intertwined with that. From the governance perspective, I mean, a number – I don’t know if it’s half anymore, but a number of the people that we have assigned governance tasks in Afghanistan are actively involved in the opium trade. This includes provincial governors, the president’s half-brother, the former – Ahmed Wali Karzai.

So – and that was a deliberate choice on our part. It’s because we assumed they already committed resources, they already committed militias; therefore, they could be relied upon to impose control. That’s a problem if you’re trying to create a functioning government down the line.

But I think also the corruption picture is much bigger than just opium. It’s also the structure of the government itself. And this is where – I mean, the currently negotiation strategy of trying to force the Taliban to accept the system that is the reason for their fighting doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The way that we created a government for Hamid Karzai to rule is so that all 480-something district and provincial officials who get appointed have to be appointed personally by him. And we put a man in charge with this massive task of creating an entire country from scratch where the only leverage and the only influence he had was money, and so then he used money to create power and influence and patronage inside his country. And then we complained that, in the act of doing that, he was creating a corrupt system. We’ve created a system that can only function through corruption, and now we’re complaining that corruption is the reason why the system is failing.

I – there needs to be some sort of structural rethink of how the government itself works if we ever want to make progress on things like judicial reform, which is crucial, or things like corruption, which is crucial, or things like governmental effectiveness, which is also crucial. None of those are going to happen until the structural issues that are preventing the Afghan government from looking normal in any sense of the word are actually addressed.

MR. PAVEL: Thanks, Josh. Just – do you have a couple thoughts – (inaudible)?

MR. ELLWOOD: Very, very short. I think the whole narco industry is something we could spend a lot of time on. I – in my view, there is a sort of triangle of support that any country needs to have. Security at the top; that’s important. You then also must have governance, and with that comes the judicial system as well.

The third aspect of that is the economy and development, and that’s when money is then poured in. Now, it could be infrastructure, as I mentioned; it could be simply trade. Helmand, for example, has the biggest, greatest marble deposits in East Asia; absolutely amazing. The Pakistanis come in and blow it out the mountain, take it in their 4x4s, cross the border, then carve it up into little ashtrays. Now, the reason why they do that is because there’s no electricity to use the nice slicing machines to give you – now, that’s one example of a trade that could be far more lucrative than narcotics should anybody have thought five years ago to say let’s start taking this over, let’s try and actually make this work.

And this is where it’s going back to this sort of Bretton Woods approach of actually saying, how can we link up these areas? The great game, Russia versus Britain in trying to sort of squash that area and take over in the 1800s of domination of land, you look at Afghanistan now; hardly any railways lines at all. But you look at the area, and it’s like a spider’s cobweb with the middle punched out, with all the lines coming into Afghanistan stopping at the border, because that’s where the Brits came up and built those railway lines to bring munitions so we could then fight the Russkies on the other side.

Now, Spin Buldak, which is 50 kilometers south of Kandahar, that’s the border with Pakistan, imagine if a number of years ago, we just finished that line through that little bit of desert to Kandahar, second-biggest city. Imagine a railway line linking that huge city up to the jewel gauge (ph) railway line, which goes all the way down to Karachi, and indeed to the rest of world. Mazar-e Sharif linking up to the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is probably what we’re going to have to do now to get all that (kit ?) out anyway. (Laughter.)

But I’m just – it’s this sort of thinking which, I’m afraid, is now 10 years too late. And because we’re all so Afghan-fatigued, people are just saying, well, I don’t think I’ve got time for it anyway.

And that, for me, is the way that you actually provide an alternative to the narco trade, is by getting people to do these other things, which means that they don’t have to lean on that, rather than a donkey turning up at your doorstep saying, here, and giving you money for the – you know, the opium that you just produced.

MR. PAVEL: Thanks, Tobias. We had a question from lady in the back.

MS. : Gale.

Q: Thank you for an interesting discussion. I’d like to ask your assessment of the failure of Russia to show up and what you think that perhaps says in the shorter term and also from the broader perspective, because it seems to me that that’s sort of a very unfortunate situation that we had in Chicago without them there.

MS. SCHAKE: Thanks, Gale. I think that’s a great question. You know, NATO’s been trying since 1991 to draw Russia into a kind of common European security framework. And the reason it hasn’t worked is actually Russia. And it – we’re – this is about to get a lot worse, it seems to me, because the Russians – the Russian government – not the Russians, excuse me – is increasingly defining itself in opposition to us.

My read on why Putin wouldn’t show up in Chicago is because he didn’t want to be like any of the other riff-raff, like Australia, who’s showing up. He wants the United States to actually have to talk to him alone and to subordinate Europe – I mean, it’s not unlike the North Koreans not wanting the six-party talks because they just want to talk to the United States.

But you know, Russia’s got to change at its own pace. And it looks to me like a lot of Russians wish they had more alternatives than they do and like a lot of Russians feel European in a sense of values and opportunities and what they want for themselves.

Navigating – I mean, the one thing Putin has achieved is actually giving NATO much closer to a common approach to Russia. Five years ago we were all worried about Berlusconi skittering off to Moscow and now Europe’s pretty unified and pretty unified with the United States about being very worried about the tenor of the Russian government and its behavior. But I’d ask my colleagues.

MR. ELLWOOD: Well, I thought the question was fascinating because I thought we were still talking about Afghanistan. And when you say why – you know, why didn’t Russia actually turn up – (laughter) – I thought it was – you know, I thought we – well, there’s some obvious reasons for that.

I just remember discussing this very subject when I visited – (inaudible) – not – about a couple years ago. And it does seem that NATO played an important role in bringing Russia back to the table after there was the massive fallout from – in Georgia. I didn’t appreciate it because a lot of this was behind the scenes, but in fact it was the military connections which then allowed Russia to then say – or draw a line under it and bring them back to the – to the sort of negotiating table. But I think you put your finger on it there. I think President Putin wants to feel special. And he wants to have his own time. He wants to have special time with President Obama.

MR. FOUST: I guess on Russia then, the critical issues is what sort of drivers will reverse the current trends. What is scary is that Putin has been playing the anti-Western card a lot, and it does work reasonably well – not everywhere in Russia and in the – throughout the spectrum of Russian society. I think the West, meaning us – I mean, Americans and Europeans alike have been rather naïve. You know, they had this sort of Medvedevian moment of thinking that this guy would – that a friendlier face would be – would be the new face of Russia and that they – and it’s fascinating when you look, because even in way, we – a lot of us put a lot of emphasis on the relationship to Medvedev during his term and neglected Putin. And now we get a payback from that, because he was not – he was treated as a prime minister when he was to be a boss.

And – but the – I mean, the only good news could come from two things: A, the Russian society is evolving, and is evolving quite fast. So that’s – I think it’s important to take that into account. So I’m not sure there will be a – that easy of a – of a Putin fourth term. The second thing is the – is the economy. As long as Russia can afford – I mean, the Putin system can – based on the – on the natural resources, can afford keeping up with that, they can probably manage that sort of schizophrenic behavior.

Those in Russia know that the real issue is for Russia to modernize, and then it’s with us.

MS. : Can I –

MR. : I think –

MS. : I’m sorry, go ahead.

MR. : Oh, yeah, no. I mean, one last thing to keep in mind too is that Russia has its own internal politics, you know – its own domestic political scene. I mean, this year the Russian economy is slated to grow, I think, faster than any eurozone economy. That factors into how they begin perceiving themselves in contrast to Europe.

MR. ELLWOOD (?): It’s not difficult. (Scattered laughter.)

MR. : It – I mean, it’s not difficult, but it’s still significant when they look at the kind of choices and the kind of linkages that they want to make. Even though the protests got a lot of attention, the parties that gained the most electorally were nationalist and communist. And this also affects the way that Putin is trying to position himself inside Russian politics. And I think that constrains and limits the way that he’s going to be making choices and the way that he tries to present himself to a Russian audience.

I mean, I wouldn’t interpret his decision to avoid the NATO summit as being a snub against NATO. I would interpret it instead as him trying to stake out space within the Russian political scene to be able to move forward with whatever other projects he has planned. But I mean, I’d look at it much more domestically than I would internationally.

MS. SCHAKE: May I add just one quick point, Gale? Mike McFaul, who’s now ambassador in Moscow, is as all of you know a serious and talented Russia hand and also an enormous advocate for the advance of democracy. He ran a study maybe six years ago that gathered Russian economists – this goes to Camille’s point – gathered Russian economists to do a study – so Putin’s big calling card has been, you know, Russian economic recovery and the end of the squalor of the Yeltsin period.

Mike actually gathered a bunch of Russian economists and had them do the modeling to see what Russian economic recovery would have been like without authoritarian policies. And part of our conversation with Russians to – is not just to talk to the Russian government but to talk to the Russians about the opportunities lost by the path that Putin has taken of authoritarianism. It has cost them dearly, and not just in terms of their freedoms; in terms of their prosperity and their opportunities.

MR. PAVEL: Very well said.

We have one last question, and a very short answer if possible, from Norman Ray (sp).

Q: A short question, not a statement. I saw a news clip just yesterday – a short news clip – that said that Prime Minister Cameron was proposing essentially a net assessment for NATO of the sort that the United States has practiced for years in the Office of Net Assessment in the Pentagon, the purpose of which was to inform the debate and allocation of resources. And it did that by looking at the real balance of military power and threats, and it informed the budget.

The news article said President Obama was supporting prime minister’s idea. My question is do NATO – should NATO do a net assessment? If so, how in the world would it do it? And who would do it? And what difference would it make when it was completed? (Scattered laughter.)

MR. PAVEL: Very short answers, please; but – (inaudible).

MS. SCHAKE: Yeah. So I’m in favor of this, in part because the British and the Germans have made some of the smartest economic choices of any countries in the last 10 years. And so all of us should take a little bit of schooling about how they are managing in a time of austerity, because we are not doing it nearly as well as either of them are doing it. So just, prima facie, I would be willing to take David Cameron’s advice on it.

But second, if we are serious about Barry’s very good point about having all of our reviews inform each other so that we don’t just end up with nationally affordable forces, but we end up with a sum that is greater than its parts. We could actually use a whole lot more thinking and a whole lot more cooperation on this. I would simply note that the country that does the least to coordinate its defense policy reviews and net assessments with anybody else – that would be us.

MR. PAVEL: (Chuckles.) Any other thoughts?

MR. ELLWOOD (?): Well, if that’s what my prime minister has said – (laughter) – then I’m inclined to agree with what my prime minister said. We’ve just gone through a strategic defense review, the first time in a number – a number of years, to try and understand our capabilities, what we need to do, what we want to do ourselves nationally and then also what is our contribution internationally. It does make sense, therefore, to spread that further to see how we can fit in, dovetail with the full spectrum of capabilities right across NATO. So yes, it does make sense.

MR. GRAND: I guess it does make sense to do this sort of exercises, and we’ve been doing more of that, at the moment more on a bilateral basis. It’s interesting that the French Livre Blanc and the British CSR have been far more in tune than they were in the past in the recent years.

MR. ELLWOOD: Which, given our history is actually quite something. (Inaudible.) (Laughter).

MR. GRAND: And – but it’s – we are not there yet. So there is an interest in working on that. The problem I see is that NATO remains an alliance of nations. It’s not the Warsaw Pact. So ultimately, even if you have the best setting for – and guidance coming from the organization, this is not necessarily going to be implemented, and that’s the tricky part.

MR. : Yeah, I think in that assessment, it makes sense given where NATO wants to go as an alliance. With all of the talk about more coordination, more consensus, more pooling, more sharing, it makes sense to then put in place a common strategy and a common operational framework. But I mean, I think Camille is right in that ultimately, these aren’t countries that are absolving themselves of sovereignty to go be part of NATO. They’re still going to be exercising sovereignty, and they’re not going to have always the same interests and the same principles or preferences. So I mean, I don’t know how that gets resolved ultimately in a NATO-wide net assessment. That’s a rather large undertaking – (chuckles) – to put it lightly.

MR. PAVEL: Thanks very much. Well, if everyone could remain seated, we’re going to bring the next concluding panel up. And please join me in thanking our wonderful panelists on this one. (Applause.)

(Audio break.)

JEFF LIGHTFOOT: Alright, I think we’ll go ahead and get started here. Thank you all for being with us and for sticking around for the concluding panel here. It was – and I think we have a nice opportunity – we just – this is a fantastic panel we just had prior to this. And we’ve heard a lot about what the alliance was able to do at Chicago, and we’ve had a nice conversation on Afghanistan, capabilities and partnerships. And what I’d like to see us do here in this concluding panel is talk about maybe what Chicago didn’t – what the alliance needs to do after Chicago and maybe some of the things that the alliance didn’t address or wasn’t able to address in Chicago but needs to do to preserve its vitality going forward.

And I’m pleased to be joined in this discussion with the Atlantic Council’s executive vice president, Damon Wilson, who you all know quite well and I had the privilege of working directly for for a couple years when he was previously the director of our international security program, and has a long and distinguished background serving as Liz Sherwood’s predecessor at the White House, but also working for Lord Robertson in the private office of the NATO secretary-general and in other positions at the White House and in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

And so Damon, thanks for being with us today.

DAMON WILSON: Thank you.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: And one of the things I wanted to talk to you about is I picked up the Financial Times this morning, and it’s – it was impossible to not be aware of the impact of what’s happening in Europe at the NATO summit. Obviously, that was something that came up at the G-8 and Camp David. But the euro fell to $1.25 yesterday, and there’s all sorts of signs that within the next three weeks we could be looking at a Greek departure from the Eurozone. And all this begs the question of leadership in the alliance. Capabilities, partnerships, Afghanistan – those are concrete issues.

Leadership is a bit of a fuzzier topic, but it’s something that I think seems to hang over the alliance. And I wondered if you could talk about – because you and – you and Ambassador Nick Burns had a really good op-ed in the Chicago Tribune that came out Monday, the concluding day of the summit, and it begins with this opening sentence: “The long-term need for stronger political leadership is NATO’s most important challenge.” And so I wonder if you could pick up on that concept and talk a little bit about what kind of leadership you’re looking for, and to whom are you looking for for that kind of leadership.

MR. WILSON: Sure, thanks Jeff, and thanks everyone for being here. I know we’re the last thing before lunch, so we’ll try to keep this focused. But we thought it was important to sort of begin to look forward, as Jeff said.

And let me say just one thing. This was a summit that was reflecting an age of austerity. If you think about what the discussion was, it was about winding a war down in Afghanistan because of an exhausted alliance, an expensive operation. It was about trying to come up with some type of creative capabilities initiative that really is all about managing defense cuts and drawbacks within the alliance. And even the partnership piece of this alliance discussion was about a recognition that you’ve got to work with others to get things done and that this is actually a more cost-effective way of the alliance doing business.

So I think the core of what came out of Chicago was very much in the heart of an age of austerity. And I think part of the challenge of Chicago, which I think leaders successfully avoided, was holding an alliance summit in the midst of these challenges, and particularly the economic and eurozone crisis. This signaled an alliance in – retrenchment within the alliance. And I think – I think even though the reality of the initiatives accurately reflected that, it didn’t get bogged down in messaging that it’s only about retrenchment.
But what Jeff is hitting at is a bit of a bigger issue.

And all of you have probably picked up the report that Jeff and I worked on with Ambassador Nick Burns and others on anchoring the alliance. And we put this out before Chicago not because it was about the Chicago agenda, not about the specific issues that were on the agenda there, but because it was meant to be a little bit more of a thoughtful response to Secretary Gates’ valedictory address of challenging our allies to act now to avoid the prospects of a dim and dismal future and to think about where to go – how to go beyond Chicago.

So the agenda was important. These were important issues to do. But I think what we’ve tried to argue is that the – that this is – the alliance is at a point in time where this is really about leadership; it’s really about political leadership within the alliance. And so I just want to sort of lay out a few of the arguments that we’ve made here and then continue this conversation. I mean, it is based in this reality of an economic crisis that’s led to great cuts in defense spending, that provoked the Secretary Gates remarks and that has folks questioning the credibility of the alliance because of weakened military capabilities, because of the sense of sapped global ambition, because it calls into question U.S. leadership in – within the alliance.

And our argument is very much this would be a huge historic setback if we just let the inevitability of this play out. And we try to argue very much that in a world in which – in a future in which the West is going to account for a smaller share of the economic pie, a smaller share of political influence and military might, that it actually is even more important for the United States to have a strong trans-Atlantic relationship, to have ones (sic) that’s united, that’s more ambitious and that’s stronger, because what we need to do is be shaping the future and shaping the future recognizing that the role of the West is objectively, in some respects, smaller shares of these different issues, and to thrive – for the United States to thrive in a – in a competitive world that we need a strong, capable, ambitious Europe.

So to get to this, we come back to the issue of political leadership and basically argue three pillars. For this alliance really to work, for any initiative that you want to come out to work, it’s about U.S. leadership within the alliance, the U.S. still seeing itself as a European power in leading NATO; it’s about Europe still retaining an ambition to be a global actor; and it’s about the alliance becoming more nuanced and savvy about having to partner with global partners. And these three pillars are sort of the key three pillars, I think, for long-term durability of an alliance, knowing that we’re still going to be going through the defense cuts.

We began to parse this. We argue in the report that it really boils down to leadership among the big actors. Although NATO is an alliance of equal allies, Libya and Afghanistan have shown us in many respects how some of our smaller allies really can punch above their weight, whether it’s the Netherlands or Denmark or other allies. But at the end of the day, we start with arguing that the U.S. is at the core of this, and the U.S. has to lead the alliance, has to see itself as a European partner, and it can’t be a bystander in this process, that we do see this as a unique asset. The United States has a unique asset of alliance structures around the world. These are force multipliers for the way the United States does business in the world. And rather than think about these at margins of our national security strategy, it’s how do you actually think of these at the core of our national security strategy, to accomplish whatever it is on our agenda we’re trying to do.

Second, we pinpoint a discussion about Germany. And I thought actually Liz Sherwood-Randall captured exactly our point, that she wanted to see Germany play a role commensurate within the alliance – commensurate with the role they’re playing economically, with their economically (sic) might. And that really is our argument, that this is a core issue for the alliance, and the – Germany has emerged as a forceful, determined actor on economic issues globally and particularly in Europe, but we don’t yet feel that and see that in the same way within the alliance in military strategic terms.

And so I think we’re arguing that as Americans, we are completely comfortable with the historic process of normalization and reconciliation of Germany, and we actually are hungry for a Germany that’s as ambitious on the political and security field as it is on the economic field. And today we feel like we as Americans are actually more ambitious for Germany’s role in the alliance than Germany itself is. And going forward, I think this is one of the key issues to get right, because Germany is so critical – can be so critical to a strong global actor within the alliance, and as it begins to act and play more like its British and French counterparts, that’s an alliance that’s going to be stronger going forward into the future. We aren’t there today, but I think that’s an aspiration to get there in this coming decade.

Third is the United Kingdom. And I think part of what has been important to us is that this clearly is – you know, there is a special relationship here. The United Kingdom remains America’s most capable ally. And as the U.K. goes through a very serious defense austerity plan, we want to argue that we need to maintain – we want to see the United Kingdom maintain both the ambition to be a global actor, the political will to be a global actor, as well as the defense investments to allow it to sustain that. And I think that’s facing a little bit of a challenge today. I think admirably the British government has outlined a plan to how to get there as Britain is able to restore growth rates, but I think we wanted to put down a clear marker that that’s a critical element to keeping the alliance strong and in the right place.

Fourth is France. We’ve just gone through a pretty dramatic election in France with the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy, who helped negotiate France’s return back into the alliance and, more importantly, actually became one of our key partners on the global strategic agenda, particularly if you look at an issue like Iran or Libya or even Syria. And so what we argue is that it’s incredibly important for the future of the alliance that we go forward with a France that retains a sense of Atlanticist instincts, that this becomes an enduring part of French strategic culture rather than reverting back to a sense of competition with the United States, that France be able to see its – can pursue its own national interest working in cooperation with the United States and working through the alliance, most importantly.

Chicago could have been a mess, frankly, because of the French, and I think we navigated it fairly well, but the reality is we’ve had to deal with trying to square the circle of Hollande’s pledge to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan this year and NATO’s commitment to be in Afghanistan through 2014.

The alliance helped to paper this over in a pretty effective way with France, and I think now the challenge is, whether it’s missile defense, whether it’s Iran, whatever the issue is, will France continue to be a strategic, engaged actor willing to work in partnership with the United States, willing to work through NATO? And I think that’s a key test going forward. Hollande’s team has announced they won’t withdraw NATO from the integrated military command. That’s not really the issue, although it is important to know that his team also says they wouldn’t have concluded that negotiation, they wouldn’t have brought France back in. And so I think the early days of how they play out on some of these issues is important. Afghanistan was an unfortunate one. I hope it plays out more effectively on Iran and missile defense, for example.

And then finally, Turkey. There was some conversation in the earlier discussion about Turkey. And we argue in the report, Anchoring the Alliance, that in many respects Turkey – Turkey’s time has arrived. This is a country that is increasing – it is the dynamic country in the alliance. It is growing in influence. It is the most important NATO actor in the Middle East today. And I think what we tried to argue, we wanted to lay out a vision over the next decade we need to figure out how Turkey assumes the mantle of leadership within the alliance. We even call for the idea of a Turkish secretary-general of NATO within the next decade as a way of helping Turkey own a sense of responsibility and ownership of the alliance. That said, that means that Turkey needs to come to the table, come to the party in a way that it shows more responsible leadership in the alliance, how it deals with its relationship with Israel.

Chicago was a bit of a test on some partnership policy issues because the Turks essentially were trying to parse everything that was said on partnership to keep Israel out. That’s not a sustainable, viable policy, and it’s not the policy of an alliance member that we actually want to see leading the alliance. The same with trying to negotiate the difficulties with the European Union. So I think that’s a pretty big test case for going forward, but the challenge is, can Europe figure out a way to welcome Turkey into the leadership role and Turkey find a way to play that role responsibly? If it can, that’s a key ingredient to keep the alliance strong over the next decade.

So let me stop there, Jeff.


MR. WILSON: But this is sort of – what we wanted to lay out was not the Chicago agenda, but if you really wanted to respond to Secretary Gates and if you really wanted to look at the health. I mean, the NATO Strategic Concept was about NATO 2020, NATO Forces 2020, NATO Forces 2020. Well, you have to have plans. You have to have the defense capability initiatives. You have to have these pieces in place. You’ve got to have a viable strategy on Afghanistan. But if you don’t have a vision coupled with political leadership, it can actually just be a process of managing some really unpleasant issues. I think it’s the leadership element that comes into the recommitment to the alliance, to say that you do actually – don’t just – you’re not just going to muddle through to a NATO Forces 2020, but you’re recommitting in a way that actually makes NATO credible, viable and matter in the year 2020.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: So you’ve touched upon what the family has to do at (28 ?) or — and certainly the big pillar of the alliance. Your third pillar that you talked about in your sort of framing comments was partnerships. And we heard Liz Sherwood-Randall talk about how important that was. I think everyone recognizes what a policy opportunity it is, but it seems like it’s now going to a working committee to be worked on, and it’s not quite clear what’s going to come out of that. So there’s been some discussion about is it time to dismantle some of the current partnership structures because they’re actually inhibiting creativity within the alliance, and how can you get some of these major partner contributors to actually have a say in shaping strategy and remain interoperable. So I wonder what your thoughts are on what might a partnership agenda look like between now and the next summit, and how can we better integrate these partners.

MR. WILSON: Sure, sure. There are a set of issues, I think, coming out of Chicago that speak to what the agenda at NATO should be for the next couple of years in the – in the run-up to a next summit, and we’ll get into those. But I think partnership is first and foremost on that.

I think it was probably the least noticed thing coming out of Chicago. Most of the media and press didn’t understand it. I think it is the most significant thing because it is – you know, essentially, you’ll remember our ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, a couple of years ago publishing the global NATO article in Foreign Affairs, in fact when some of us were in government working on an issue of trying to push the alliance more in this direction. And there was really a sense of antibodies; oh, my goodness, where is the United States trying to take NATO, this global NATO concept? And the allies sort of put the brakes on, pushed back on this sense of how to connect NATO more effectively with partners across the globe. We made some progress, but not as much.

I think what you see in Chicago is actually significant because it’s creating the reality on the ground, and it’s saying we’re not going to go through the theological debate of having to set up a new institution, but we’re going to pull to Chicago those partners that were the most valuable and contributed most effectively to our operations and have the political will to do so. And you had the right grouping in Chicago. It was a global grouping of countries that didn’t sort of correspond to any particular NATO category, if you will.

And so what does this mean? This is the opportunity. You’ve now sort of symbolically launched this at Chicago. You opened up the possibility for it by breaking some of the stovepipes at the previous summit in Lisbon. But we haven’t actually put on the table what affirmatively it really means and how to do it.

I would argue that this really is the new normal. It is unlikely that the alliance is going to take on any major security tasks without working with partners, because that’s the nature of the – of the globalized security environment. And so this is NATO showing that it gets it; it gets its understanding on how it needs to work these issues.

And so going forward, you know, I think part of – part of what’s important is you – we’re looking at it at a – at a – coming years in the alliance where we may not have the operational demands that pull us together with partners. That has been a driving force in Afghanistan and Libya that that has been the most direct way for our partners to connect to the alliance. And we’ve gotten so much out of that. Now, it’s kind of ironic – we’re not here lamenting the end of combat operations – but it does speak to how do you actually effectively affirmatively move forward an agenda that builds your partners into your daily work if you’re not in an operational setting.

So a couple of things. I think there is an agenda to be built. And people like Isabelle Francois have been working very hard on this. There are good ideas out there; they need to be picked up and taken forward.

You know, I would basically argue, in many respects, that I think you should even more brazenly open up the Partnership for Peace, which is designed for European/Eurasian countries. And you basically say that we open up the Partnership for Peace regardless of geography so that Chile – any country that so desires can sort of affiliate itself in this new sort of partnership for peace and security, whatever you may call it, but you keep this sort of founding document, the founding act of that partnership, because it does actually retain a very important clause, that any of our partners that feel their security is threatened, that they have an ability to come and ask NATO for consultations. So it actually has – there is some value and validity to not just throw the Partnership for Peace and its founding document out, but to keep some of that theology that’s been built up with the alliance, but just say it doesn’t actually belong – it doesn’t sort of perpetuate geographic stovepipes, because right now, when you try to meet at the NATO – you know, first of all, it’s a pain. I mean, it’s just – it’s a difficult bureaucratic environment. They become talk shops. Your Mediterranean dialogue is driven by disputes between Israel and other countries, and you can’t get around that very effectively. The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative includes some countries that want a lot, like UAE, and some countries that are more cautious. And so rather than say we’ve got to build these things in a stovepiped capacity, I mean, if we’re dealing with cyber, are we going to do that in the Med dialogue and not in other settings? It makes no sense. You let your partnership structure now reflect that by, in many respects, saying thank you, getting rid of some of these geographic stovepipes, opening up that Partnership for Peace, and doing what we did in Chicago, having a variable geometry, the ability to meet on issues as it demands.

I also think it’s worth thinking about those countries that want to be really interoperable with the alliance. And so I would take this a step further and push forward a NATO interoperability initiative that says for countries, particularly like Sweden and Australia that have shown both the political will and the desire to be more integrated with the alliance, that you take this to a new level and just as SHAPE goes through a process of certifying any country that’s going to deploy its forces into a NATO operation, you can begin a process where SHAPE actually goes and develops a process that could certify a partner as across the board its armed forces, being a NATO interoperable arms forces, because of the extent that it complies with NATO’s standards – NATO STANAGs, if you will.

And if it qualifies along that means, then you actually begin to open up the alliance to more sensitive areas for these countries because there is a big difference between Tajikistan’s partner with the alliance and Sweden’s. So if you qualify on this basis and you want it, you begin to be able to place officers in the integrated command – throughout the integrated command, not just at SHAPE – you begin to sit on committees that deal with interoperability so that you actually are an equal member, for example, in these technical committees that deal with standards rather than just sitting on the outside looking in. You get a voice at the table, if you’re Australia, to shape that, and that I’d be willing to go so far as to say that the operations in which you’re engaged, that you actually join the NACC in the first round of debate rather than the way it works at NATO right now, the NACC has a discussion, a little bit of a debate, it agrees in – it agrees a document, sends the document to the partners that are in the operation. They look at it, they comment on it, they add their words. It goes back to the NACC for final approval. It goes back to the partners for approval. I would say for these particular partners, Sweden and Australia, that qualify, you bring them in the first round of discussion.

The other areas in partnership, I think, going forward really are we haven’t picked up the ball on North Africa and the Middle East. And I think this is a huge issue. And right now NATO’s basically saying, well, the Libyans don’t know what they want, the Egyptians are kind of difficult to deal with and Tunisia’s still – we’ve got to be in this game. We’ve got to be in there. And this is – this is where, I think, the alliance has to work – have allies work with these governments and countries to help them formulate more specific requests so that they just don’t happen organically, that we’re actually making this work so that we can get the alliance in there in a way that can effectively help these militaries develop in – particularly in Tunisia, in Libya.

The trajectory of the entire Arab Awakening was determined by the role that the military played in these events. This is of such strategic importance that I just don’t think we can say check the box, we did Libya, but now they’re too confused; we can’t figure how to – how to engage with them. It’s too strategically important to walk away. And I think this is where you have to pick it up and really open up the Partnership for Peace tools in an effective way to help some of these militaries transform.

Just briefly, the other parts on a partnership agenda I would have taking forward. I think it’s a pretty fascinating idea, this idea of thinking about how we multilateralize our alliance structure. And as we think about the role, as we pivot to Asia, for example, how we do that with our NATO allies and so that we more increasingly bind our Asia-Pacific allies with our NATO allies. And I don’t quite know exactly where you take it, what it means, but I do know – I think it can help support what we’re trying to do within a globalized way that the alliance works. I think it helps in – it helps us in East Asia, where we have all bilateral structures. It’s very difficult to multilateralize those conversations. By bringing in our NATO allies, you actually provide a political reason that makes it easier to bring many of our allies together and East Asia. And most importantly, it keeps our Europeans focused on the strategic stakes – or strategic issues at stake in the Asia-Pacific. So in the absence of that I fear they go to a mercantilist, commercial policy. And I think binding them in this conversation’s important.

Stepping up the partnership dialogue with emerging partners – Brazil, Indonesia, India. In many respects, I thought the United States could overemphasize some of this because it’s not as if Brazilian forces or Indonesian forces are going to replace our allied forces in a place like Afghanistan any time soon. But I do think it is right to figure out how to create normal relations between the alliance and these emerging partners. They’re pretty immature, frankly, with India and particularly with – nonexistent with a country like Brazil or Indonesia. And I think that’s an area for growth.

And then finally you’ll see, even at Chicago, a fair amount of discussion of recommitment to training the African Union. I do think in a world where the alliance isn’t hungry for operations that it’s going to lead, that it has to get more serious about training others to lead operations in their own neighborhoods. And I would take that, for example, the African Union relationship, to the next level of really trying to help NATO. You think about what NATO has done – a NATO training mission in Iraq, NATO doing training and advising in Afghanistan, the Partnership for Peace tools, what it should be doing in North Africa. NATO’s actually developed a cadre of expertise in security or sector reform in training that we should put to work to help train other countries, other regional entities so that they can lead in certain operations, for example, in Africa, where the alliance may choose not to. So let me stop with that just to say that I think there’s an incredibly rich partnership agenda. And we’ve only scratched the surface. And I think there’s a lot of scope to take this forward at the next summit.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: I’d like to focus on – in that I want to bring the audience into this – but I want to ask one more question about four partners in particular. And we had a little of this discussion earlier with Josh and some of the other panelists about enlargement. And – so we have Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Georgia. And I think you mentioned in your question to Liz Sherwood-Randall that Secretary Clinton leaned pretty far forward and said this should be the last summit that isn’t an enlargement summit. Yet – and we heard some optimism from President Saakashvili when he spoke to the Young Atlanticists, as well as from the Montenegrin prime minister.

I’m not a betting man, certainly not on stage in front of a bunch of people while they’re recording things – (laughter) – but would you care to put a wager out as to who might get in at the next summit and what kind of work needs to be done for these four to all make progress and to – particularly if we’re going to have an enlargement at the next summit, who do you think in particular has the best chance and what do they have to do?

MR. WILSON: Right. First of all, let me say that I think – you know, Chicago, I think, actually helped gave a bit of an impetus to the enlargement discussion. I always thought it was wrong to frame Chicago as not an enlargement summit, because it sort of as if you’re just trying to push that off the agenda. What you actually saw was a little bit of a backlash within the alliance from members that supported enlargement. And so coming out of that, strong statements on open door policy, strong support for some of the key allies themselves after not being on the agenda, being forced on the agenda and meeting with the aspirants at the foreign minister level to signal that this continues to go forward.

But what I would argue is if you parse this and you look at Bosnia, you’re pretty hard-pressed to sort of get all excited about – no offense – but pretty excited about why this was a strategic matter for the alliance, what it should be doing. You’ve got to think about what are we trying to do here. This isn’t happening in a vacuum. What the – what NATO has done – what NATO has been is an engine of driving forward a vision of a Europe that’s whole, free and at peace. And just as we get close to achieving that vision, what do we do? We want to back away from that and not finish it? Well, that’s really dumb, in my view.

This is part of a – what we’re talking about – we’re not just talking about Montenegro. We’re not talking about a country of 600,000 people in the Balkans. We’re talking about can we fulfill a vision, a bipartisan process that was begun here in Washington, at building a Europe whole, free and at peace that takes countries that were once insecure and vulnerable and uncertain in their futures and anchors them in the tenets of democracy and free markets and in the heart of an alliance, eventually within the European Union as well, in a way that takes these issues off the table and says, we don’t have to worry about this becoming a security threat or unstable again.

And not only that, these countries are actually being able to contribute to the alliance in their own ways, one, because of stability in their region; two, because they do contribute to operations; and three, it’s a red herring to say that, you know, small allies complicate decision-making. Albania hasn’t really blocked the alliance from doing big things. It’s always going to be disagreements between Germany, U.K., France, the United States and Turkey. It’s not going to be Albania that wreaks havoc.

And so I think – that’s a long-winded way to say I see after Chicago now you pick up and – you pick up the game and you say, OK – Secretary Clinton threw down the gauntlet in a way that – good for her. Many of us were arguing it would have been nice to see the summit say, we look forward to taking decisions on enlargement at our next summit. You couldn’t get a consensus for that within the alliance. Secretary Clinton did go public with that. It’s very significant. She said Chicago should be the last summit that’s not an enlargement summit.

So that puts a signal on the fact that you’ve got to do a couple of things. The aspirants have to get really serious and be A-plus students in the coming years to move forward on their reforms at home. They know what they have to do. But it also means that we – if we believe that, the United States, we got to roll up our sleeves and get in there. You don’t just let this play out. You get in there, you get in their face, you work with them on their shortcomings, you work with them to strengthen the things they’re working on. So these are going to be allies of ours. We want this to be serious. And if we – if that’s the case, we have to go on a campaign that invests us in helping them succeed.

And third, it means over the next two years beginning to very strategically work to build up a consensus within the alliance. You’ve got strong views in Central Europe and northern Europe, the U.K. But you got some work to do in France and Germany, in the Netherlands, on the Iberian Peninsula. And so I think Chicago should be the signal for a real campaign plan to move forward on working with Georgia and Montenegro, Macedonia in particular.

Quick word on Macedonia. This isn’t going to solve itself on its own. Somebody has to own this problem, and right now no one owns this problem. And so what are we seeing? We’re actually seeing the Balkans get worse, not better. I mean, what a distraction this would be for the United States and for NATO if instability returns to the Balkans. What a strategic defeat for us if we have to take our eye off the ball of Asia and the Middle East because we’ve let something go wrong in the Balkans.

We got to get it right. We got to finish enlargement in this region, and we got to solve Macedonia’s name issue. And Matt Nimitz was a great negotiator up in New York; he can’t solve this by himself. We have to own the problem. I think that means that Washington, Berlin, Paris, we got to own it. We got to sit down and over the next two years be very serious about how we work with the Greeks on a strategy to resolve this in a way that doesn’t let Macedonia slip back into insecurity.

And if you follow Macedonia today, it’s not great. It’s actually had some problems developing, and ethnic tension getting worse. The unraveling of the – (inaudible) – treaty would be a strategic defeat for that country, but more importantly, for us.

And so I don’t want to go on for so long, but these are not that difficult to do, but because they’re not big issues doesn’t mean you just write them off and set – move on, because they’ll come back and slap us in the face. Get it done – and the next two years of your time to get it done.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: And does the strategic imperative of continue with NATO enlargement actually become more important considering the eurozone crisis? Because it – it’d be really – if you found June 17th, the Greeks vote in a really negative way, and it spirals out of control and the Greeks have to leave the eurozone, you suddenly got – first of all, you’ve given an exit strategy that can open up a whole can of worms. This seems to be the crux of the issue. If one leaves, you can start thinking about how others might leave. And it – then it poses a real existential question to the European Union overall. So does become more important because of that, or are they sort of separate issues?

MR. WILSON: I think it does. I think when you’re in a crisis, going into a defensive crouch is not a good strategy from my view. When you’re in a crisis, I think you need to go on offense. We’re in a crisis in terms of the economic eurozone impact and the fact that it could have spillover effects on security. So what should we be doing right now? Go on offense. This is the time for Washington to step forward and say we’re not just going to go into a defensive crouch and try to put up containment walls; we’re going to go forward with this bold idea of a transatlantic – a single transatlantic marketplace, a U.S.-European Union free trade agreement that’s about integration of our economy’s growth, jobs, and go on offense with a positive message; don’t just play defense on a negative.

Eurozone crisis, the same thing, as it plays out in the Balkans. This is the perfect time. Greece is being humiliated because of the difficulty of this. So Germany and the United States, to partner with Greece on a major initiative in the Balkans is about delivering on the vision of integrating the Western Balkans, both into NATO and the European Union. And you do it in partnership with Athens to give them responsibility, ownership and to help them be proud of delivering their region in a positive way.

You know, obviously, you can’t talk about it necessarily today as things are on fire; they’ve got elections. But nonetheless, if Washington and Berlin went to Athens after their elections with a very – and however the eurozone plays out with a very positive role that Greece could play, a role – a role that plays to Greece’s positive role in the region, you can flip the debate, you can go on offense, you can create a different dynamic and not let this spiral into a potential serious problem in southeast Europe, but go on offense and turn it into something that brings resolution and provides more optimistic path forward.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: Great. Well, I’d like to bring in the audience. We got some questions. It’s right by the microphones, so you – (inaudible).

Q: Thank you. Gergely Varga; SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations. The European Union is – the European Union is clearly a crucial partner or should be a crucial partner for NATO, especially in terms of approaching other regions, especially the Middle East, but still Asians and other regions of the globe. Still, we all know that this partnership isn’t really working well for some obvious political reasons. How do you square this challenge with Turkey’s growing strategic importance? What could NATO members do in this aspect?

MR. WILSON: So I think it raises the price; it raises the imperative of getting Europe’s relationship with Turkey right, getting Turkey’s relationship right inside NATO. Because the longer we leave this as a(n) open flesh wound, we just kind of try to paper over it in NATO. And we – many of us have worked in NATO; we know how we paper over it, we try to minimize disruptions for the operational side, we have informal consultations. You can kind of make it work, but we’re getting past the point where you need to be working around this. Turkey’s becoming such an important actor, the European Union is such an important actor, that this is going to take a major leader-level push.

It’s not easy, it’s – but I think if you could get more confidence out of your Turkish partners where the Turks feel more secure about their role and their partnership bilaterally and multilaterally – and you have a strategic vision coming from Washington and some key European countries – this should be one of the things that you really try to solve before the next summit. It will take leader-level engagement. And so in the meantime, we paper over; we manage on the margins. But I think Turkey’s ascent is sort of – should be more of a forcing event, not to continue to push this under the rug, but to try to actually bridge the gap.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: Next question. Ma’am – back here. And I know Camille had a question as well. Let’s take two together, because we’re about six minutes till we close.

Q: Yes. Gale Mattox from the U.S. Naval Academy. I wanted to push you a little bit on the Germany question – that Germany’s ready; it should take the kind of security and military role in the alliance that it does on economic terms in broader – in broader Europe. And you sort of laid out that we should do that in the next decade. But how? And what do you see as an appropriate approach to that?

Q: One quick comment on France that you prompted, Damon. The – I wouldn’t necessarily judge the Hollande team on the – on the Afghanistan withdrawal. I mean, it was a – it was a campaign promise. You can’t expect a new president to review his campaign promise three days after being in office.

MR. WILSON: But I can still judge him on his campaign promise.

Q: Yeah. (Laughter.) I think the campaign promise was one . And he sort of – did sort of water it down a little bit from what it was originally.

I would point at the fact that the – and I would reserve my own judgment, because I would certainly wait for very concrete cases – I would point at the fact that the defense team and the minister of defense is pretty strong with Jean-Claude Mallet and someone that many of you here – Nicolas Roche, being the diplomatic adviser. So that’s a good – that’s a good team. And I don’t – so I don’t expect that many changes on the major issues; Iran and so on. But indeed, we will judge on length.

I have one question which is about summitry. Do we really need a NATO summit every 18 months? Because in a way, it – I think it sort of kills also the process at NATO, because it means a ministerial cannot deliver anything, because we wait for the next summit to announce whatever new thing. And in the end we end up with summit like the Chicago summit, which – in which deliverables are fairly limited altogether. So I’m – you’ve been involved in so many of these summits – (chuckles) – I’m asking you not only from a bureaucratic standpoint, but also from a political standpoint.

MR. WILSON: Right. Goodness, good question.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: I hear the NSC staff saying less NATO summits, right? (Chuckles.)

MR. WILSON: Exactly. Exactly. All right. I will wrap up with these; good questions.

On Germany, if you think about Germany, Germany has come an – it’s a remarkable evolution. I mean, this – what an incredible success story – the daringness of bringing Germany – West Germany into the alliance in 1955; the normalization of Germany’s role in Europe. If you think about what Germany did in the Balkans, in Kosovo, in Bosnia, it’s remarkable. It’s a huge development, German strategic policy. If you think what Chancellor Shröder did to put his government on the line and force a Bundestag vote to deploy German troops to Afghanistan, that was historic, and it was Germany taking a step forward each step of the way that show that it was returning to its place of leadership in a constructive way with its allies inside the alliance.

And what I’m simply arguing for is continue that trajectory. I thought it was a strategic mistake to see Germany side with Russia and China in the U.N. Security Council on Libya – just really unfortunate. And what I’d like to see is Germany continue this process of acting as a – as a normal, strong country.

So concretely, what does that mean? It actually means the political will first – to say that we have – we’re comfortable, we have a political will to be able to play a leading role with our partners in strategic and political and security issues globally.

Second, it means that we’re actually then are going to be serious about the defense investment that we put in. And the German military has some pretty good capability, so I think the will is the number one issue, but still, that its defense investment is sustained at a level as more on par with the U.K. or France in terms of how they think about strategic culture. And then the willingness and comfort to be able to employ those assets in partnership with the United States, with its NATO allies. And so I just want to see a continuing evolution of what I think has been terrific developments in Germany’s strategic outlook, which I think have slowed. I haven’t seen as much – as firm step forwards as I’d like – as I would like to see of Germany.

On France – just quickly. You know, I do think – I mean, campaigns matter, pledges matter. And I do – it’s a – it’s a very unfortunate way to start your presidency, by jamming all of your allies. Because when France says we’re out, 2013 – well, what does that do to the prime minister of Denmark? What does that do to the prime minister of Hungary? It’s not helpful. It’s really not helpful. The alliance is about solidarity.

Now, he made a campaign pledge, and I think President Obama handled it wisely. And the approach was to say, OK, look, we’re going to – we’re going to respect the campaign pledge you made; we have to. But we’re also going to figure out a way to make that work within the context of the alliance’s commitment to be in Afghanistan through 2014. And I think, frankly, they did the best they could at managing the circle.

But I do think any leader needs to think about their partners and allies, and he jammed his other allies and partners. This doesn’t help any other prime minister or president in Europe who’s also dealing with a population that’s tired and wants out. And if they all follow that path, we’d be in trouble. It would be a real problem. And France should be leading the alliance, setting the example, not being the problem we have to contain in the alliance. That’s the dynamic I’m concerned about.

I actually am pretty optimistic. France is a serious strategic actor and ally. It’s among the most serious allies we have, the most capable. I’m quite optimistic about the role France is going to be able to play on this global stage and within the alliance. I do hope that it is – that this – in fact, I think it would be powerful for a socialist government to feel a sense of – to validate the idea of France integrated into the – into the integrated command.

And the last point on summitry. You’re right, you can overdo it. You can overdo it on too many summits. At some point, a summit is a good forcing event to get decisions made to try to rally folks around a difficult situation. Lisbon really helped bring unity on Afghanistan when it was completely frayed, not just to deliver a strategic concept. So you don’t want it to – do it too often – because they have to be special; they have to deliver things – but at the same time, it is an important expression and commitment. And as we go through an election, if there is a new president – well, actually, I really want that new American president to have a summit. If President Obama is re-elected, it may not be as necessary. So we – I think folks are talking about 2014 for the next summit. There’s thoughts about when we go through the selecting of a new secretary-general. So some of those factors are in play.

But you’re right. Eighteen months; too short. Push out the calendar a little bit. Make some exceptions. And sometimes you can do a summit that’s quick and dirty, and just – you run to Brussels, do a – touch base with your partners on the key issue, you don’t bring in 63 other leaders. So you can parse it as well. But you’re absolutely right. We don’t want to do overkill.

And Chicago had the potential to be overkill. I think it’s been managed well. And so now let’s get on with the work and keep the summits at bay for a while.

MR. LIGHTFOOT: We’ve got a pretty ambitious agenda that you’ve just outlined here.

That’s going to do it for us today. It’s time for you all to eat lunch. But thank you all for coming; and to our panelists, to Sherri Goodman, Liz Sherwood-Randall, Camille Grand, Kori Schake, Josh Foust, Tobias Ellwood and Barry Pavel, and of course Damon Wilson. And thanks to our team here, by the way, Simona Kordosova, Andrew Wilson, Olivia Henderson and our fabulous external relations team, for putting this event together. So thank you all for coming.

MR. WILSON: Absolutely. Thank you.


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