Secretary Clinton on the Future of NATO

February 23, 2010 — Last night, the Atlantic Council hosted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a landmark address on the Future of NATO. She offered a rousing defense of the Alliance; advanced a clear vision for reform and modernization; and criticized a "leadership crisis," calling on Alliance leaders to accept the responsibility of explaining to our publics why the Alliance is so important.

Secretary Clinton underscored the need for the Alliance to remain true to its founding principles, reaffirmed U.S. commitment to Article 5, embraced continued nuclear deterrence with strengthened missile defenses, stressed a joint NATO-EU comprehensive approach to crises and endorsed Secretary General Rasmussen’s internal reform agenda.  She also delivered an important message on Russia, vowing to use the NATO-Russia Council to press for human rights and individual liberties, while embracing the indivisibility of common security.  Notable quotes from Secretary Clinton include:

  • "Our challenge with Russia is to build a relationship where the principles that both sides have agreed to on paper are consistently respected in practice."
  • "No ally – or adversary – should ever question our determination” to honor Article 5.
  • "There can be no question that NATO will keep its doors open to new members."
  • "We reaffirm our commitment to Article 4, where allies pledge to consult together about political and security developments. These discussions are the lifeblood of NATO’s future."
  • "A new Concept with old structures will not be transformational."

Her remarks opened the Washington Strategic Concept Seminar, which was co-hosted by NDU and ACT in partnership with the Atlantic Council, CSIS, GMF and the Johns Hopkins SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations.  For video and transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks, please visit the Atlantic Council website.

In conjunction with the Seminar, the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisors Group (SAG) released issue briefs as part of its STRATCON 2010 Project.  They are:

NATO Issue Briefs:

Secretary Clinton’s address and welcoming reception for seminar delegates from across the Atlantic was generously sponsored by Boeing, Deloitte, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and SAAB AB.  The SAG is generously supported by EADS, Airbus and the Scowcroft Group.