Friday, January 29, 2010


This afternoon, January 29, Secretary Clinton delivered a major address on European Security in conjunction with the US Embassy and IRSEM, the Ministry of Defense's strategic studies think tank (Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'Ecole Militaire).

While emphasizing the need for collective European-American responses to delicately interlaced global challenges, Clinton voiced her support for the Lisbon Treaty, Europe's decision-making autonomy, and praised Europe as a model of transformative power. Though she did mention areas for improvement (need for democratization in certain zones, increased economic opportunity, revamped arms control regime and updated EU/North American institutions fit to manage new problems) and new frontiers for collaboration (cyberterror, terrorism, climate change, energy security).

While assuring the audience that the US's security is anchored in Europe ("Much of what we hope to achieve globally depends on our European partners") based largely on shared, universal values, Clinton asserted the six core principles guiding America's views on European security:

1. Sovereignty of All States to choose allies, provide for their defense, and define boundaries while rejecting claims to spheres of influence.

2. Indivisibility of European Security - there is one Europe with the US as its partner, and sometimes Russia too. It is time to move beyond false divisions (ie: NATO v. non-NATO, EU v; non-EU, etc.) in order to meet common goals.

3. Unwavering Commitment to Article V of NATO - the US will use missile defense to protect all NATO territory. The US is working to engage Moscow to convince it of the stake Russia holds in the presence of nearby missile defense.

4. Practicing Transparency in Dealing with Europe - global threats demand more open exchanges between militaries (info, exercises, site visits). The US supports a revived CFE Treaty for a modern security framework that limits deployment, reinforces territorial integrity, and meets new challenges.

5. Commitment to Non-Proliferation through support of existing treaties, negotiation of new nuclear posture, press other nations to reduce their arsenals and secure stocks.

6. Support Democratization Efforts in order to nourish free expression, encourage development, and end abuses like human trafficking. In this context, the US strongly supports strengthening the OSCE.

Other central topics raised by Clinton:
- Russia: engagement to meet challenges like Iran, climate change, energy security, and non-proliferation.
- China: use a mix of existing institutions to work with Beijing. Key elements: promote military transparency, convince them to sanction Iran, include them in strategic moves like the North Korea talks
- NATO Enlargement: Clinton voiced support for ongoing NATO enlargement plans with Eastern European nations. When this author asked about including non-Western nations who meet membership criteria, Clinton opposed stretching NATO's geography but cited NATO/ISAF as an example of successful cross-hemisphere cooperation that could be applied to other issues like cyberterror.

Click HERE for full text, taken from the State Department.

- Amy Greene