Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General: four NATO goals for the Chicago Summit

110930 Towards NATO vs Chicago Summit – Chicago hosts world leaders next May for NATO and G-8 summits and on Friday Sept, 30, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen laid out four NATO goals for the Chicago meeting in a speech at the European Policy Centre in Brussels where he called for a “strategic partnership” with Russia.
“So in Chicago, I am confident that you will see a NATO Alliance demonstrating its strong solidarity even in difficult economic times. An Alliance that is committed – capable – and connected,” Rasmussen said.
The G-8 economic sessions will run from May 15-22 and the NATO meetings overlap on May 20-21. The last NATO meeting in the U.S. was in Washington in 1999, marking the 50th anniversary of the organization.
Rasmussen in his “look ahead” to Chicago key points:
*”The backdrop to our NATO summit in Chicago is the global economic crisis. And there is no contradiction between being concerned about the economy and being concerned about security. Because economy and security are interlinked. Huge deficits and growing debt make nations vulnerable. Therefore, sound fiscal policies are also sound security policies. Both require that we get the most out of every euro, pound and dollar that we spend on defence and security.”
*”The Alliance should also have a genuine, strategic partnership with Russia. We have already started to develop this. Russia and NATO are working together on many issues where we have shared concerns, such as Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and drug trafficking. And I look to a future where we cooperate even more.”
*The Four Chicago goals….
“First – Afghanistan. We are on track to complete the transition of lead security responsibility to the Afghans by the end of 2014. But our commitment to the Afghan people will not end there. So my first goal for Chicago is to lay out the detail of that commitment, by agreeing a strategic plan for our engagement throughout the transition period, and beyond.
“Second – capabilities. To fulfil its essential purpose of safeguarding our security, the Alliance needs the appropriate mix of capabilities: conventional, nuclear and missile defence. We are currently reviewing that mix for approval at Chicago.
“We are also preparing a package of specific military capabilities that Smart Defence can help us to deliver. At Chicago, my goal is for NATO Heads of State and Government to endorse this package. And to make a smart commitment to deliver the capability improvements we all need.
“Third – missile defence. Poland, Romania and Turkey have already agreed to host key elements of this system. And my goal for Chicago is that we declare an interim operational capability for NATO’s territorial missile defence. We will then be able to receive early warning of missile launches directed against us. A big step towards the full capability that we need.
“That’s the NATO track. But I would also like to make progress on the NATO-Russia track. Cooperation on missile defence makes sense militarily — because it renders both our systems more effective. And it makes sense politically — because it demonstrates that our missile defence is not directed against Russia.
“Finally – partnerships. I would like the summit to reaffirm our commitment to the Euro-Atlantic integration of our partners here on this continent. But also to send a strong signal to countries across the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. That we continue to share an interest in the stability and security of their region. And I hope that by the time of our Chicago summit, a new, democratic Libya will be among our partners in the region.”

Chicago Sun Times – By Lynn Sweet

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