Dear Professor Teltschik, Excellencies, Ladies and
When the world around us changes, it is good for us to be standing on firm
ground and to know what its foundations are. And one of these foundations is
"Forming the link between two continents, it provides a unique range of
political and military instruments for peacekeeping and peace restoration."
That is what it says in the 2006 White Paper of the German Federal Government.
This is the claim. But what is the reality? Are we where we would like to
be? Is the Alliance in the state in which we would like it to be? I'm afraid
it isn't yet. There are many indications that we must still establish a number
of conditions in order to achieve further progress.
This is the task behind the political and military transformation of the
Alliance, and this is the task to which we must devote our attention. The
summit meeting of the heads of state and government of the NATO members in
Bucharest offers us the next opportunity to do so.
Let us take a look at what we need. We need greater cooperation with our
partners. We need more dialog and consultation, the basis for joint decisions.
Above all, however, we need more unity in our intentions.
We must discuss current international security policy issues in their
entirety and arrive at an approach that combines all the areas of politics in
even greater measure than at present. This is the only way NATO can develop
its full value as an alliance.
The Atlantic Alliance is an element of a large international community. And
we will only attain the success we need if we adopt a network approach and
synchronize our actions.
Are we managing to do that today? In some respects, perhaps, but altogether
the result is not yet satisfactory. NATO-EU cooperation is more necessary in
today's theaters of operations than it has ever been. In political terms,
however, it is still based on procedures that date back to 1997. This is an
area in which we must urgently make headway.
Pragmatic collaboration in small steps, by which we make the best of things
on operations, is not enough. What we need is a fundamental political
consensus - between NATO and the EU in particular - in order to achieve real
success in the use of the many different civil and military means we, and by
that I mean the West as a whole, have at our disposal.
Political priority must therefore be given to overcoming blockades between
the two institutions and raising our cooperation to a higher level. This is
the only way we can ensure our operations are a success. This is the only way
we can exploit their strengths and generate synergies. Both organizations will
profit from this in the end.
I ask each one of you to do what you can to overcome these blockades. That
will benefit our joint mission, and that will benefit the soldiers and
civilian reconstruction personnel who put their lives at risk to accomplish it.
And the same goes for cooperation with the United Nations: It is good in
the theaters of operations, but unsatisfactory at the political level. The
signing of the NATO-UN Declaration would be a first major step in the right
direction. It would add an institutional component to the practical
cooperation. It would enable political-level exchanges to be intensified and
mutual understanding to be improved. And in an ideal world, the result would
broader and more effective cooperation, without any duplication of effort. The
international security organizations must cooperate, whether they like it or
not. The resources available are in too short supply and of too much value to
be used unnecessarily.
Before the Alliance mounts an operation, a general networked security
concept must be devised. For long-term and sustainable stability can only be
established if the support services provided by each of the actors in the
conflict zones of this world are combined and coordinated to suit the specific
Afghanistan is an example that highlights just how important cooperation is
in this field. NATO, and with it the international community, faces immense
challenges in Afghanistan. From an unstable security situation, a drug-based
economy and sluggish economic reconstruction to a lack of government presence
and authority. Against this background, a firm general civil-military concept,
a political strategic plan, is indispensable for the country.
Dr. Franz Josef Jung, during his
Photograph by Kai Mörk
Who decides what? Who helps where and on what scale? We must formulate
clear-cut specifications and monitor their implementation. What we need are
criteria for success. NATO, the EU, the UN, the donor nations and the Afghan
government itself - we are all called upon to do something.
The Alliance needs an overall strategy for Afghanistan, one in which not
only the objective of our operation is identified and defined, but also the
role of ISAF in the establishment and maintenance of security.
We must also make headway in the support we are providing for
reconstruction and good governance and in the integration of the neighboring
states, above all Pakistan. I submitted proposals for such an overall strategy
at the informal meeting of Alliance defense ministers in Noordwijk. We agreed
to turn this strategy into a Comprehensive Strategic Political Military Plan
by the Bucharest summit.
- Every single member has to do its bit
Germany has supported the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan from the
outset. Since the ISAF mission began, we have been one of the largest troop
contributors, have borne the responsibility for its success in Regional
Command North and have supported the ISAF partners across the country.
One of the priorities we pursue in our area of responsibility is that of
training the Afghan National Army, and we indeed intend to step up this effort
during the year. The objective remains that of establishing self-supporting
stability in Afghanistan.
I have therefore decided that as from July, the Bundeswehr will provide the
Quick Reaction Force in Regional Command North that Norway has so far provided.
We will perform all the tasks this entails within the mandate assigned to us
by the German Parliament.
ln Kosovo, the progress that has been achieved so far is due quite
considerably to NATO's KFOR mission. What we must do now is maintain the
positive effect, despite changes in the setting. And the best way we can do
that is by offering Serbia the prospect of being integrated into European
The Alliance is not only called upon to act in its operations. We must also
further develop NATO's structures. We want to see France fully integrated into
the Alliance's military structures, and that includes the defense planning
process. This will strengthen the European pillar and consolidate North
America's partnership with Europe. This partnership is today more necessary
than ever: The stronger each pillar is, the stronger the Alliance is as a
Expansion: Decisions will be taken in Bucharest on the expansion of the
Alliance. As regards this issue, there are two points that must always be
borne in mind. Firstly: NATO is not only a military alliance. It was and still
is a community based on values. Our door is open to those who are prepared to
adopt the principles that govern our Alliance. To gain admission, and this is
a fact that must not be forgotten, states have to do something. For those
aspiring to join, this should be enough incentive not to slacken in their
fervor for reform. Secondly: NATO sees itself as a Security Provider for
Europe. It would like to promote stability both within its borders and beyond.
The admission of a new country ought to assist the Alliance in performing this
role and help it to develop further. This is the only way we can achieve
sustained stability. And this is why the prospect of NATO membership in the
near future for Croatia, Albania and Macedonia will not only bring about more
in the way of security for these states in particular, but will also stabilize
the region as a whole.
We are cultivating a special partnership with Russia. We value the NATO-Russia
Council as a forum for dialog on topics that are of concern to us all. It is a
matter of our taking each other seriously and working together to come up with
pragmatic solutions to the problems we face.
This includes the topic of missile defense. It is important that there are
no zones of different security within the Alliance territory. So we must build
a combined MD capability that unites US national plans with NATO's plans. But
we can only do this in dialog with our partners. The United States has tabled
far-reaching proposals for constructive cooperation with Russia. This is a
good basis for discussion.
In time, all these considerations must converge into a new Strategic
Concept. Never before has the range of tasks covered by the Alliance been so
broad. Never before have its operations been so demanding. Never before has
the necessity of cooperation been so great. This gives us reason enough not to
slacken in our efforts in the future either. What we need today are a sense of
proportion, patience and passion. This is what I wish us all. I am certain
that the effort will be worthwhile and will yield success.
Thank you very much.