Speaking at the NATO Summit in Chicago, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said NATO still is the most successful alliance in history, but added that these are challenging times for NATO.
- We are faced with serious financial turmoil, uncertain geopolitical developments, and the challenge of finalizing a complex stability operation in Afghanistan. The financial crisis is a sustained challenge for all in the years ahead. We must not allow today’s economic crisis to become tomorrow’s security crisis, Stoltenberg said.
- As we look ahead, we are faced with a double challenge:
- On the one hand, we must develop relevant responses to new security threats. On the other hand, we need to recall the basics of our Alliance – the security and defense of our territories. It is indeed a time of great challenge, but also of great opportunity.
- I therefore welcome the comprehensive package of decisions taken at this summit.
- Secretary General, In implementing these decisions, let me highlight the following:
First, as operations in Afghanistan draw to a close, we need to shift our focus to the fundamentals of this alliance. We need to be prepared to conduct even the most demanding military operations also in the future. This fact is reflected in my government’s decisions to make serious investments in high-end, modern military capabilities.
Second, we need to find smarter ways of spending our money on defense. Spending together is smart. It will enable us to acquire and use capabilities we could not afford individually. The obvious but difficult solution is more cooperation. This requires leadership and political commitment.
Third, we need to develop our ability to operate together, and with our partners. We welcome the new US commitment to the NATO Response Force and allied training and exercises in Europe.
Stoltenberg said NATO should maintain a high-level of cooperation with Russia. We must build on the cooperation developed in the NATO-Russia Council over 15 years.
- While maintaining a credible deterrence, and moving forward step by step with missile defence, we also believe in arms control and non-proliferation as a long-term source of security and stability. Tactical nuclear arms must be part of upcoming negotiations, to reduce the role of nuclear weapons, the Norwegian Prime Minister said.