NATO leaders have agreed on more troops, training and money for Afghanistan, warmly welcomed the new U.S. president, and selected a new secretary-general to take over the alliance in August - all amid a highly symbolic summit to celebrate NATO's 60th anniversary in Strasbourg, on the French-German border.
But there was room left for some very serious discussions and Afghanistan topped the agenda.
NATO members agreed to send up to 5,000 more military personnel to help provide security for the upcoming Afghan elections and help train Afghan security forces. An additional $100 million has been set aside in a fund to build up and sustain the Afghan army. And, there is an emphasis on funding for development.
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the alliance had come through. "The bottom line is that when it comes to Afghanistan, this summit and this alliance have delivered," he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the agreement, saying efforts in the past have not been sufficient. He also said the main thrust of U.S. and allied strategy is to dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"This effort cannot be America's alone. All of NATO understands that al-Qaida is a threat to all of us and that this collective security effort must achieve its goals. And, as a signal of that commitment, I am pleased that our NATO allies pledged their strong and unanimous support for our new strategy," said the president.
Prior to coming here, Mr. Obama had outlined that new strategy - to deal strategically with Afghanistan and Pakistan together, to focus on both military and civilian development efforts, to step up training for the Afghan security forces and to promote diplomacy by bringing in neighboring countries as part of the solution.
The new plan found favor in Strasbourg. Summit co-host German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it corresponds to the thinking among NATO members. "We want Afghanization," she says. "We want Afghanistan to be able to defend itself and ensure that no threat of terrorism emanates from its territory. She added that Germany will continue to do fulfill its commitments in Afghanistan," she said.
Summit host, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the new American strategy is what European allies have been advocating. He said succeeding in Afghanistan is vital. And, the French leader also had glowing words for President Obama.
"We trust him. We've heard the words he spoke on behalf of the world's number one democracy - we've been waiting for these words for a long time," he said.
Mr. Sarkozy added that the American leader should know that the has friends and that Europe will from now on be an even stronger pillar that he can count on."
NATO members also agreed on the selection of a new secretary general - Anders Fogh Rasmussen, currently Denmark's prime minister. He takes over the reins of the alliance from Scheffer in August.
But, not everyone was pleased with events here. Thousands of anti-war, anti-NATO and anarchist protesters took to the streets here in Strasbourg and across the river in Germany. While some of the protests were peaceful and resembled street parties, others turned violent.
There were clashes with police and demonstrators set a customs building and a hotel on fire at the border crossing.