News / Asia

NATO Chief Urges New Response to Modern-Day Threats

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, walks with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen after a NATO meeting, Thursday Oct. 14, 2010 at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Clinton arrived in Brussels following a two-day tour of the Balkans
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, walks with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen after a NATO meeting, Thursday Oct. 14, 2010 at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Clinton arrived in Brussels following a two-day tour of the Balkans

A month before a key summit, NATO's secretary-general has called  on the alliance to adopt new responses to modern-day threats.  

In opening remarks at the one-day conference in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said it is critical that the transatlantic alliance "get it right" as it drafts a new blueprint for the future.  

"NATO's core mission, to protect the 900 million civilians of NATO countries from attack, must never change," Rasmussen said. "But it must be modern defense against modern threats."

Rasmussen was addressing a highly unusual joint meeting of foreign and defense ministers of the 28-member alliance.  At issue:  carving out what NATO terms its new "strategic concept," or mission statement to deal with an array of new threats, including ballistic missiles, cyber warfare and terrorism.

Heads of state are expected to adopt this new document, during a NATO summit next month in Lisbon.  It will replace the last strategic concept, drafted in 1999 - before the terrorist attacks in the United States, Britain and Spain and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rasmussen is pushing for NATO to embrace missile defense in Europe.  

"The threat is clear, the capability exists and the costs are manageable," Rasmussen said.

The revamped NATO is expected to be slimmer, in line with current austerity measures, including expected defense budget cuts by some member states.  

Nick Witney is a defense analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London.  He says the only element of potential controversy is the call for a nuclear-free Europe.  

"The German foreign minister, in particular, has been quite vocal on calling for the removal of NATO's nuclear weapons from Europe and that is something some of the alliance's heavyweights are going to resist," Witney said.

The war in Afghanistan is not on the Brussels agenda, but NATO heads of state will likely discuss it in Lisbon. The conflict is now entering its 10th year.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid