Special Briefing on the Future of NATO

Special Briefing
Ivo Daalder
Permanent Representative to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 
Washington, DC
February 23, 2010

MR. CROWLEY: Good morning and welcome to the Department of State. Obviously, in the past 18 hours and projecting ahead to noontime when the National Security Advisor will also speak, you’ve had – will have had three very important speeches here in Washington, D.C. focused on the future of NATO, the NATO strategic concept, what the alliance is doing now and what the alliance will do in the future.

We thought with our able Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder in town, it would be a good opportunity for you to catch up both to kind of put the comments today and yesterday in context, but also answer your questions about where the alliance is today. So, Ivo, thank you for coming in. Always a pleasure to see you (inaudible).

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Good to be here. Thanks, P.J. Good morning. As P.J. said, we have three major speeches by three principal national security officials in the course of less than 24 hours.

The reason for those speeches specifically is that the heads of state and government in April decided – of NATO decided that NATO needed a new strategic concept, and we have been in the process of a rather public debate about what that strategic concept should look like. And there’s a seminar today at NDU which – where Secretary Gates and National Security Adviser Jones will be speaking – that goes into that for the fourth time. It’s the fourth seminar. Secretary Albright, the chair of the group of experts, is helping Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to draft this concept, which will be decided by – or approved by the heads of state and government in their summit in November in Lisbon.

In the speeches that the secretaries and National Security Advisor made and are about to make, we sought to stress four points. First and foremost important is that NATO’s security promise has not changed despite the fact that the strategic landscape in which it is taking place is changing quite dramatically. We require new thinking about how we respond to new threats, but that we will respond and that we will do so within a NATO context remains a bedrock principle of this alliance.

In that sense, Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which says that an attack against one is an attack against all, remains the bedrock of the alliance. And in order to have that Article 5 operate effectively in the world that we live in today, we need the deployability of forces, we need the ability for forces to move from different places across territory, we need to be prepared through exercising and planning to show and ensure that NATO is prepared to confront the threats that we face to the territory and the citizens of NATO. We need to continue to rely on a deterrence based on a mix of conventional and nuclear forces.

And we need, in the new environment, to make territorial missile defense a mission of this alliance, a mission to defend against a new kind of armed attack, that which arrives on ballistic missiles, whether these weapons come from Iran and hit Western Europe or North Korea and towards North America. In both instances, they would be a responsibility for Article 5 to be dealt with.

The second point, one that Secretary Clinton particularly stressed yesterday, is a real interest by this Administration and indeed by NATO to foster a cooperative relationship with Russia that is aimed at producing concrete results. We want to bring NATO and Russia closer, but in order to advance areas of cooperation like missile defense, like greater transparency and conventional forces in Europe, like Afghanistan. But we also want to make sure that as we try to get closer, that we don’t skate over our differences, which are real and which Secretary Clinton laid out yesterday with respect to Georgia, with respect to our insistence that we will be able to welcome new members in this alliance without anyone having a veto, with respect to the fact that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states in Europe and indeed beyond remains critical.

The third point to – stressed was that security today isn’t just a purely military task. It requires improved civil-military capabilities and integration and enhanced NATO capacity for civilian deployments. We have a new, strengthened senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, which is one manifestation of that fact, but what we need is a comprehensive approach that allows NATO to work very closely with other institutions, whether it’s the UN or the European Union or others. But at the same time, if NATO is to deploy, as it will, at times, by itself, it will have to have the capacity to provide that comprehensive approach, capability itself, deploying both military and civilian areas.

Finally, something stressed again by Secretary Clinton but really emphasized by Secretary Gates is the issue of how, in a time of limited resources, we need to make sure that the institutions we have are effective and efficient. And the reform of NATO, which remains an institution, a headquarter, and a command structure that is still stuck very much in the Cold War, is now a high priority for everyone. We need to have an agile and flexible decision-making structure in order to deal with the new challenges of the new world.

And in order to do that, we will have to have a fundamental reform of the institutions and the organizations that are out there. Indeed, as Secretary Gates said, without that reform, the new piece of paper laying out a strategic concept will not be worth the paper it is written on.

And with that, let me open it up to questions.

QUESTION: Thanks for doing this. I was hoping you could talk a little bit more about out-of-area missions, not just in terms of, you know, going outside, physically, of the territory of NATO member border states, but also in terms of – it sounds like between what this Administration is saying and what’s going on at the conference and what the Secretary-General Rasmussen was talking, that this whole idea of security doesn’t necessarily just mean physical security. There’s a lot more talk about cyber-security, piracy, terrorism, things – nuclear proliferation and things like that. And it sounds like as you do this Strategic Concept that there’s a whole new reexamination of what a “security alliance” really means. And although it’ll always be – you know, the military will always be the bedrock of it, if you could just expand a little bit on what the U.S. is thinking in terms of what the NATO of the 21st or even 22nd century looks like in terms of providing security for its members and what will be required.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, let me worry only about the NATO in the 21st century first --


AMBASSADOR DAALDER: -- for now. And I’ll leave it to --


AMBASSADOR DAALDER: -- future generations to worry about the NATO for the 22nd century. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Well, there’s only 90 more years. (Laughter.)

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: There’s only 90 more years. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Maybe you --

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: I’m close to 50, so I won’t make that 90 years, I think. But in any case, I think the question is a very apt and correct one, which is we are living in a different strategic environment in which threats really don’t know borders in the way that the traditional threats that we faced – large-scale conventional armies crossing borders to conquer territory, which is what NATO was about when it was formed in 1949 – those threats are disappearing or are becoming at least less of a concern versus the kinds of capabilities that are now crossing borders, whether it’s from failed states that provide safe havens for terrorists, whether it’s cyber-attacks that can be launched from any computer attached to any – to the worldwide web from anywhere in the world, whether it is piracy as a new phenomenon, an old phenomenon reappearing, put in that way, and the others that you mentioned.

In order to provide security for NATO, it is important that one tackles those challenges and threats, if necessary, at the source, which means that NATO will have to operate beyond the territorial confines of the North Atlantic Treaty. And it does, which is why we’re in Afghanistan. We have 120-some-thousand troops, and growing, in Afghanistan today because the security of the United States and the NATO allies in Europe and Canada is affected by what happens in Afghanistan. We have a counter-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden because the security of our economic lifeline is affected by the degree to which we can provide security for the ships that are crossing those lines.

Those are the kinds of operations that we are engaged in, that we are likely to continue to engage in, some of which will follow under Article 5. A defense against ballistic missile attack – even those of ballistic missiles come from very far if they attack NATO territory – would be an Article 5 contingency. Some of them don’t follow under Article 5. And the importance about what NATO is, it’s a security community in addition to being a military alliance. When one or more of its allies are threatened, under the treaty they can come together and consult and decide on common action. And they will, in the future, be more likely to decide on common action when there is not an Article 5 contingency, there is not a direct armed attack on the territory of one of the members but there is a security challenge that affects one or more of those members. And NATO must have the capacity to deal with that. It must have the forces to deploy. That’s why we need a civilian capacity as well as a military capacity. We don’t need to rebuild the countries of NATO. We have to find a way to provide civilian effect and military effect in states that are failing or are fracturing or have already failed, which tend to be outside of the European area. So NATO will be involved. NATO is an actor in a globalized world. And NATO will be involved as an actor in that globalized world, far from the shores, as it has been today, when it has launched the largest military operation in the history of the alliance, 5,000 kilometers from the headquarters in Brussels.


QUESTION: Hi, Kirit Radia with ABC News. I had a question for you about Russia. Responding to the Secretary’s speech, the Russians seemed to reject her outstretched hand for increased dialogue and her assertion that the expansion of the alliance poses no threat to Russia. How do you get past this with the Russians? What steps do you take? And what specifically was the Secretary referring to when she talked about cooperation, dialogue, observers, that kind of thing? Can you flesh out any more proposals you might have?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, we’re sitting in every day and every week. We meet in the NATO-Russia Council, where the NATO countries and Russia come together as 29 countries to discuss a whole series of issues in front of us – how can we cooperate on Afghanistan, on dealing with proliferation, on counterterrorism, on counter-piracy. And the discussions we’re having over there are designed to identify those areas in which Russia and NATO have common interests, common perspectives of what their security – how their security is being affected, and hopefully leading to common – concrete, common action to deal with those threats.

That is possible in some areas, and the Secretary yesterday in her speech mentioned two of them importantly. One is in counternarcotics, where it is very clear from the Russia perspective, from our perspective, that the narco trade that is associated with Afghanistan is one that affects the security and the well-being of Russians as much as it does anyone else. And therefore, we have jointly worked together to train counternarcotics folks in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

The other is in Afghanistan writ large. Russia does not want NATO to fail in Afghanistan. The consequences of failure in Afghanistan are not just for us; they’re for Russia too, which is why it has allowed U.S. lethal equipment to be transferred across Russia and has an agreement with NATO for nonlethal – transfer of nonlethal items across Russia.

So those are two areas. A third that we think is an extremely important one and where we could do more is on missile defense. We think that the threat from the Middle East to Europe is a threat that is not just limited to NATO territory. It is also directed potentially towards other countries in Europe, including Russia. And that having a capacity of cooperating in terms of early warning radars and hooking them into each other and being better suited to work together, and in other ways, we can cooperate to provide a defense not just of NATO territory but also of Russia in order to deal with this threat.

QUESTION: Just to follow up real quick, because they specifically in their response overnight said that they rejected her notion that the expansion of NATO poses no threat to Russia. What do you – they called it a burp of the Cold War. What – how do you respond to that? How do you reassure the Russians – this has been going on for a while now – that NATO expansion into the Caucasus, into Ukraine, poses no threat to Russia?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, we would argue that the record would speak for itself, that if you have looked at the enlargement of NATO and indeed enlargement of the European Union over the past two decades, the result has been a Europe that is more united, more peaceful, more free and more democratic than at any time in history. And the enlargement of the alliance is one way – that is the most important reason for that occurring.

Russia, we believe, should welcome to having stable, democratic, strong, united Europe and its borders. And indeed, it is our aim that she be part of that very Europe that is strong, united, democratic, and free. So we don’t believe that enlargement is, as the Secretary said, a threat. We actually believe that the stabilization of parts of the world that were quite unstable is a direct contribution to the security of Russia.

QUESTION: You had – following up on that same question, however, if you look at this relationship which has been going on for quite a long time, it’s not – it appears not to be really fulfilling its original intent, because there still is a lot of mistrust, distrust by the Russians on so many different issues – I mean, critical things like the expansion of NATO. They’re in this – kind of in this organization but they’re not really in this organization.

I mean, do you – is there – I guess the question is: Why? Whose fault is it? Is it the Russians won’t accept what NATO is saying to them? They don’t believe it? They are doing it for political reasons? Why haven’t they integrated?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, the answer of why they may distrust us is one that Moscow will answer, not me. What I can tell you what we do recognize, that there are issues of tension. And the way we have tried to deal with that through the reset is to engage with them in each and every turn. I spent more time in the NATO-Russia Council talking to my Russian counterpart and my other counterparts than was the case before I got there. In fact, the NATO-Russia Council was frozen after the Georgian conflict. It didn’t meet. We now meet.

If there is an issue that the Russians want to bring to the table, they bring it to the table. They bring it forcefully to the table. We have a debate, we have some interesting discussions – very interesting discussions – in order to figure out where the distrust is, what the causes are. Sometimes it’s a misunderstanding. Sometimes it’s just a different perception. But by engaging, we hope that over time, they can see our perspective even as we learn what their perspective is in order to move forward.

And in some areas, this works. I won’t get into areas beyond my competence, but the area of Iran is clearly one where our working together, talking to each other has led to a perception of what the challenge is that Iran poses. That is different than before we had that engagement. We hope to have a similar kind of evolution in the relationship through engagement by the Russians.

But ultimately, it’s up to Russia. We’re not going to change the way we do business. We believe that an enlargement of the alliance is a stabilizing factor. We believe that NATO’s door must remain open to new members. We believe that no country can have a veto over which other sovereign country can or cannot join an alliance. That reality will remain. That’s all that I think Secretary Clinton said yesterday. It’s been policy of the United States for 61 years. It’s, after all, Article 10 of the NATO treaty to keep the door open to new members, and that will remain the case.

QUESTION: Hi, yes. Peter – I’m Peter Cheremushkin from Interfax News Agency in Russia. You mentioned U.S. – NATO-Russia Council that proved to be not very efficient during the Georgian war. Yesterday, the Secretary repeated that it would be probably the only one mechanism that will be working in the future to improve relations with Russia. Why the United States is so much committed to this mechanism and is not trying to invent something new instead of the mechanism that didn’t work at the crucial moment? That was Russian proposal, as far as I understand.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: The Russians have not proposed an alternative to the North – to the NATO-Russia Council.

QUESTION: Yeah, but in the proposals made by President Medvedev about the new security treaty in Europe, there were ideas about new mechanisms, but United States remains committed to the old mechanisms still.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, we remain committed to the mechanisms that have proven to work. NATO, the OSCE, the NATO-Russia Council are all mechanisms that we believe fulfill the needs of security that we need to --

QUESTION: During Georgian war, they didn’t work. That’s exactly the problem.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: And we have now restarted the NATO-Russia Council. We believe this is an all-weather institution, not just a fair-weather institution. So when there are differences, we discuss them in the NRC. I can guarantee you that Russia has no problem in discussing its differences with NATO and the United States and other countries in the NRC, nor do we have any problem discussing our differences with Russia.

But at least we’re discussing them, so that is a major change and it’s a positive change. It’s one that has only been around now for about a year. The NATO-Russia Council was frozen, as I said, discussions in the council after the Georgian war. Whether that was the right or wrong decision, I will leave to history to judge. We weren’t – this Administration was not in government at the time. We believe that the reset was necessary in order to have that kind of engagement both in the NATO-Russia Council and elsewhere.

With respect to the Medvedev proposals, as the Secretary said in her speech, we welcome the proposals. We think there are promising and interesting elements in them. We do not believe we need another legally binding treaty. And we do believe that existing formats – the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE – are the right places to have these discussions. And indeed, those are the places where we are having those discussions.

QUESTION: Charlie Wolfson with CBS. Can I go back a couple of answers ago? You mentioned overflights. Can you tell us – I don’t know about an exact number, but I understand there have been very, very few of these overflights even though permission supposedly has been granted. Can you bring us up to date on the status of that, if that’s true?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Not in detail, other than I know there had been fewer – there have been some bureaucratic kinks in the system that have to be worked out. We’re still working those out. I believe that in recent months, there have been more overflights than there were in the time before. But the exact numbers and the exact details I will leave to others to – we can get it for you.


QUESTION: Thank you. I wanted to ask you, regarding missile defense, how important is this for the Strategic Concept? How integral is it going to be within the wider idea of Strategic Concept and where NATO is going forward? And specifically – and specifically, if I can ask you to comment on Iran and the threat that’s perceived from Iran, that it could be something not only for NATO allies but also for Russia and others?

And also, a follow-up on Iran. The Iranian Government today has said that NATO officials had met with the leader of Jundallah, Abdolmalek Rigi, who was taken into custody by the Iranians today. So could you comment anything on that? But they did say specifically that he’s met with NATO officials.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: No, I don’t know anything about that. And which NATO officials and who is a NATO official is a complicated subject, so I’ll leave that for the – on the issue of missile defense, missile defense is a very important issue for this Administration, and indeed, we believe it is a fundamental sign of our commitment to Article 5 and the defense of all countries that are members of NATO. We believe that missile defense is about the protection of the territory and populations of all NATO members, not just in Europe but in North America as well.

We would like the alliance to embrace the notion that the territorial defense of our – of – that territorial missile defense is a mission of NATO and therefore ought to be a fundamental part of what NATO does on a day-to-day basis. Whether that’s in the Strategic Concept or is a separate decision at the Lisbon summit is less important. Article 5 is going to be in the Strategic Concept. Ballistic missiles that are directed at the territory of a NATO state would be an armed attack and therefore fall under the definition of Article 5. Missile defense is one way in which we can enhance the protection and deterrence and prevention of such attacks against NATO territory, and therefore is a critical part of where we want to go.

We believe NATO should be in the business of missile defense. The United States has offered its new approach to missile defense as its U.S.-funded contribution to a NATO system. And we hope that by Lisbon, the entire alliance will embrace this as a mission and we move forward together in defending against the threats that are out there in the 21st century.

QUESTION: Bob Burns with AP. In his speech this morning at NDU, Secretary Gates painted a picture of NATO – of a NATO that has very big problems – deep-rooted, he called them – and he used the word “crisis” at one point. He mentioned, for example, the tendency for members to follow national priorities rather than collective priorities. I’m wondering how – if you can say in sort of simple terms how this rewriting of a Strategic Concept is going to fix those very basic problems.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, I think in one way, what the Secretary was saying is the Strategic Concept in and of itself isn’t enough. If we can find nice words in 10 or 15 pages, that’s great. But unless those words are backed up by the ability of the organization to start implementing what is behind those words, it isn’t, as you said, worth the paper it’s written on. So that’s why he stressed that we need to have in parallel to the new vision statement, the new Strategic Concept, a process that starts the reform of our institutions.

And when he talks about the reform of our institutions, he really is talking about three things. He’s talking about the headquarters that – which is where I work. In Brussels, we have over 300 committees that deal with whatever is under the sun. That’s too many. We don’t need 300 committees, 20 committees to do it with intelligence or what-have-you. We can streamline it, therefore make it more agile, more flexible in order to be able to be a better and easier and more effective means of making decisions.

Secondly, it is the command structure. The structure of the command in NATO reflects still, in many ways, the Cold War realities that were at the basis of how NATO organized itself. We need to change that. They need to become more agile. We need to shut down bases in places in which there are insufficient staff and that are unnecessary so we can save money and provide that money into other places.

And third, something he stressed quite – put quite an emphasis on, is the funding crisis. And the funding crisis, as he said, is a crisis that is self-inflicted. We have under-invested in this alliance for the past decade. Our infrastructure spending has remained at zero nominal growth for 10 years. At the same time that we have launched the largest operation in the history of this alliance, we have let the spending level to be at zero nominal growth.

QUESTION: So how are you going to change that? I mean --

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, we need to have – that’s the cry you heard from Secretary Gates, which – today in his speech and at other times is we need more money. We, in fact, got an agreement in Istanbul that we will have reform of the financing structure, we will have a good look at where we can save more money in terms of infrastructure, we will have to fund the high priorities that are out there, both our missions and things like missile defense, and the force element of the package that was agreed in Istanbul, we will get more money.

QUESTION: Get more money? What do you mean, get more money?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: We will raise the ceiling and countries will have to contribute to that. And that’s – how much is something that will be decided later on. But we are – in fact, this year is the first year we have moved from zero nominal growth to zero real growth. Had we had zero real growth in the last 10 years, we would have had a billion dollars more to pay – a billion dollar euros – a billion euros more to pay for infrastructure investment and the hole we’re now in would not have been there.

QUESTION: To follow up on Bob’s question though, I mean, the reform of the institutional structures doesn't necessarily address what is the fundamental point, I think, underlying the question, which is the will of NATO members to commit the money and the manpower to the alliance.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Well, the Secretary addressed that, too. And he underscored very much that there is a will when it comes to real operations.

QUESTION: Well, but –

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: In Afghanistan today, every single ally – well, not every single – 35 of 43 countries that are participating in Afghanistan have increased their contribution to Afghanistan since December.

QUESTION: Yeah, that’s it. I mean, I’ve been to – I don’t deny that there is will and that so many countries are participating, but I, and certainly Bob more than me, has been to Brussels many, many times with Secretaries of State pleading for more manpower and fewer caveats.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: I spent my time pleading for more manpower and more[1] caveats. And you know what? Since April, we’ve gotten more – less caveats and more manpower. And there is – and if you ask Secretary Gates this directly, there is a change in the way that the allies have responded, in part because we have spent some time listening to what they had to say. We have actually changed the way we do business in Afghanistan in a direction that is far closer to where the Europeans were. General McChrystal’s notion of protecting the Afghan people rather than going after the insurgents is something that a number of our allies have been doing for quite a long time. The integrated approach of defense, diplomacy, and development is an approach that the Canadians and the Dutch have been implementing for many years. But it’s only us that have started to do this.

So one reason why things are moving better in Afghanistan and we’re getting more resources and more capability is because we actually spent some time listening and learning from the allies before we decided to leave. That was an important shift that has led to an important change in the way Afghanistan is being regarded within NATO in Brussels. I think if you’ve been to Brussels in the last year, you will have seen there’s a fundamental change in the way people are talking about Afghanistan.

QUESTION: They say that every year.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Yeah, but this time it’s true. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I’m Indira Lakshmanan. I’m from Bloomberg News. Thanks for doing this. I wanted to ask you, with the Strategic Concept going forward, specifically what are – what is the thinking on the role of nukes in the future NATO doctrine? And also, beyond Russia, what about questions about how to deal formally with China?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: In terms of the role of nuclear weapons, this is going to be an issue that will have to be discussed as part of the Strategic Concept. It is an issue that is always interesting to discuss because there are many different views within the alliance about these issues. We are at the final weeks of our own internal Nuclear Posture Review, which will --


AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, which will give some guidance about how the United States is going to approach this issue. So I can’t anticipate the exact outcome of that NPR and therefore where we’re going to be with respect to the alliance. But I can tell you that the alliance will address the issue of nuclear weapons in the Strategic Concept. It always does. It did so in April of 2009 as part of the Strasbourg-Kehl Declaration on Alliance Security in which it reaffirmed that NATO – that deterrence based on a mix of conventional and nuclear forces remains an essential part of NATO strategy and also strengthens – called for a strengthening of the NATO role on arms control and disarmament. I think those two elements – emphasis on deterrence and emphasis on NATO’s role on arms control and disarmament – are likely to be reflected in the new Strategic Concept.

QUESTION: So you don’t see a shift in the U.S. position based on President Obama wanting to go to zero nuclear weapons?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: Certainly, the second element is part of how do you implement the vision of Prague, how does NATO contribute to the implementation of Prague. I’m sure that those are the kinds of issues that will be discussed. But the exact contours of those are going to be discussed at 28. We are insisting that even in the NPR we will not make any decisions that preclude any option with respect to nuclear weapons and NATO. This is a discussion we want to have with allies. We want to do it, preferably, in closed rooms with all allies there. And it is not something that we want to do unilaterally and we don’t want any other ally to move in a direction unilaterally to try to change the NATO nuclear discussion. This is an issue which as an alliance we discuss and ought to discuss as an alliance.

QUESTION: And the other question was about China. How is NATO going to deal with China?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: NATO doesn't have a formal role with China, although we have NATO officials, including the deputy secretary general, have traveled to China and there’s a – there is a – there’s the beginnings of a dialogue. I don’t think you will see much of a formalization of this in the Strategic Concept. I do think that what NATO has recognized – this – as I said, it’s an actor in a global world. If you’re an actor in a global world, you need to deal with the global – other global actors that are out there. And China is, of course, a very important one.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on Indira’s first question about nuclear weapons? I wasn’t clear on whether you were answering in the context specifically of the physical presence of the U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe and whether that would change and whether that will be addressed in the Strategic Concept, or whether you were referring to more broadly the nuclear deterrent role that the U.S. has always played in NATO.

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: I was referring to the latter; that is, how should we talk about and think about nuclear weapons policy.

QUESTION: Could you address the first part?


QUESTION: Will that be in the Strategic Concept, by the way?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: The second part will be in the Strategic Concept. The first part may also be in the Strategic Concept. Again, it’s a decision and a discussion we need to have at 28 that, frankly, hasn’t started, in part because the countries have been waiting for the United States to complete the NPR, which will provide some guidance about where the U.S. is. The U.S. voice on this issue is not unimportant. After all, the nuclear weapons we’re talking about are mostly American nuclear weapons, but not all. The Brits – the British and French have nuclear weapons, too. But it is primarily American nuclear weapons, so there is a wait-and-see attitude about where this Administration comes. And since I don’t know where the Administration is going to end up, I can’t tell you what our posture is going to be in those discussions, other than we will have a discussion at 28 and we will make a decision at 28.

QUESTION: It hasn’t been discussed yet, you say, in NATO?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: No, not in a formal way.

QUESTION: Thank you.


# # #

[1] Meant to say fewer caveats

PRN: 2010/206