The Secretary of State's Speech on European Security

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 29, 2010

In a speech today at L’Ecole Militaire in Paris, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton emphasized that the United States and Europe are essential partners in meeting today’s global challenges, and stressed that we are eager to strengthen cooperation with a Europe that is strong and unified. Today, thanks to the partnership between our nation and many others, Europe is more secure than ever before. But much important work remains unfinished. We welcome the new thinking on European security that is underway on both sides of the Atlantic. As we work with our partners to strengthen and extend security in Europe, we will do so on a firm foundation of core principles. These principles include:

  • Dedication to the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of all States. The United States must and will remain vigilant in our efforts to oppose any attempt to undermine the right of all countries to pursue their own foreign policies, choose their own allies, and provide for their own defense. The United States strongly objects to any spheres of influence in which one country seeks to control another’s future.
  • Recognition that Security in Europe Must be Indivisible. The security of all nations is intertwined. We must work together to enhance each other’s security, in part by engaging with each other on new ideas and approaches. We want to work together with Russia to reaffirm the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. The United States is proud of what our two countries have accomplished together during the past year. We will continue to build a more substantive and constructive relationship based on our mutual interests.
  • Unwavering Devotion to the Collective Defense and Security of NATO Allies. This pledge is enshrined in the NATO treaty’s Article 5, wherein an attack on one is an attack on all. The United States is working with our Allies to develop contingency plans for responding to new and evolving threats. We are engaged in productive discussions with European allies about their potential participation in the new missile defense architecture. We are also exploring ways to cooperate with Russia in ways that enhance the security of all of Europe, including Russia.
  • Commitment to Practicing Transparency in Our Dealings with Europe. To keep Europe safe, we must keep the channels of communication open by being forthright about our policies and approaches. The United States supports a more open exchange of military data, including visits to military sites. The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty also needs our attention. Our goal should be a modern security framework that strengthens the principles of territorial integrity, non-first use of force, transparency, and the right of host countries to approve the stationing of troops in their territory.
  • Belief that People Everywhere Have the Right to Live Free from the Fear of Nuclear Destruction. President Obama has declared a goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we will retain a safe, secure, and effective deterrent to protect us and our allies. The United States and Russia are close to concluding a new START treaty to reduce our strategic nuclear arsenals. The United States will also chart the future of its nuclear forces in the Nuclear Posture Review, host a Nuclear Security Summit to address the risk of unsecured nuclear material, seek to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, pursue negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, and move toward ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
  • Recognition that True Security Entails Not Only Peaceful Relations among States, but Opportunities and Rights for the Individuals Who Live Within Them. Governments must promote and defend the human rights of their citizens so that all can live in dignity, free from fear of violence or oppression. The United States and Europe are acting together to expand opportunity, advance democracy, and protect human dignity around the world. The United States seeks to partner with and strengthen institutions to broaden the respect for human rights, to end the scourge of human trafficking across Europe, and to reach out to marginalized groups.

A transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks is available online at

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PRN: 2010/119