Speeches and articles
A Conversation with the U.S. - NATO Ambassador
January 18, 2012
Our Embassy, along with the U.S. Embassies Riga and Vilnius, was pleased today to invite members of the Estonia, Latvian, and Lithuanian media to participate in a digital video conference with Ambassador Ivo Daalder, the United States’ Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Ambassador Daalder opened the very informative session with a brief address and then engaged in a robust question and answer session with the gathered cross section of media professionals.
Ambassador Daalder answered questions on a wide spectrum of Alliance and American military matters. One constant emerged: regardless of the present state of affairs in the world, or any future contingency, the United States and the Alliance remain dedicated to the provisions of Article V of the NATO Treaty, and that no restructuring or focus on a certain area of the world will ever come at the expense of any NATO member. Ambassador Daalder was clear that the U.S. and NATO will continue to work with every nation in the world that shares common goals and interests with us. He was emphatic that Europe remains “our partner of choice,” and that we will always maintain “the forces necessary to fulfill our Article V commitments.” The Ambassador was also clear that in such austere economic times, it is imperative that every Alliance member maximize the impact of its defense expenditures and cited the Baltic Air Policing Program as a strong example of such a sound approach. This program, which he said NATO was committed to until 2018 and into the indefinite future, represents “smart defense.” It lets NATO nations that do not have the resources to create and sustain a comprehensive air force stand assured that NATO airspace is defended while concentrating on other Alliance capabilities ranging from cyber defense to Special Forces.
We thank our attendees, Ambassador Daalder, and U.S. Embassy Vilnius for arranging this meeting and hope to repeat it in the near future.