|Updated: 05-May-2000||NATO Speeches|
At the ACE
presented by General Clark
Secretary General Lord Robertson, Admiral & Mrs. Venturoni, Ministers, Excellencies, Chiefs of Defense, Regional Commanders, fellow general and flag officers, distinguished guests, Mr. Mayor, ladies and gentlemen, comrades-in-arms:
SecGen, thank you, for those kind remarks . . . and I would like to thank all of you for being here today. Your presence is a powerful symbol of the breadth of this alliance, and its significance to the Euro-Atlantic community.
The soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines on the field before us are also a symbol of this alliance's ultimate capabilities and strengths, founded on the profession of arms and representing a total of 44 nations, as well as the subordinate commands of Allied Command Europe.
Please join me in thanking them, and all the men and women serving today for NATO, who are doing the difficult and dangerous work in uniform for this alliance.
It is the union together of its political leadership and moral resolve with its military power that has made this alliance such a powerful force for right and good in the world today.
It has truly been an important and challenging period, in which the
Alliance has transformed itself with a new strategic doctrine, enlarged
itself with three new members, worked to create a new relationship and
accepted new commitments to enhancing its military capabilities and the
weight and role of its European members . . . and all the while we have
been engaged in an ongoing peace operation in Bosnia, a crisis response
to an evolving humanitarian emergency regional destabilization . . . including
the air campaign against the Former Republic of Yugloslavia, the humanitarian
assistance to the displaced Kosovar Albanians and governments of the region,
and finally, the establishment of a second PSO on the ground in Kosovo.
Let me also thank the Chairman of the Military Committee, Admiral Guido Venturoni and his predecessor, Gen Klaus Naumann, the Deputy Chairman, LTG Mike Byron, the Chiefs of Defense, and each of their Military Representatives at the Military Committee for your teamwork, guidance, support and friendship.
And, close at hand, let me thank my colleagues and subordinates within
Allied Command Europe, CINC North General Joachim Spiering and his partner
ACM John Cheshire, former CINC NW, and especially CINC South Admiral Jim
Ellis, who played such a key role as operational commander in Allied Force
last year; the commanders of our forces in Bosnia and Kosovo, Com SFORs
Generals Crouch, Shinseki, Meigs, and Adams, and the Com KFORs, Generals
Jackson, Reinhardt and Ortuño, the commander of our humanitarian
mission in Albania last year, General John Reith.
Together we have demonstrated that there is nothing stronger than the
power of ideas-of freedom, of law, and of justice-and that democratic
peoples united in a vision of a common imperative form an irresistible
and magnetic force which is transforming the very nature of Europe today.
During the last week, as I visited Croatia, B-H, and Kosovo, I have seen
first hand the great dedication and skill of our troops on the ground,
and further evidence of the success of our missions in the Balkans . .
. a bold new democratic government in Croatia, the burgeoning stream of
DPRE returns in B-H, even to Srebrenica . . . and in Kosovo, new signs
of cooperation and tolerance as the trauma of ethnic cleansing recedes.
To have been able to serve as part of this transatlantic team, to have
been given the confidence and support of the political and military leaders
of the alliance, as well as its commanders and men and women in the field-it's
simply been the greatest privilege, the greatest honor, the greatest gift
of my life and I thank you.
For Allied Command Europe the mission will continue and so will the challenges, and to Joe and De-de Ralston we give our best wishes for dealing with these in the months and years ahead. We truly appreciate what you will face, and wish for your every success.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said as he activated this headquarters in 1951 that if we think clearly enough, plan carefully enough, and work tirelessly enough, we can both secure freedom and preserve peace. It was the formula that saw us successfully throughout the Cold War-and it is vital today.
But I would suggest there is today something more . . . the vision to
see the future as it could be . . . the courage to dare to attain it .
. . and the determination to persevere in this pursuit even in the face
A notre hôte, le Gouvernement belge et à nos amis de Mons:
mon épouse et moi-même vous remercions du fond du coeur.
Au revoir et bonne chance.