Chairman of the Military Committee discusses Euro-Atlantic Security Architecture and the importance of a solid Transatlantic Bond
General Knud Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee visited the Pentagon and met with General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Service Chiefs and officials from the US State Department during his visit to the United States (30th September 2014 to 3rd October 2014). The meeting with General Dempsey and the Joint Chiefs of Staff was an opportunity to engage in an open and frank discussion on NATO issues and the implementation of decisions made by Heads of State and Government during the Wales Summit. The Chairman also expressed during the meeting how he welcomed the deployment of U.S troops and armoured cavalry unit, across the three Baltic States and Poland, a visible demonstration of U.S. commitment to members in the Eastern part of the Alliance and to Euro-Atlantic security.
During his visit at the Pentagon General was awarded the Legion of Merit by General Dempsey in recognition of his exceptional conduct while serving as Chief of Defence of the Danish Armed Forces (2009 - 2011) and as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. General Bartels said in accepting the award, “I am honoured to receive this medal which I accept on behalf of all the men and women in operations”.
The Chairman also met with Deputy Secretary of Defence The Honourable Robert Work and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland while in Washington D.C. During the meeting, General Bartels laid out his main priorities as Chairman of the Military Committee. These priorities involve implementing and maintaining the rotation of Allied forces on a continuous basis in the Baltic Countries and Poland and moving forward NATO’s adaptation into new security architecture after Russia’s violation of Ukraine's sovereign and territorial integrity. NATO does not and will not recognise Russia's illegal and illegitimate 'annexation' of Crimea.
While he was in Washington D.C., General Bartels took the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery where he paid his respects to all fallen U.S soldiers by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Following the ceremony the Chairman received a tour of the Memorial Amphitheater Display Room and presented Jack E. Lechner, Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, with a token of gratitude from NATO, honoring the sacrifice of America's fallen.
At breakfast with the Washington based Defense Writers Group, the Chairman shared his views on Afghanistan and NATO’s future Resolute Support mission, the situation in Ukraine, the threat of ISIL, the Very High Readiness Task Force (VJTF), and the Smart Defence Initiative among other topics. The Chairman also informed the gathered journalists “that should a nation or a number of nations choose to challenge the integrity of the Allies they would be facing the full might of the most powerful military alliance of the world”.