NATO Secretary General in Texas: Europe and North America stand strong together
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg began a visit to the United States on Thursday (5 April 2018) with a speech at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he stressed the importance of North America and Europe standing strong together to face common challenges.
Calling NATO the most successful alliance in history, the Secretary General attributed that success to constant adaptation in the face of new challenges. Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed NATO’s major advances over the past few years – including the deployment of multinational deterrent forces to the eastern part of the Alliance, strengthened cyber, hybrid and missile defences, and increased contributions to the fight against terrorism. NATO is now stepping up its role in this fight, including by bolstering the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, planning for a training mission in Iraq, and providing surveillance aircraft support to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. He stressed that after many years of decline, we have seen three consecutive years of rising defence expenditure among European Allies and Canada, in response to a more challenging security environment.
While on the university campus, the Secretary General also met with former US President George W. Bush at the Presidential Center.
The Secretary General's schedule also includes a visit to the Lockheed Martin F-35 plant to express appreciation for developing cutting edge capabilities for the United States and other Allies.
On Friday (6 April), the Secretary General will visit the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, meeting participants in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program. He will also visit US Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Later on 6 April, Mr. Stoltenberg will travel to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, where he will visit North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), together with Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.