Opening remarks by Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Curtis M. Scaparrotti

at the joint press conference with the Chairman of the Military Committee, General Petr Pavel and the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Denis Mercier

  • 18 Jan. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 18 Jan. 2017 15:39

Good afternoon.  First, let me thank Chairman Pavel and General Mercier for their leadership and a commitment to strengthening NATO.  I really couldn’t ask for better partners.

In this Chiefs of Staff Session over the past two days, we’ve highlighted one major theme:  the importance of unity across our Alliance.  I often say that unity is our Alliance’s “center of gravity,” and during this session, we discussed several ways that we’re working together with unity of purpose.

First is enhanced Forward Presence, or eFP. The Warsaw Summit last year was an important expression of NATO’s unity, and our senior leaders agreed to the eFP as a specific and necessary component of NATO’s deterrence and defense posture. 

At Allied Command Operations, I am encouraged by the continued steady progress we are making to implement eFP along NATO’s borders.  This demonstrates the Alliance’s ability to act with a unity of effort to respond to the changing security environment.

Second, during this session we also discussed projecting stability outside of Europe.  Contributing to security beyond NATO’s borders strengthens both the Alliance and the international community.  NATO is united in our commitment to the global security environment and to the partners and institutions that protect democracy, human rights, and rule of law.

One area where projecting stability is manifest is Afghanistan, a third focus area for this session.  NATO will continue to train, advise, and assist Afghan Security Forces through our Resolute Support Mission.  The planning process to define NATO’s presence in Afghanistan is ongoing, but we’ll all agree that the mission of preventing terrorists from again using Afghanistan as a safe haven is critical.

These are just a few of the focus areas from this conference, but I think they illustrate the main theme, Alliance unity.

And with that, I will turn it over to General Mercier. Thank you.