Updated: 09-May-2001 NATO Speeches

8 May 2001

Press Point

by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs,
Marc Grossman and Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States, Steve Hadley

Good afternoon. First of all, let me thank you very much for waiting for us. Just let me introduce myself. I am Marc Grossman, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. On my left is Steve Hadley, who is the Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States of America. And to my right, someone you all know Sandy Vershbow, Ambassador to NATO.

First of all, let me say that my purpose here today is just to give you a very short report -- as you can see that we are headed on to our next stop -- but to give you a short report of why it is we came to NATO. And secondly, a little bit about what we accomplished.

The first thing is that on May the 1st; President Bush gave a very, very important speech about the future of strategic stability and about the future of deterrence. Among the most important points that he made in that speech was the importance of allied consultations. And so we have made NATO today the very first stop on a trip which will take many of us to a number of countries in Europe. I also want to let you to know that the Deputy Secretary of State is currently in Asia -- Japan and Korea -- to also have consultations with our friends and allies. This close relationship with friends and allies, and the consultative process is extremely, extremely important.

What we did today was we made a series of presentations to the North Atlantic Council. All of those presentations had two themes. The first theme was consultations. We are here to describe the thinking of the United States, but to hear back from our NATO allies about their thinking. The Secretary General of NATO called it a process of thinking that we all need to do together.

The second theme that ran through all of these presentations is that the world of 2001 is not the world of 1972. The world has changed. Russia is not our enemy. And there are some pluses and minuses to that new world. So many pluses that you all know about, but there are minuses as well. The minuses have to do with proliferation, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And so we tried in our presentations today to talk a little bit about a comprehensive approach, an approach on which we will work with friends and allies, to deal with this new threat. Not just about missile defense but about a comprehensive approach, a cooperative approach, an approach we will take together.

We talked a little bit about why NATO has become - IS - the most successful alliance in history. And that is because we believe in deterrence, we believe in collective defense, and we very much believe in meeting new threats, and very much in meeting new opportunities as well.

People will obviously have to speak for themselves, but I think it's fair to say that the Allies welcomed the consultation. They recognize the world has changed and recognize that there are new threats.

I know that the Allies would like even more consultations and we certainly are committed to do that. Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and the President will all come to Europe in May and June. I think the Allies also recognized the importance of a comprehensive and collective approach.

So I just report to you with that today, and finish where I started: that our purpose today was to continue a conversation that we have been having with this Alliance about a new strategic framework, strategic stability, and a comprehensive and collective approach to meet the challenges of this new world.

I thank you very much, and I'd be glad to take a couple of questions.
Elizabeth, will you help me here?

Q: Have you discussed the ways to integrate Russia in MDI and what are those ways?

A: Well sir, I would say two things -- actually, three things, if I could. First, I thought the President's speech on May the 1st was very eloquent in the way in which he talked about Russia, and the future of the relationship between the United States and Russia. And our whole purpose, and the President's purpose in that speech, was to hold out a vision for how we might manage relations between Russia and the United States in the 21st century. Second thing I would say is, we did discuss that question here at the North Atlantic Council because people were interested in how we would go forward, and we also received views of Allies as well. And the third thing, I would say that Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley, joined by Deputy Security Defense Paul Wolfowitz, will be visiting Moscow on Friday and will continue this conversation.

Q: When you talk about consulting friends and allies, when the Americans wanted to go through with this program, do you also expect those friends and allies to pay part of the bill, a very substantial bill, of developing the missile defense program?

A: Well, I think we need to step back here. Not any of the conversation today, certainly from our side, was that detailed. And we are not there yet. And that was not the purpose of our consultation today. What were trying to do today, as the Secretary General said, was sort of expand people's minds so that they could think about this new world, and think together about how we want deterrence to function in the 21st century. The decisions about how, and when, and how much, are still decisions to come. And as we said today, decisions that have not been made in the United States. We had today what I would consider to be, and I've been around this alliance a long time, a real consultation.
We'll take one more.

Q: Could you give us a list of the enemies that you were talking about, and the actually individual threats that they pose, and could you tell us whether your list is actually agreed with, by other NATO allies. Do they take these threats as seriously as you do?

A: I think one of the things that I was struck by in the conversation today was: while by no means everybody agrees on every single piece of the threat, I think there was a general recognition that the world has changed. As I said there are pluses and minuses to the world we have today, and one of the big challenges is proliferation. And standing here, I'm not going to go through one country after another, this threat, that threat. But the fact that people have these weapons, people sell them, the fact that as we look forward into the future, we see more and more of this, I actually thought was one of the things that was generally agreed today. I said, I want to be clear here, I don't say that there was any specificity. But there was a general recognition that we needed to do much, much more together in the areas of non-proliferation. Anyway, thank you all very much.

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