Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:49:22 AM EST
Europe must shoulder its share of the Nato burden
For too long we have relied on our US allies. We must strengthen our national contributions, and boost the EU's role
Tuesday November 28, 2006
...The threat of generalised war in Europe has disappeared; Nato has been profoundly adapted and enlarged to include the new democracies. It is building a trusting relationship with Russia, one we must constantly strengthen because preserving peace means first avoiding the creation of new fault lines. In this same spirit, we want a partnership between Nato and Ukraine, and we hope that Nato will welcome candidate states from the western Balkans once they are ready.
Lowering our guard would be to ignore the threats of terrorism, aggressive nationalism and certain states' desires to engage in power politics in violation of their international commitments. Now, as in the past, we need a strong, mutually supportive and adapted alliance.
The first imperative of Nato is the credibility of its military assets.
The Europeans have relied on their American allies for too long. They have to shoulder their share of the burden by making a national defence effort commensurate with their ambitions for Nato and also for the EU. This is a mark of the solidarity which links the two sides of the Atlantic. This is what France, one of the leading contributors to the alliance, is doing through its Military Estimates Act. The aim is to ensure the ongoing modernisation of its strategic force - in compliance with the principle of strict sufficiency - as well as the equipment, rapid-response capability and deployability of French conventional forces...