CHICAGO SUMMIT TO CONSOLIDATE “GLOBAL NATO”: Hillary Clinton Promotes 22nd Century NATO Ahead Of Summit
by Rick Rozoff
April 14, 2012
On April 3, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the only North Atlantic Treaty Organization command in the United States, Allied Command Transformation, and the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads, both in Norfolk, Virginia, against the backdrop of the annual Norfolk NATO Festival. On the same day, one day before the 63rd anniversary of the founding of NATO, she also spoke at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.
The first venue, known by its acronym ACT, is successor to the Cold War-era Allied Command Atlantic and was established as one of many post-September 11, 2001 initiatives of the George W. Bush administration and its then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Washington’s NATO allies dutifully ratified the decision for its creation at the military bloc’s summit in Prague, the Czech Republic in 2002.
The three sites chosen for her busy day speak volumes about the unique role of the U.S. in the world, as the country’s top diplomat’s topics were more suited to the nation’s defense secretary, the difference between the secretaries of state and defense, and for that matter the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee triumvirate of John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, becoming an increasingly narrow one – except that the first and third plan wars and the second executes them.
Clinton’s address at ACT headquarters was short and perfunctory, but that at the World Affairs Council 2012 NATO Conference was considerably more in-depth and revealing.
She stressed continuity and development between the last NATO summit in Lisbon in late 2010 and the upcoming one in Chicago in May.
Her first point was the now over ten-year war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan), NATO’s first war in Asia and its first ground war, and the longest war in the history of the U.S.
While obligatorily speaking of an end to the mission two years from now, she also indicated that the Pentagon and its NATO allies don’t intend to ever fully leave the beleaguered country: “In Chicago we will discuss the form that NATO’s enduring relationship with Afghanistan will then take. We also hope that, by the time we meet in Chicago, the United States will have concluded our negotiations with Afghanistan on a long-term strategic partnership between our two nations.”