By Powell, Colin
DISAM Journal , Vol. 23, No. 4
[The following is a reprint of remarks made by Secretary of State Colin Powell before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in Washington, D.C., June 20, 2001.]
I returned Saturday night from a week in Europe with President Bush as he visited Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, and Slovenia. We had the opportunity to attend historic meetings with other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders and with leaders of the European Union (EU). We met also with President Putin of Russia.
Throughout the trip, President Bush emphasized the changing nature of Europe, change characterized by the cities we chose to visit as well as by the transforming nature of the President's message. And no city reflected this change more vividly than one of the oldest cities in Europe, Warsaw, a Warsaw whole, free, democratic, vibrant and alive. As President Bush said in Warsaw, "I have come to the center of Europe to speak of the future of Europe."
Make no mistake about this transformation, however. It is firmly anchored in what has made the Atlantic alliance the most powerful, the most enduring, the most historic alliance ever. Our common values, our shared experience, and our sure knowledge that when America and Europe separate, there is tragedy; when America and Europe are partners, there is no limit to our horizons.
The members of this committee know how fundamental are our security interests in Europe. You know that the transatlantic partnership is crucial to ensuring global peace and prosperity. It is also crucial to our ability to address successfully the global challenges that confront us such as terrorism, HIV/AIDS. drug trafficking, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
So President Bush's trip was about affirming old bonds, creating new frameworks, and building new relationships through which we can promote and protect our interests in Europe and in the wider world. President Bush did not hesitate to address head-on the perceptions held by some Europeans and by some Americans as well of American disengagement from the world and of unbridled unilateralism. Over and over again he underscored America's commitment to face challenges together with her partners, to strengthen the bonds of friendship and alliance, and to work out together the right policies for this new century of unparalleled promise and opportunity. "I hope that the unilateral theory is dead," the President said. "Unilateralists do not come to the table to share opinions. Unilateralists do not come here to ask questions."
President Bush's presence at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council was historic, not only because it was his first but because it was undoubtedly, in my memory at least, the most robust and substantive discussion of real issues the council has ever conducted.
We discussed the five key challenges facing the Alliance:
* Developing a new strategic framework with respect to nuclear weapons
* Maintaining and improving our conventional defense capabilities
* Enlarging the Alliance
* Integrating southeast Europe
* Reaching out to Russia
Since the day of President Bush's inauguration, our objective has been to consult with our allies on a new strategic framework for our nuclear posture. This framework includes our addressing the new challenges the alliance faces as a result of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles that might deliver them. But it includes much more.
As President Bush told our allies "We must have a broad strategy of active non-proliferation, counterproliferation, ... a new concept of deterrence that includes defenses sufficient to protect our people, our forces, and our allies, and reduced reliance on nuclear weapons." We must move beyond the doctrines of the Cold War and find a new basis for our mutual security, one that will stand the trials of a new century as the old one did the century past. …