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Future Of European Security

Future Of European Security

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"European security remains an anchor of U.S. foreign and security policy," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Speaking to the L'Ecole Militaire in Paris, Secretary Clinton said that much of what the United States hopes to accomplish globally depends on working together with Europe using a set of core principles as a foundation. That includes assisting Afghanistan in its pursuit of stability and security, as well as confronting the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The first principle guiding the trans-Atlantic partnership is dedication to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. The U.S. objects to any spheres of influence in Europe in which one country seeks to control another's future. That's why the U.S. supports the right of all countries to enter into alliances of their own choosing. "NATO," said Secretary Clinton, "must and will remain open to any country that aspires to become a member and can meet the requirements of membership."

At the same, time the U.S. and Europe do not seek to create divisions between neighbors and partners. "Security in Europe," said Secretary Clinton, "must be indivisible." The U.S. wants to work together with Russia and our allies and partners to reaffirm the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. The United States will continue to build a more substantive and constructive relationship with Russia based on mutual interests.

The United States remains firmly committed to upholding Article 5 of the NATO treaty: that an attack on one is an attack on all. Part of that commitment includes defense against ballistic missile attack, an issue which the U.S. is discussing with both its NATO partners and Russia. The U.S., said Secretary Clinton, "is serious about exploring ways to cooperate with Russia to develop missile defenses that enhance the security of all of Europe, including Russia."

In that vein, the U.S. and Russia are close to concluding a new START treaty to reduce their respective arsenals. The United States believes that people everywhere have the right to live free from fear of nuclear attack.

But the U.S.-European alliance is, in the end, about more than strengthening mutual security. "It is," said Secretary Clinton, "about defending and advancing our values in the world. ... The U.S. is honored to stand by [Europe's] side as we take the next steps towards fulfilling that vision.