EXECUTIVE LECTURE FORUM: Activities: 2004: Abstract: NATO

November 18, 2004  


Ambassador Ginte B. Damušis 
Head of Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),
NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium

TOPIC:  The New, Enlarged NATO

Ambassador Robert H. Serry
Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Crisis Management and Operations,
NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium

TOPIC:  NATO's Peace Keeping Role in the World

By all accounts, the highlight of this year’s ELF program was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Delegation’s seminar.  Ginte Damusis, Lithuanian Ambassador to NATO, and Deputy Assistant Secretary General Robert Serry came from Brussels to meet with the members of the Executive Lecture Forum and briefed them about "The New Enlarged NATO" and "NATO’s Peace Keeping Role in the World."  Ambassador Damusis emphasized that in today’s world, NATO has many new challenges to overcome, including the fight against international terrorism.  "Our security is still at risk," she said.  To prove how important NATO is for the international community, the Ambassador remarked that the first overseas leader to visit the American President after his re-election was NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.  As a representative of the new Europe and a new member of NATO, Ambassador Damusis noted that the challenges and difficulties of the world could only be overcome if the United States and the European Union are solving the problems jointly, together.

Deputy Assistant Secretary General Robert Serry concentrated on the global dimension of the war against terrorism.  The September 11 attacks prompted NATO to immediately invoke Article 5 of its Charter which declares:  "an attack on one member country is an attack on all member countries."  Iraq, on the other hand, was a painful experience within NATO, said the Deputy Assistant Secretary General.  However, NATO is going to get involved in stabilizing the Iraqi situation by training Iraqi security forces and providing protective services.  It will send 1,500 troops for this mission.  "It is important," he said," to avoid Iraq ending up in chaos or exploding into an all out civil war."

Both speakers received numerous questions, mainly related to NATO’s role in the Middle East crisis, and the possible reparation of the damaged ties of the Transatlantic Alliance.

Note: The NATO Delegation met also with students and faculty at Mississippi State University and lectured on NATO’s Mission in the Post-Cold War Era, and briefed the Mississippi Anti-Terrorism Task Force on NATO’s role in the Fight Against International Terrorism.

© 2003 The Radványi Chair in International Security Studies, Mississippi State University.
All rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.
For information about The Radványi Chair, contact Dr. János Radványi.
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