"At the same time, the prospect of NATO membership gave confidence to investors. Which in turn led to economic drive, development and dynamism. And it is no coincidence that those countries who have joined NATO over the past thirteen years have also joined the European Union, or are preparing to do so.
"10 years ago, I was Prime Minister of Denmark when my country held the presidency of the European Union. That year, at the Copenhagen and Prague Summits, we invited new members to join the European Union, and NATO..."
Under the Berlin Plus agreement adopted at the fiftieth anniversary NATO summit in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and several arrangements in the interim the distinction between NATO and EU military policy has become at most an academic one.
Although "Russian misperceptions about NATO's Open Door policy persist," NATO has done its ungrateful neighbor a favor by providing it "Stability on its western borders." For example, military bases, training and cyber warfare centers, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and soon Standard Missile-3 interceptor batteries, air patrols by Western warplanes near its northwestern frontiers, and naval, air and infantry war games from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and the South Caucasus.
As if the import of the above comments regarding business investment and the economy could be missed, Rasmussen reiterated:
"Our economy is globalised. Our security is globalised. And if we are to protect our populations effectively, our approach to security has to be globalised too."
"It means NATO must be able, and willing, to engage politically and militarily with other nations, wherever they may be..." Australia, for example.
The NATO chief recalled visiting Australia last month, where he met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and signed a Joint Political Declaration. "It is the first of its kind. But I am confident it won't be the last."
In Afghanistan, "Australia is part of a NATO-led coalition of 50 nations, the largest in recent history." (The geography-challenged Rasmussen added "from all five continents.") The largest - far the largest - number of nations supplying troops for a war in any country, or in any theater, in history.
Even when, or if, NATO withdraws the bulk of its 130,000-150,000 forces from Afghanistan, "we won't get a holiday from history afterwards," Rasmussen asserted," as "we must build on the practical experience of working with our partners in order to work even more closely together in the future."
The ten and a half years NATO has spent in its first Asian war have provided it the opportunity to forge a coalition of 50 nations for the alliance's next conflicts.
The post-Chicago summit concentration "is about NATO assuming a global perspective, about "[p]laying its part globally, and strengthening our ability to act in concert with our partners around the globe."
The militaries of the world must be subordinated to NATO standards, practices and policy and be equipped with "interoperable" weapons:
"Today, many partner countries take the opportunities NATO offers to participate in our military education, training and exercises. But this is largely on an ad-hoc basis. I would like to see a much more structured approach. And the broadest possible range of nations being involved in such activities."
Particular attention must be paid to the integration of and interoperability among special forces:
"We must build on the lessons that we learnt together in action in Afghanistan. So we can boost our ability to act together in the future."
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