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Diplomacy in Action

U.S.-Europe Relations and Upcoming Summits

FPC Briefing
Philip H. Gordon
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Foreign Press
Washington, DC
November 17, 2010

Date: 11/17/2010 Location: Washington D.C. Description: Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs briefs on U.S.- Europe relations and upcoming summits at the Washington Foreign Pess Center. - State Dept Image

 2:00 P.M. EST

MODERATOR: Good afternoon, and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. Today, we’re pleased to have Phil Gordon, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, who will speak on U.S.-Europe relations and the several upcoming summits. He’ll make some remarks, and then it will be open to question and answer at that time. I ask if you just identify yourself, your country and media organization. Thank you.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you. Good afternoon, everybody. I’ll just be brief on how we’re looking at these upcoming summits this weekend. Starting on Friday, we begin a major set of summits that we think will demonstrate the continued centrality of the United States relationship with Europe and our ability together to meet global challenges. These summits are an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our European allies and partners, which is a cornerstone of our engagement with the world.

In Lisbon, starting on Friday, the President will meet with heads and state and government from all 28 NATO member nations. He will participate in a summit of the 49 nations contributing troops to Afghanistan through ISAF, as well as major economic assistance donors. He will join with his allied counterparts and the president of Russia for a NATO-Russia Council summit. And finally, he will join the president of the European Commission and the president of the European Council at the U.S.-EU summit.

So these four meeting together, again, we think demonstrate the critical role that Europe, NATO, and the EU play in working together to promote our shared goals and shared values in a wide range of security, economic, and human rights issues. Just briefly on each of the pieces, the NATO summit, we hope that allies will agree and unveil a new strategic concept, that they will lay out the approach that we are taking together toward transition in Afghanistan, and that they will advance our relationship with Russia. The new strategic concept will be the first one in 11 years, and it will chart the future course of the alliance as it prepares to meet new threats.

I want to praise the work that NATO Secretary General Rasmussen has done in bringing together a consensus document. We hope it will place Article 5, Collective Defense, at the core of the alliance while also recognizing that there are a lot of new and emerging threats that the alliance needs to deal with as well.

On Afghanistan, ISAF contributing countries and economic donors will focus on the question of a responsible transition to gradually turn over lead responsibility for Afghan security to Afghan national security forces. Transition is a process that began in President Karzai’s inaugural address over a year ago, and the idea is the transition will unfold according to conditions on the ground, including progress in training Afghan forces and assessments carried out by Afghan and international experts. Transition will not happen overnight, it’s not a single event, and it will not be a rush for the exit.

On the NATO-Russia Council, again just briefly, NATO’s relationship with Russia has been transformed in the last 20 years from adversary to partner. We’re a partner on a full range of security challenges, and we seek to enhance our practical cooperation in the name of improving our mutual security. This is the first NATO-Russia Council meeting since the Georgia conflict in 2008, and it’s an opportunity to demonstrate that the United States can extend our progress in our bilateral relationship with Russia to the NATO arena as well.

And then finally, the U.S.-EU summit, also in Lisbon, will be the first since the EU strengthened itself via the Lisbon treaty. Leaders will talk about a range of issues, focused mainly in three categories. The world economy, and the U.S.-EU economic partnership remains one of the most important to the world and certainly important to the United States. It will be an opportunity to follow up some of issues discussed at the G-20. Security, including the critical question of counterterrorism cooperation and the threat we mutually face from terrorism. And then finally global issues in foreign policy. We obviously work very closely with the EU on a lot of major foreign policy challenges, including Iran, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. And the summit will be an opportunity for the President to engage with his EU counterparts on those issues as well.

That’s a brief overview, and I’m happy to take your questions.
MODERATOR: First question here, the gentleman right here.
QUESTION: Mr. Assistant Secretary, thank you for the opportunity.
MODERATOR: Can you identify your --
QUESTION: Sure. Ihan Tanir, Hurriyet Turkish news from Turkey. In late June, sir, before the Toronto meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan, you invited an AP reporter and stated that we think Turkey remains committed to NATO, Europe, and the U.S., but that needs to be demonstrated. My question is: Do you think Ankara’s decision over this new NATO missile system is one of those moments that Ankara can prove its commitments to the West? And another way is, is this an acid test for Turkey’s commitment to the West? Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you. The United States has made clear why we believe missile defense to be an important priority for the entire alliance. We believe there is a growing threat from ballistic missile proliferation, particularly short- and medium-range ballistic missiles that can threaten all of the alliance, that can already today reach parts of Europe, and in time will be able to reach much or all of Europe, and that’s why the United States puts such a high priority on moving forward on missile defense. All of the allies have already recognized that ballistic missile defense can be a contribution to our common security. What we would like to see at the Lisbon summit is for all allies to take a further step and endorse a NATO capability in this regard. We have been intensively discussing the issue with all allies, and we’re hopeful that we can achieve that goal.
QUESTION: Thanks. Andrei Sitov from Itar-TASS. Thank you for doing this. I want to ask you about the summit – obviously, the Russia-NATO summit. I understand that decisions to be taken will be announced in Lisbon, so you will not tell us what the decisions are. (Laughter.) So I’ll ask you about the run-up to the summit and the follow-on to the summit. The run-up is when I look at what we have, we all sound very optimistic about the relationship. But when I look at the events, be that a spying scandal or now this Bout affair, are you not concerned that it – this may overshadow the summit in a way that is very reminiscent of the old bad times?
And as for the follow-on, it’s sort of a follow-up to this. Is the summit an end to itself? We come to the summit, we meet, we talk, we probably sign some papers, make announcements, and then what comes next? How do we maintain the momentum? Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you very much. We think that we are in the process of building a robust relationship with Russia that can survive differences. We never said that we were beyond differences with Russia or that there wouldn’t be differences or problems in the future. Indeed, the premise of the reset was that we should get on with areas of practical cooperation even while agreeing to disagree in important areas. And we have done so.
And I think what is interesting about the question you raise is it underscores that we’ve actually made progress in developing this relationship that both sides value. I think something like the spy issue, at a different time with a different relationship, would have been a bigger issue, would have been more of a crisis in the relationship than it was. But I think we are actually developing a mature and positive relationship with Russia that can withstand the differences that we continue to have on certain important issues, and that is what the President wanted to do. As he said, obviously we have more work to do, but we do think we’re making progress.
On NATO-Russia, we have made clear our interest in a better NATO-Russia relationship. The summit itself is a step forward. It won’t be the end of the process. We would like to move on after the summit and increase our practical cooperation. We think we have a lot of security interests in common with Russia. We have some differences, but we have enough in common that there should be a real practical agenda that flows out of the summit.
QUESTION: A follow-up. Right, but I guess my question is: What will be different after the summit? What difference will the summit make? Why are you doing all of this?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Well, let’s find out. All I can talk about is our aspirations, that we will not only have a successful meeting for the first time in several years of the NATO-Russia Council, but that NATO and Russia will build on that to pursue practical cooperation. We have common interests in counterterrorism, counternarcotics, protection against missile threats, proliferation, Afghanistan. So there’s lots to do. We are ready to move forward in doing it.
QUESTION: Brian Beary, Europolitics. I’m just wondering, on the agenda, can you confirm, is there an energy council? Because there was talk about something with Catherine Ashton and Hillary Clinton would be chairing something, and what’s happened with that?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: In Lisbon, there will be a meeting of the U.S.-EU Energy Council that was launched more than a year ago. On our side, it’s co-chaired by Energy Secretary Chu and Secretary of State Clinton. And the Energy Council will indeed meet in Lisbon. It’s an opportunity. The Energy Council is divided up into different working groups that look at policy and commercial questions and technologies. And this will be an opportunity at the level of the Secretary to meet Ambassador Morningstar, who is our Special Envoy for Energy – Eurasian Energy Issues. Ana (ph) will be there and it will be a good opportunity to discuss the critical issues that we both share in that area.
QUESTION: Chu or Clinton?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Clinton will be participating for the United States. Deputy Secretary of Energy Poneman will be joining as well.
QUESTION: Thank you. David Nikuradze, Georgian broadcasting company Rustavi 2, Washington bureau. I would like to ask you about upcoming NATO Lisbon summit and future possible enlargement of alliance. U.S. Administration officials have said many times that Russia doesn’t have a veto and it’s up to member states to decide who will be included in NATO family.
I was wondering – to ask if NATO’s position has been changed since Bucharest summit when two European heavyweights, Germany and France, denied membership action plan for Ukraine and Georgia. Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Well, again, broadly speaking, the strategic concept is not yet agreed among allies, so there’s obviously nothing that I can say about a document that hasn’t been published yet. But I think it’s fair to say that the open-door policy is something that all allies continue to agree on. We in the United States certainly do, but I think there’s a consensus in the alliance that the open door is the right policy, that enlargement has benefited NATO, it has benefited aspirant countries, and it should continue.
As for specific candidacies, again, NATO will speak for itself in a couple of days. I can tell you the United States stands by previous summit decisions on candidates. And in the question of Georgia, we continue to support Georgia’s aspirations to join NATO.
MODERATOR: For the next question, we’ll go to New York. Go ahead, New York.
QUESTION: Yes, Pincas Jawets, Sustainable Development Media. In light of the G-20 meeting and positioning of a new multi-polar kind of situation with several ends in Asia and one in Brazil, what would be U.S. position if Russia decided its interest to apply for EU membership?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: If Russia decided to apply for EU membership?
QUESTION: I mean, some rapprochement between Russia and the EU in light of the fact that the other poles are in Asia or China, India, Brazil. So the difference between Russia and the EU might actually shrink in the global context. I mean, that’s the base of my question. And then how would the U.S. react to that?
And then I have a separate question looking to Cancun. Is – the discussion will include also something about the climate change convention at the end of the month?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: I will leave decisions on EU membership to the Europeans, and the question of Russia in the EU is really a question for Russians and the Europeans. And yes, Cancun is an opportunity to address the climate change issue, which is critically important to President Obama and the Administration.
QUESTION: Are you worried about the – I think the essence of the question was, is the U.S. worried about the process of the Russians and the Europeans getting closer together? Thanks.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you for broadening the question. (Laughter.) Look, I have talked about our national reset of relations with Russia. I’ve talked about the NATO-Russia Council and how we want NATO and Russia to have better relations. We don’t – we, members of NATO and the United States but not the EU, don’t have a monopoly on a better relationship with Russia. It would be a good thing if the European Union has a good relationship with Russia. It’s in our common interest to promote trade, investment, and security all across Europe. That would be a good thing.
MODERATOR: Okay. We’ll go here and then back there.
QUESTION: Thanks. Nur Erbay from Sabah Newspaper, Turkey. Is there any un – disputed problems, unresolved problems and point before the Lisbon summit for now, between – among the NATO allies?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: We expect a successful summit in all of the areas I talked about – the Strategic Concept, Afghanistan. There has been a very significant degree of consensus on the big issues of the day among NATO allies. So of course, there is work to do. And in fleshing out precise documents and language, that has to be agreed by 28 different countries. That’s a real process. But I think – I am confident that the summit will show the alliance to be unified on the big issues of the day.
QUESTION: Hi, Phil. Sabine Muscat, Financial Times, Deutschland. I have a question about the alerts that the German Government issued today about an impending terror threat to Germany, and I was wondering if that added anything to your worries about terror threats in Europe, and especially Germany, as you had expressed much earlier than the Germans to – in a more succinct way, and also whether that’s going to be an issue at the summit, at the NATO summit, and what that means for – well, the necessity for cohesion within NATO, the threatening circumstances in Europe. Thanks.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: I haven’t seen the very latest out of Germany. I can tell you we called attention to this issue recently because of concern about potential attacks and the need for people to know that the risk is there. It was not a warning not to travel to Europe. It was simply drawing attention to the importance of being cognizant of this threat. It’s a very serious threat. We take it very seriously. We know European governments take it very seriously as well.
It will be discussed in Lisbon. Terrorism is a common challenge facing NATO allies and the alliance will address it. And as I think I mentioned, it will be one of the key topics for the U.S. and European Union. Even since our Travel Alert of more than a month ago, I think we have seen reasons why it is necessary to pay close attention to this issue. The package bombs that were discovered were a clear reminder of the deadly threat that we face and a reminder that, on both sides of the Atlantic, we need to be very vigilant on this issue.
QUESTION: But in your general assessment, nothing has changed between 3rd of October and now or –
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Nothing general – I’m not sure what you mean, general assessment that nothing has –
QUESTION: (Inaudible) assessment in the alert, basically, in the official alert. Has anything changed between then and now, today, when the urgency was also pointed out by the German Government?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Well, as I say, I think there have been these reminders in the meantime that we were right to underscore the need for vigilance and the need to focus and do everything possible to prevent such an attack.
MODERATOR: Right here? Yeah.
QUESTION: Hello, my name is Sachiko Deshimaru. I’m a staff writer of Japanese newspaper Nikkei. My question is about Afghanistan. Could you please give us a little bit more detail about what are you going to discuss in the meeting about Afghanistan? And also, please tell us that what are you – what kind of – how will it be important for United States at this summit? Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Yeah. Well, I mean, Afghanistan will be one of the central issues at the summit. I mentioned the Strategic Concept, a critically important framework for NATO and what it does, but we – the alliance is engaged in a major conflict. And there are – well, there are a hundred thousand American troops and some 40,000 ISAF troops engaged. It would be surprising if this wasn’t a core part of what NATO leaders were to discuss. We have a common strategy. We’re in the process of implementing that strategy. We’ve been very focused on increasing the number of trainers so that we can train Afghan national security forces so that they can take over lead responsibility for their own country. That’s our goal. That’s what the alliance is unified on.
We don’t want to stay in Afghanistan forever. As I indicated, President Karzai announced a target date of 2014, by which time he hoped that transition could be complete and Afghans would be taking lead responsibility for their own security. That doesn’t mean that all of the international forces will be gone by then. It doesn’t mean that that is an unconditional date. We’ll obviously have to take into account the situation on the ground.
But we do have a strategy and a plan, and we’re in the process of implementing it. We are increasingly training Afghan national security forces. That is – the training function is the ticket to transition. And the process is underway. It will move forward further next summer, when we believe we will start reducing the number of our troops in Afghanistan. And we hope that by 2014, as President Karzai has indicated, a transition to lead Afghan authority can be complete.
MODERATOR: Okay. Next question right here.
QUESTION: Thank you. Elcin Poyrazlar from Cumhuriyet. How confident are you that Turkey will say yes to the NATO missile defense system? And are you getting positive signals from the Turks?
And secondly, given that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is already raising the concerns about the command structure, are you concerned at all that at the implementation stage, Turkey might back off?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you. Look, I’ll leave it to Turkey at the summit, as all allies, to represent themselves and to signal where they are on missile defense as a NATO capability.
I would note that – I think I already mentioned all allies at previous NATO meetings have noted that they believe that missile defenses can contribute to our common security, and we’d like to take the next step of agreeing to an alliance capability at Lisbon. We have offered that the phased adaptive approach to missile defense would be the American contribution to that NATO system.
We thought it was important – it’s one reason President Obama changed the approach to missile defense – we thought it important that all NATO, all of NATO be covered, that every member of the alliance be covered. And that wouldn’t have been the case in the previous system. And that’s why we’re confident that allies will see it that way as well. This is about protecting all NATO territories and populations and forces from what we think is a very real threat. But obviously, it’s up to every country to decide whether they agree. NATO operates by consensus, and every – all allies would need to agree before this capability is adopted.
You mentioned what different Turkish leaders have said. I note that the foreign minister, if he was quoted accurately in the Wall Street Journal, said that it was out of the question that Turkey would stand in the way of something that was in – deemed to be a core defense interest of the alliance. But obviously, Turkey and other countries have questions about exactly how we would proceed, and they will represent themselves at the summit.
I would note, in terms of your reference to Prime Minister Erdogan’s comments, nobody should expect this summit to agree on all of the specific details of a potential missile defense architecture. We are looking toward an agreement about a capability for NATO. There will be many questions. Even if allies do agree on such a capability, there will be many questions in the future about command and control, about placement of different assets, and those questions will have to be tackled by the alliance as a whole. First steps first, first things first. We hope that all allies will agree with us that it’s important to adopt this capability at Lisbon.
QUESTION: Turkey puts down as a precondition a sound missile shield, sir. Turkey puts this command and control as a precondition.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Well, I’ll let the Turkish Government represent itself. I’ve described what we hope allies will agree at Lisbon.
MODERATOR: Okay. Christina, and then in the middle here.
QUESTION: Thank you. Christina Bergmann, Deutsche Welle, German international radio. What are your comments on the observation that the United States and Europe seem to be drifting apart, that Europe is no longer as an important a partner to the United States than it used to be?
And also, if I may, what has changed in the relationship between the United States and Europe since the Lisbon treaty? Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you. No, the United States and Europe are not drifting apart; far from it. As I think is clear from everything I’ve said so far, the United States and Europe are actually cooperating very well together on all of the big global issues of the day.
When you think back at previous issues that have divided the alliance, we weren’t always aligned strategically, whether it was on Iraq or the Middle East or Iran or many other things. When you look at the agenda we face today, I think there is a remarkable degree of allied unity. Far from drifting apart, we are together handling Iran in a way that wasn’t true before. We’re on the same page in the Middle East. We’re together in Afghanistan with the same strategy. So I just think that that’s a false notion.
It is true that the United States is paying close attention to other parts of the world. The President was just in Asia. Asia is very important to the United States. So is the Middle East. So is Africa and Latin America. But it is precisely because we face such challenges around the world that we need a strong European partnership. And we are pleased with the degree to which we’re cooperating and Europeans are joining us in meeting these global challenges.
QUESTION: And the Lisbon treaty?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: We welcome the Lisbon treaty. We work very well with the new institutions. Secretary Clinton has an excellent relationship with High Representative Ashton, who is just moving forward in the process of building up those institutions. It’s going to take some time. The European External Action Service is not fully in place yet, but already we’re working increasingly with those institutions, and we expect that increase will carry on into the future.
QUESTION: Hi. Kathleen Gomes from Portugese newspaper Publico. I’d like to go back to Afghanistan. Some of the NATO allies were probably expecting to withdraw soon from Afghanistan, and the Europeans in particular are cutting their defense budgets. Is there a concern that this may compromise the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan in the next five years? And are all NATO allies expected to commit to that 2014 deadline? Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you. As I said, this is a big topic of discussion at the ISAF meeting in Lisbon and among allies. All allies are facing similar constraints on their defense budgets. The United States is tightening its belt as well. Nobody wants to stay in Afghanistan longer than necessary.
But I would note that anyone who might have the impression that allies are leaving or are somehow peeling off from the common strategy, it’s just not the case. There are more Europeans in Afghanistan now than there have ever been before. We’ve seen increased contributions in the run-up to the Lisbon summit of trainers. We expect more on the way. Countries – even when they’re facing skepticism or opposition from some parts of public opinion, governments are telling us they’re with us. We have a common strategy. So we’re all focused on the same goal of transition by 2014, and we’re confident that allies will remain on the same page. And that’s one of the things we’ll talk about in Lisbon.
MODERATOR: Okay. For the next question, we’ll go back to New York.
QUESTION: Yes. Pierre De Gasquet from the French newspaper Les Echos. On the U.S.-EU summit, do you expect any discussions on the international monetary system reform following the disappointing results of the G-20 (inaudible) meeting? And is there any bilateral meeting with France or Germany on these issues? And also, will the Obama Administration support the idea of a G-8 meeting next year?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: I don’t know the degree to which, specifically, leaders will bring up reform of the international monetary system. I did note that at the U.S.-EU summit, the economy will be a key issue following up on the G-20, where these leaders have been or where President Obama was. Remember, this meeting – you asked about France and Germany – this U.S.-EU summit is a summit with Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy, not member states. So it’s President Obama and the two presidents of the EU. The economy will definitely form a key part. It remains to be seen the degree to which international financial system reform is discussed there.
MODERATOR: Okay. The gentleman in the middle in the back there?
QUESTION: (Inaudible?)
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: I don’t have anything to add.
QUESTION: Hi. Joe Shaw, NHK Japan Broadcasting. Can you just –
MODERATOR: We need to switch out your mikes.
QUESTION: Can you just clarify what specific strategic advantages the U.S. will gain from the NATO-Russia summit that they wouldn’t gain from bilateral relations with Russia?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Well, the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship is much broader and covers the full range of issues both countries face – economic security, social, and all others. NATO-Russia is about European security and mutual security, and others are involved.
A better relationship with Russia and cooperation on security with Russia is not just a question for the United States and Russia. It’s a question for NATO and Russia as well. And the other 27 members of the alliance should be involved, and there are things that NATO and Russia can do together. And this meeting will be an opportunity to seek ways in which NATO and Russia can do that.
MODERATOR: Okay. Right here?
QUESTION: Sophiko Zurabiani, Georgian TV company Imedi. The question is: Is the Lisbon summit and NATO-Russia Council the place where the differences between Russia will be underscored, or do you think it’s not right place for that? Example – for example, about Georgia.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: I think NATO has been clear and NATO members have been clear about its differences with Russia on Georgia, among other things. I think NATO members have said before that they want to see the full implementation of the August and September 2008 ceasefires. All members of NATO respect and recognize Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and they take that position in the run-up to Lisbon and they will stand by that position at Lisbon, even as they seek to work with Russia in a number of areas.
It’s absolutely consistent with what I said about our relationship with Russia. We seek cooperation, we have common interests, but we also have differences. We have a very clear difference over Georgia, and we will make it clear.
MODERATOR: We have time just for probably about one more question. Tolga?
QUESTION: Hello. Hi. Tolga Tanis from Hurriyet. Two questions, actually. First, kind of this diplomacy on this missile defense system. Two governments – there are 28 countries that will vote on this project in the NATO summit, but only two governments are discussing this issue in front of the journalists – Turkish Government and the U.S. Government. First, the Pentagon – from the Pentagon, Jim Townsend said that you are expecting two decisions from Turkey. First, an approval of this project to – that will allow the project under umbrella of the NATO, which will bring the project to the umbrella of NATO. And the first – the second decision, that Turkey will allow the NATO to deploy some assets in this – in its territory. And then Turkish Government responded that they said they don’t want to see their neighbors as a threat in the text. And then the prime minister said – made – raised another concern about the command (ph) of the project.
So my question is: Is it normal diplomacy? For example, I know that France has concerns on this command system, but there is no discussion in press between France and U.S. Government. But there are 28 countries, but only U.S. side and Turkish sides are discussing this issue in press.
And the second: There will be a meeting in – bilateral meeting in Lisbon between Turkey and – Turkish and U.S. sides?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that only the U.S. and the Turkish governments are discussing this issue, either in the press or among each other. I can certainly tell you that all members of the alliance have been discussing the issue intensively for quite some time, within the alliance and bilaterally and multilaterally. It has been a discussion – I mean, NATO doesn’t do anything that’s not done by consensus. All governments have a say, and they’ve certainly been engaged in a vigorous discussion about missile defense. And if there is to be a missile defense agreement, it will be because it’s been studied and talked through very extensively at NATO, and there’s a common agreement to do it.
As for the press, I suspect other governments have addressed the issue publicly as well, so I just don’t think that is the case. I can’t speak for any other governments, Turkey’s or anyone else. I can only tell you what our view is, and I’ve already articulated it. We think there’s a growing threat, potential threat, from ballistic missiles to NATO countries. We think it would be in the security interests of the alliance and all NATO countries if NATO adopted a capability to deal with that. We have proposed certain assets that would be our contribution to that missile defense capability. We’ve made the case why we think that’s in the interest of the alliance as a whole. And other governments will decide whether they agree. And if they do, then NATO will adopt this capability, which we think would be a good thing.
On the specific command and control issues, again, no one should expect that this summit will answer all of the questions about missile defense. If NATO adopts the capability and a mission for missile defense in Lisbon, there’s still going to be a lot of work to do on deployments, radars, assets, command and control. That will be in the next phase. But don’t think that we are trying to or going to answer all of those questions at this summit. We’re looking to embrace the question of the capability for NATO.
QUESTION: Specifically, what is the deadline for the (inaudible) –
MODERATOR: Microphone.
QUESTION: -- that NATO wants to deploy in Turkey? Because it is going into the first phase of this plan and Turkey’s critical point in that plan. What is the deadline for this second decision you are expecting from Turkey?
ASSISTANT SECRETRY GORDON: I’ll put it this way: There is not any deadline on a radar for the Lisbon summit.
QUESTION: After the summit (inaudible).
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: After the summit, the question of a radar – I think we have said that for missile defense to be as effective as possible, there should be a radar deployed in Southeastern Europe. The phases of missile defense take place over a number of years. And after the summit, if NATO adopts the capability, we’ll look at the question of where and when for the radar.
Thank you all very much.
MODERATOR: Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have. Thank you, Assistant Secretary Gordon.

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