Ahead of a crucial Defence Ministerial in London, Secretary General of NATO, Mr Jaap de Hoop Scheffer spoke at RUSI on 18 September and gave a wide-ranging exposition on the key issues facing the transatlantic alliance.
Speaking a month after the conflict between Russia and Georgia, the Secretary General assured the audience that though the crisis clearly altered the nature of the relationship between Russia and NATO, the events in the Caucuses did not herald the beginning of a second cold war. The crisis did however serve as a reminder of the Alliance’s enduring role in Europe.
NATO has faced serious strategic and operational challenges in recent years; some say the most difficult the Alliance has ever handled. Mr de Hoop Scheffer gave and exposition of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan which has met with greater than expected challenges. The success of the mission, he argued will require further efforts by the entire international community, including NATO.