Verbatim, as delivered
March 17, 2010
Chairman Berman’s opening remarks hearing, “Transatlantic Security in the 21st Century: Do New Threats Require New Approaches?”
For over four decades after the
Second World War, the
Do we have the right tools, institutions and approaches to deal with these new threats? That’s the subject of our hearing today.
In addition to the potential
instability in southeastern Europe, we are confronting the ever-growing
likelihood of a nuclear-armed
We also need to determine how to deal collectively with concerns such as energy security, sea piracy, and climate change.
The existing transatlantic and
European institutions -- such as NATO, the Organization for Security and
But they are now re-evaluating their roles and capabilities to ensure that they can confront the challenges of the 21st Century as effectively as possible.
NATO has been an extraordinarily
successful military alliance for the past 60 years, but the purpose for which
it was created no longer exists. Since
the Cold War’s end, it has transformed to address new threats – but as
demonstrated by the current difficulty in obtaining sufficient troop levels in
As NATO reviews its Strategic
Concept, what should be its mission for the foreseeable future, and what
changes, if any, need to be made to the structure of the
The OSCE is the Euro-Atlantic
organization with the most comprehensive membership, comprising 56 countries,
all with equal standing. But
Following its meeting in Corfu last June, the OSCE set up a process to consider ways to increase security from Vancouver to Vladivostok. Can and should the OSCE become the pre-eminent security organization in the transatlantic region and do more to strengthen its political-military and economic-environmental dimensions, in addition to its human dimension?
And finally, the European Union has
evolved from its initial function of preserving peace between
The EU is effectively handling
humanitarian and training responsibilities in
While these three institutions are studying these issues internally and academic commentators – including our witnesses – have begun to identify the questions, there have been few answers about the next steps. Some people talk about strengthening the existing institutions to address the new threats, but they do not say how, or whether that is all that is necessary. Others contend that we need to fundamentally rethink and restructure how the transatlantic community addresses these new threats.
This debate has also been fueled by
the re-emergence of
Russian President Medvedev has
proposed a new treaty to rectify what he perceives as the failure of existing
structures to create a unified security sphere in
How should the transatlantic
community respond to
The issues that will be discussed during this hearing are vital to the security of all of our countries. I am delighted that we have such an extraordinary and distinguished panel of experts with us today to help us consider these issues from the American, European, and Russian perspectives, and we look forward to their testimony.