Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton En Route to Meetings in Portugal

Secretary Clinton departed today for Lisbon, Portugal. There, the Secretary will join President Obama in participating in the NATO summit, the NATO-Russia Council summit, and the summit of the ISAF troop-contributing nations and other major economic development donors, as well as the U.S.-European Union summit.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, Philip Gordon, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, described the intensity of the upcoming U.S. government interaction with Europe, and how it reveals how central the U.S.-European partnership is to addressing global challenges.

"At the NATO Summit," Assistant Secretary Gordon said, "we plan to unveil a new Strategic Concept, lay out the approach that we and our NATO allies are taking to transition in Afghanistan, and advance our relationship with Russia. The new Strategic Concept -- the first in 11 years -- will chart the future course of the alliance and prepare it to meet new threats. NATO Secretary General Rasmussen has done a superb job producing a document with vision, clarity and focus. It places Article 5 -- our collective defense commitment -- rightly at the heart of why we are NATO Allies, while also recognizing that NATO is no longer just a regional military alliance. The Strategic Concept will also identify the capabilities we need -- including territorial missile defense and cyber early warning systems -- to meet new security challenges and better protect Allied populations. We look forward to a robust endorsement of it from allies at Lisbon.

"We also intend to revamp the way NATO does business through organizational reforms that will allow NATO to implement these capabilities more effectively and more rapidly. We will examine how to strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones. Partnerships -- with non-NATO members in Europe, with institutions like the UN, EU, and the OSCE, with strategic allies like Japan and Australia -- are one of NATO's most potent tools."

Speaking about the NATO-Russia Council, Assistant Secretary Gordon said, "NATO's relationship with Russia has been transformed in the last 20 years from adversary to partner. We are partners in dealing with a full range of security challenges. And the business of practical cooperation will enhance our collective security: Russia's and that of every ally. This is the first NATO-Russia Council meeting since the Georgia conflict in 2008 and an opportunity to demonstrate that we can extend our bilateral reset with Russia into the NATO arena. We have already demonstrated that we can practically cooperate while standing by our principles. We have consistently maintained our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia's neighbors and stood up for human rights within Russia.

"We now want to take this practical cooperation to a higher level, in areas of shared interest such as Afghanistan, missile defense, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and counter-piracy. NATO and Russia expect to agree on the NATO-Russia Joint Review of 21st Century Security Challenges to demonstrate a shared understanding of these issues and other potential threats. Let me add, however, that these efforts at cooperation will in no way limit the United States' or NATO's capacity to deploy missile defense or other collective defense capabilities."

Turning to the U.S.-EU summit, he said, "This U.S.-EU summit will be the first since the EU strengthened itself via the Lisbon Treaty. Our participation represents another opportunity to demonstrate that we believe that a strong and united Europe is a stronger partner for the United States. This summit in particular will highlight our expanded and strategic partnership in three concrete and crucial areas, the economy, security, and global issues.

"On economic cooperation, it is important to remember that the United States and Europe are each other's largest trade and investment partners, accounting some $4 trillion in flows and generating approximately 1 in 10 jobs. The relationship is central to both our economic futures. We will follow-up on the G-20 meetings last week in Seoul to sustain the recovery and generate jobs for our economies, by consulting on best steps to address current imbalances in the global economy and by addressing bilateral barriers to trade. The leaders will task the Transatlantic Economic Council to coordinate our policies to promote innovation and to get regulators to pursue greater collaboration, especially in new and emerging technologies.

"On security cooperation, we will identify ways to enhance our already significant common efforts on counter-terrorism and security, including through data exchange programs such as the Passenger Name Record agreement which protect both our privacy and our security, through cooperation on cybersecurity, and through sharing best practices to combat violent extremism. As the events of this summer demonstrated, both Europe and the United States face an ongoing threat and close transatlantic cooperation is crucial to addressing it.

"Finally on global challenges, the leaders will address a number of critical foreign policy issues such as Iran, climate change, Middle East peace, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In particular, we will look to better coordinate development assistance. The United States and Europe together provide 80 percent of the world's development assistance. We will work on ways to avoid duplication and get greater value from U.S. and EU resources, while better meeting the development needs of poorer countries, as well as those emerging from crises and disaster."

A full transcript of Assistant Secretary Gordon's remarks at the Atlantic Council is available here.



New Mexico, USA
November 19, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

To Sec. of State Clinton,

I guess one of the nice things about doing thousands of miles a year(at pell-mell pace ) is at least our Sec of State doesn't have to go through full body scanners or pat-downs to go from hither to yon.

Something we actually have in common as it so happens...

See, the nice thing about me being an anacronism from the last century is that I made a point of never flying again after the wings nearly came off in a storm back in '82 and so I drive my cash-for-clunker 4x4 everywhere I may travel to. And if I can't put it on a slow boat as cargo, I'm not going overseas...(chuckle).

Happy trails and Godspeed in diplomacy Madam Secretary, and just in case your pilot has forgotten, please do remind him to keep the rubber side down upon landing...


John P.
November 19, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

(LOL in advance) I wouldn’t approve your insurance as a Risk Management Agent.
First the NY bus, now the wings…

What’s next? Don’t put it on a slow boat as cargo. Then you’ll be a SEA AIR & LAND (CHUCKLE). Because you will stay alive again!
And this is a wish!
You reminded me of this movie of the Texas multi-millionaire that wanted to get an insurance, although swimming with sharks (among other extreme sports he was doing) for hobby!

Well, I don’t worry about the safety of SD’s flights. USA is the only nation, until now, that can understand when GEARS are UP, or DOWN. A question of a sharp, working “instruments” panel.
Madame Secretary travels a lot and she deserves a BRAVO!

However, as always, you gave me an idea. I think that it would be very interesting for many of us (readers) to read something from AIR FORCE 1 personnel (Chief of this Service?) –always without crossing the “sensitive” line. I mean, most of us, who are simple civilians imagine “White House” and SD flights as magical.

(I love 4X4 too!)
Best Regards!!!

New Mexico, USA
November 19, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@John ,

I agree, she deserves the ( BRAVO! ) and I figured she could use a good (chuckle) right about now as well. Her job isn't getting any easier...

What's next? I dunno...just pulled what little fat I've got left on my bod out of the raging economic fires of impoverished hell once again and may be here a bit longer, but considering the post I left here recently (Re: religious freedom report),for all the Muslims of true hearts and minds, I'm sort of expecting a Fatwa placed on me for my head by some radical opr's ok though, I've been managing risk without insurance for longer than I can remember save what I need to carry legally in case I hit a mullah with my 4x4 "accidently".

...It's just crosstown traffic and the daily global grind...trick is simply to remember to breath.

Quiets the one's task ahead.

No fear do I fear, because fear is the mind killer, and we arn't a nation that lives in fear.

RE; "we plan to unveil a new Strategic Concept,..."

As you know John, I spend a lot of time thinking about all this have been as long as Kissinger served with Nixon, and there's family history, grinding dicipline along with exaustive investigation in evolutionary process since I was about 10 years old or so.

It started with a "what if" question then as I launched a model rocket and it got lost in the glare of the sun. Salt talks were in the news and I had this "Ahah! moment as to how the world could rid itself of nuclear weapons.

Admittedly it was childishly simplistic, but I still think there's an off planet solution to nuclear waste, and heck if folks want to test nuclear weapons in real time and protect humanity against the fate suffered by dinosaurs, we should probably just go blow up an asteroid for grins and gidggles, just because it's there and we can.

Rather than have nations threaten to use them on each other now or in the future.

That's one leg of the New Stategic Concept I hope to introduce to creative minds and hope to include in that book some day.

Another aspect of this is the philosophy of strategy needed to equip a permanent "base camp" on the way up that steep mountan slope of nuclear disarmament and the path to the summit of a nuclear free world where these tools of our own destruction have been re-tooled to protect humanity from a dinosaur's fate.

This starts with the notion that as weapons, nuclear arms are obsolete both strategic and tacticly.

Why so today? For the same reason "precision stike" using conventionall tipped ICBM's uses kinetic energy alone to do the job with a lot less "collateral dammage" associated.
From a technological standpoint, if a spacefaring nation likme our's were of the mind to, we could concievably shove a rock out of sun's orbit with such precision and timing as to have it placed on top of Aminidijad's head with the same effect as a 10 megaton nuclear weapon, without the radioactive fallout.

That's potential future warfare we as humanity must have the courage and maturity to create the philosophical and cooperative relations among nations at peace with each other to never manifest such horror in reality.

But look at what folks have created and you get to the last leg of the new stategic concept I'm hoping to ispire all those experts out there to consider long and hard.

"Deterrance" as Admiral Mullen put it recently, incorperates all aspects of national power, not just military.

One can say that wars are not won by military means alone for ultimately a political resolution to them is needed.

Yet to reach any political solution that will rersolve war on a permanent basis (a lasting peace) it is also a "given" that military defeat predicates the means for a political solution.

"Deterrance" is a passive defense as a strategic concept, just as "isolation" and "containment" does not eliminate threats, nor those who would threaten the peace of nations and regions.

No dictator on this planet has been removed from power through deterrance. Ideologies have only proved to fail before leaders have fallen, and ideologies only fail when the people have declared the status quo "unnacceptable".

These are the "givens" in the ouline of the stategic concept I have been talking about for years on this blog called "regime replacement therapy".

In today's world, one must be willing, prepared, and politically capable of eliminating threats posed by dictators in power, in order to truly deter anything eminating from such a mindset of intolerance towards peaceful co-existance.

It's the only way to safeguard humanity's investment in civilization.



New Mexico, USA
November 21, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Re: Risk management and "regime replacement therapy"

@John in Greece, the honorable Dipnote staff and the "powers that be" in Gov., (you know who you are...:)

I gotta say one thing about President Obama, "I really like this guy." because while I'm taking the following quote slightly out of context, he sure understands what keeps me as a citizen trying to inspire you'all to think on new levels of perspective...

"-- often late at night, often fueled by a dangerous combination of coffee and obsession --" simply see results. I'm feeling dangerously inspired tonight!

And indeed I've lost count how many times ethical infants prove the validity of a post I've written (see previous one).

And here's Admiral Mullen's take on things...

"From my perspective, it's North Korea continuing on a path which is destabilising for the region," Adm Mullen, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN.

"It confirms or validates the concern we've had for years about their enriching uranium, which they've denied routinely," he said.


So here's all these sane folk trying to rationalize an insane little tin-horn dictator's behavior and assess his intent for going public with his not so secret enrichment program and no one is really talking about the most troubling aspect of this being that it threatens to take diplomatic options off the President's table.

Now I'm the kind of guy who who is willing to go the extra mile to put option on his table and make them stick, so here's one idea for a "phased adaptive" approach to missile defense...assuming one could use a missile to defend against proliferators and nuclear terrorists who like blakmail as a perferred form of diplomacy.

Well, we all know how much kids like superglue and the trouble the can get into with it, and so might I respectfully suggest we take an ICBM, load up a nose-cone full of it?...
(the gel type would work best I think),... and drop it in on all those spinning centerfuges, so as to send a message that will stick in 'lil Kim's mind that his act is getting old and beyond "unacceptable" in a fairly non-lethal manner to his minions, but let him know while it's incoming that we- the international community- can and will engage in "regime replacement therapy" if he even twitches to start a war over it.

And then give him 48 hours to personally show up at the table to resume 6 party talks without quibbling about his denuclearization.

See, risk management involves risk...the risk of doing nothing about it being equal to or greater than doing something creative about it..., being the opperative motive for acting opon it in a manner befitting our collective intelligence in the war of the Sane vs. the Insane.

( we can send a super-glue solvent to him as incentive so he can peal his minions off the walls of that facility upon successfuly completed "negotiations")

I don't think any of this would be in opposition to NATO's New Stategic Concept...rather my intenmt is to enhance it, and glue it together peremanently.

@ Madam Secretary, if you are reading this, please remember to put the cap back on that tube 'o glue before you stick a copy of this on you boss' desk and be advised it won't take more than a drop or two of superglue for permanent adhesion to his desk's surface.

So this option becomes a part of his furnishings in the Oval office.


Respectfully, and with my best regards,


NATO Summit Venue in Lisbon, Portugal
Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 18, 2010


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