Neither the setting nor the atmosphere could have been any better last week: both between the United States and Estonia, and among all the NATO allies. April 2010 in Tallinn was another milestone in reaffirming the U.S.-European community of values and action. Secretary of State Clinton summed it up with the words “Estonia’s experience, and all that it contributes to our Alliance, is a testament to the value that new members add to NATO as a whole.” The Secretary’s conversations with her Estonian interlocutors reaffirmed our joint commitment in Afghanistan, humanitarian work in Haiti, the centrality of Article 5 as the principal purpose of NATO, and agreement on Estonia’s role in helping countries realize the benifts of information technology in good governance.
The NATO meeting was equally substantive, asserting the commitment of the Alliance in training and equipping Afghan security forces, preparing the way for a new Strategic Concept at the November NATO Summit, highlightng work on positive relations with Russia, and signaling the Alliance’s open door policy by granting a Membership Action Plan to Bosnia. In all, a most successful meeting hosted by a most impressive member country.
In real estate, value is consistently determined by the words “location, location, loaction,” referring to higher price for equal types of homes in different neighborhoods. Estonia is in the high rent district of transatlantic foreign policy discussion. The country’s government and the people set the scene with a clear focus and strong determination on issues ranging from security policy to combatting terrorism to modern governance and enterpreneurial innovation. With the gradual unfreezing of public and private sector resources as our respective economies recover, we can now restock our joint “to do” list of action items in all these areas. Watch this blog for further details.