13 June 2003
Rumsfeld: New Tools Needed Against Threats
(June 11 speech at George C. Marshall Center in Germany) (2810)
New tools of international cooperation are needed to deal with new
threats to international security, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld said June 11 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany at a ceremony
marking the 10th anniversary of the George C. Marshall European Center
for Security Studies.
These tools, he said, include "new authorities to prevent -- and, if
necessary, interdict -- the import, the export and the transshipment
of weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles, and WMD-related
materials from and between and to terrorist states."
Rumsfeld said proliferation is not a problem that individual nations
can handle by themselves. He acknowledged, however, that not everyone
views the situation in the same way. "Many nations in Europe -- but
not all -- see the nexus of terror and weapons of mass destruction as
a very serious threat, and recognize that transatlantic unity is more
critical than ever if we, collectively, are to able to successfully
deal with those threats," he said.
Such differences in attitudes, Rumsfeld suggested, drive the choices
that nations make regarding their contribution to collective security.
"I think it should come as no surprise, that many of the nations with
fresh memories of tyranny and occupation have been among those most
willing to face the new threats, and contribute to dealing with them."
NATO's new and newly invited members bring "new vision and new
vitality" to the alliance, Rumsfeld said, and he stressed that they
have not been invited in "as junior partners, allowed to join ... as
they sit quietly. No, they have been invited to participate fully and
to help lead."
Rumsfeld cautioned against trends that are eroding the core principle
that under-girds the international system: the principle of state
sovereignty. He said these trends are dangerous because they threaten
to disrupt cooperation between friends and allies, because they
absolve states of their responsibilities to deal with problems within
their borders, and because they affect cooperative efforts to deal
with international security problems.
"It took the will of sovereign states, working in large coalitions, to
deal with problems like Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq," he
noted. "The lesson is that truly effective multilateralism requires
the cooperation of sovereign nations, working together through strong
alliances and coalitions of the willing."
Following is a text of Rumsfeld's speech in Garmisch-Partenkirchen:
United States Department of Defense
June 12, 2003
SECRETARY RUMSFELD REMARKS AS DELIVERED AT THE MARSHALL CENTER'S 10TH
The remarks below are the text of a speech Secretary of Defense Donald
H. Rumsfeld delivered at the Marshall Center's 10th Anniversary,
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on June 11, 2003:
Thank you very much, Dr. Rose, Minister Struck. Where are all the
Ministers of Defense that are here? Would you all stand up? You're
spread all over. There's one. Please stand, all the Ministers of
Defense, we want to see them. There they are. Look at that. Now that's
a pretty picture (Applause.). Thank you, thank you.
It's good to be back here in Garmisch. I'm trying to think when it
was. I think it was 30 yeas ago, I was Ambassador to NATO, and I came
down here with my children and taught them to ski right here. It's a
lovely setting, and certainly I'm delighted to be able to be back
I came from the United States, Portugal, to Albania, to Garmisch. And
when one thinks about it, Portugal was an original founding member of
NATO. Albania is in the so-called MAP program, Membership Action
Program [Plan], is on a track to become a member of NATO. And now here
in Germany, a country that has of course [been] an enormous
contributor to NATO. I do greet my fellow Ministers of Defense, the
distinguished guests, Mrs. Wörner, it's nice to see you again,
students, ladies and gentlemen.
I'm pleased to be here on the 10th anniversary of this historic joint
effort by the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States to
strengthen the transatlantic relationship and to extend it deep into
the heart and soul of Eurasia.
In reading the history of the Marshall Center, I came across those
same names you heard here -- Powell and Cheney and others. Like its
founders, the students of the Marshall Center have also gone on to
great things. I heard Dr. Rose mention and Dick Cheney(1) mention how
many of the graduates and people here have gone on to become ministers
and deputy Ministers of Defense, Chiefs of the General Staff, Deputy
Chiefs of Staff, Cabinet Ministers, Ambassadors, Flag Officers. It's
kind of humbling. Here I am, I'm in the same job I was in 25 years ago
(Laughter.). It just shows what a graduate can do from the Marshall
I know this Center is important not simply because of its [the]
success of its alumni, but also because of the importance of the
transatlantic relationship that it is designed to support and to
So I want to visit today a bit about the future of that relationship,
and this institution that is part of its anchor in the North Atlantic
In 1949, President Truman called the founding of NATO "a neighborly
act," an interesting phrase, not surprising from a man from Missouri,
comparing the new Alliance to a group of neighbors, living in the same
locality, who form an association for their mutual self-protection and
self-interest. And he was right.
But it has of course become much more than a neighborly act. In many
ways, the North Atlantic community is much like a family. Millions of
Americans trace their roots back to Europe, and proudly identify
themselves as German-American, Polish-American, Italian-American. So
Americans and Europeans -- Europe, both Eastern Europe and Western
Europe -- are joined together by more than just common interests.
We're united by ties of blood and purpose, a common heritage of
liberty and democratic self-government; ties that have been in a very
real sense forged in war and sealed in struggle.
Like a family, from time to time we don't agree on everything,
sometimes we have debates and discussions. But when threatened or
challenged, we need to come together, as we did after September 11th.
And today, we are adding new members. The arrival of each one of those
new members in NATO, it was 15 back when I was ambassador of NATO, now
19 and soon to be 26. The addition of each new nation brings new
energy and new perspective to the Alliance.
Like many of you, I vividly remember the excitement of seeing the
revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe unfold -- watching those
newly-liberated people bringing down the statues of Lenin in their
capitals. It was a remarkable sight to see.
Europe is a better place for the involvement of these recently
liberated nations. And so is the world.
Our new NATO allies, those also who will soon become allies, and those
countries that work in the Partnership for Peace, are all making an
The record speaks for itself. Dr. Rose has mentioned the numbers of
people that have been trained from so many different countries here in
this Center. Almost every one of those nations that he mentioned, the
50 plus nations, has contributed in some way to our activities in the
global war on terror.
Some 35 have sent representatives to the U.S. Central Command in
Tampa; 33 were part of the coalition in Operation Iraqi Freedom; 28
are currently contributing troops or assistance for post-war conflict
operations in Iraq; 29 are helping today with security, stability, and
humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan.
That's an impressive record.
But it begs the question: Why is it that so many nations -- some
small, others still struggling with economic and political transitions
of their own -- have been able to make such outsized contributions to
peace and security?
The key, I believe, is that even as they are busy looking inward, at
rebuilding their economies and societies as they must, they've had the
vision to look outward as well, to find ways that they can contribute
to a more peaceful and a more secure free world.
It suggests that the distinction between old and new in Europe today
is really not a matter of age or size or geography. It's really a
matter of attitude -- of the vision that countries bring to the
transatlantic relationship and to the challenges that we will all face
in the years ahead.
Many nations in Europe -- but not all -- see the nexus of terror and
weapons of mass destruction as a very serious threat, and recognize
that transatlantic unity is more critical than ever if we,
collectively, are to able to successfully deal with those threats.
I think that most see the value of a robust transatlantic
relationship. It is, I believe, compatible with European integration.
It certainly is critical to our mutual security and the success of our
These differing attitudes, that do exist, however, drive the choices
that nations make; choices about a willingness to recognize new
threats and take action to deal with them; choices about a willingness
to invest in the kinds of military capabilities that will allow us,
each of our nations, and collectively, to contribute to peace and
I think it should come as no surprise that many of the nations with
fresh memories of tyranny and occupation have been among those most
willing to face the new threats, and contribute to dealing with them.
This attitude is why, a decade after the Cold War ended, NATO now has
invited 10 new allies to join the Atlantic Alliance. They're bringing
new vision and new vitality to this old Alliance. Let me be clear:
these countries have not been invited into the alliance as junior
partners, allowed to join the so-called grown-up's table so long as
they sit quietly. No, they have been invited to participate fully and
to help lead.
And already we are seeing leadership in action. Poland is preparing to
lead one of the three division headquarters in Iraq -- a 7,000-man
force that will probably be comprised of some 12 forces from some 12
different counties. Romania has an infantry battalion deployed in
Afghanistan, and plans to deploy another infantry battalion shortly to
Iraq. Albania has forces in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. Many
others are contributing in important ways as well. We need to work
even more closely today, because the threats we face in the 21st
century are of a nature that really no nation can face them alone.
Take proliferation. It's not a problem that individual nations can
handle by themselves.
We know that North Korea is the world's foremost proliferator of
ballistic missile technology. Now they've stated that they may not
only build, but also sell nuclear weapons and materials.
If free nations do not come together and come to grips with the
proliferation problem, it's possible that not so many years from now,
when folks gather here for the 20th anniversary of the Marshall
Center, we could be living in a world with up to twice the number of
nuclear powers -- and the reality that a number of those new nuclear
powers could be terrorist states.
The fact is, we face three intersecting dangers today: the growing
arsenal of rogue, failed or failing states; the exponential growth in
trade among these states in WMD-related materials, technologies and
delivery capabilities; and the relationship between these states and
terrorist networks that are seeking to obtain chemical and biological
and nuclear material.
If we are to deal with these new dangers, we need new tools of
international cooperation, including new authorities to prevent --
and, if necessary, interdict -- the import, the export and the
transshipment of weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles, and
WMD-related materials from and between and to terrorist states.
We also need to strengthen existing mechanisms for international
security cooperation. We are working to transform our Department of
Defense in the United States. And we are also working with our allies
to help transform NATO from a 20th century defensive alliance, into a
21st century alliance capable of projecting power out of area, with
leaner command structures, and a rapid response force that can deploy
in days instead of months.
As we strengthen institutions that allow free nations to cooperate on
a multilateral basis, we must take care not to damage the core
principle that under-girds the international system -- the principle
of state sovereignty.
Today, we see respect for states' sovereignty eroding. We see it, in
my view, in the International Criminal Court's claim of authority to
try the citizens of countries that have not consented to ICC
We see it in the new Belgian law purporting to give Belgian courts
"universal jurisdiction" over alleged war crimes anywhere in the
world. Already charges have been filed against General Tommy Franks
under this dangerous law, which has turned Belgium's legal system into
a platform for, what I believe will prove to be, divisive, politicized
lawsuits against officials of her NATO allies. There are, I might add,
suits also pending against President George Herbert Walker Bush, Vice
President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and others. I
suppose if George Marshall were alive there would be suits against
George Marshall in the Belgian courts.
These trends are dangerous, not simply because they threaten to
disrupt cooperation between friends and allies, but also because the
erosion of respect for states' sovereignty absolves states of their
responsibilities to deal with problems within their borders.
Sovereignty is a two-way street -- it implies rights and also
responsibilities, it seems to me. Those who would strip away the
sovereign rights of nations have to recognize that in the process they
may also strip away states of sovereign responsibilities.
Too often, the erosion of sovereignty gives states an excuse to take
the easy-way-out -- by blaming globalization, or punting problems to
supra-national bodies, instead of taking responsibility for problems
that originate from poor national governance.
A case in point is the threat of terrorism. Terrorists are parasites
who seek out weak and struggling nations to serve as hosts. As states
have appeared weaker, terrorists have moved in -- hiding in ungoverned
areas, using them as bases from which to launch attacks on innocent
men, women, and children.
It's my view that states have a responsibility to govern areas within
their borders. And we need to be able to hold states accountable for
their performance. Those who want to push sovereignty away can't have
it both ways: either states are responsible for the governance of
their countries or they're not.
Strengthening the state is also critical if we are to give
international cooperation a new lease on life. It took the will of
sovereign states, working in large coalitions, to deal with problems
like Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The lesson is that truly
effective multilateralism requires the cooperation of sovereign
nations, working together through strong alliances and coalitions of
To deal with the threats of the 21st century, we have two important
challenges. First is to strengthen states -- including their ability
to effectively govern their territory, police their borders and
contribute to coalitions of the willing. And second, to strengthen and
reform the institutions that facilitate multilateral action by, and
cooperation between sovereign states -- such as NATO and the
Partnership for Peace.
For a decade now the Marshall Center has produced the leaders who are
helping to make these changes happen. That's a good thing. In just ten
years, the graduates of this Center have already made an enormous
difference -- in their countries and also in the world. I believe part
of that is because they are the kind of people who were selected to
participate here, part of it is because of what they may have learned
here, but part of it also are the relationships that they've developed
here and the linkages they take back to their countries, and the
respect they develop for other people and for other countries and for
other customs and approaches.
So I have confidence that, with your vision and your commitment, our
successors a decade from now will be able to look back on the 20th
[anniversary] of this institution, and say that free people rose to
meet the challenges of a still dangerous and a still untidy world.
Thank you very much and God bless you all. (Applause.)
(1) Vice President Dick Cheney, who as U.S. Defense Secretary
sponsored the idea of the George C. Marshall Center, sent videotaped
greetings to the center's faculty and students.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)