November 10, 2010

Chairman Kerry: GAO Releases Report On The NATO Partnership For Peace Program

Washington, D.C.— Ahead of next week’s NATO Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement:  

“NATO remains a fundamental element of our national security and its organization needs critical examination in order to meet evolving threats effectively.  This afternoon, the GAO released a report that I requested titled “NATO Partnerships,” which outlines the extraordinary success of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program at enhancing the collective security of Europe and Eurasia.

“Sixteen years ago, the Clinton Administration found in PfP a way to prepare countries like Poland, Romania, and Hungary to meet the criteria for NATO membership, but it also built a  network of cooperation between diplomatic and military officials in two dozen countries. Some PfP countries went on to become full members of NATO, others still participate in the program and are making major contributions in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

“The NATO Summit in Lisbon on November 19 is about making NATO stronger and learning from our shared experiences, good and bad. This report will contribute positively to that discussion.”

The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a NATO program with 22 members, designed to develop security-related cooperation between the allies and non-NATO countries in Europe and the former Soviet Union.  In the past it has been part of a process that prepared countries for full-membership, today many countries not wishing to become full NATO members also participate.   NATO’s new strategic concept is expected to emphasize the importance of building on the valuable experience of PfP to develop new forms of partnership and cooperation.

The report can be found at: http://www.gao.gov/Products/GAO-10-1015

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