Last week, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO R. Nicholas Burns and former Deputy Secretary General of NATO Alexander Vershbow participated in a public program at the 9/11 Memorial Museum to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the NATO treaty’s signing.
On September 12, 2001, NATO invoked Article 5, the mutual defense clause of its founding treaty, for the first and only time in its history. As a result, NATO deployed allied troops to fight alongside Americans in Afghanistan, a mission that continues today.
In conversation with Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs Clifford Chanin, Ambassador Burns and Ambassador Vershbow discussed NATO’s role post-9/11 and predictions for NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan.
In the clip below, Vershbow explains the need for NATO’s continued presence in the Middle East and North Africa:
“Even short of withdrawing from NATO, the President could do further things to destabilize the Alliance and create new rifts with our Allies, who we need perhaps more than ever as we face a rising China, continued terrorist threats in the Middle East and North Africa. It ain’t over yet in Afghanistan. We need these Allies as much as they need us.”
By 9/11 Memorial Staff