Secretary Antony J. Blinken At a NATO seventy fifth Anniversary Reception

AMBASSADOR SMITH:  Distinguished friends, ministers, ambassadors, Secretary Blinken, Mr. Secretary Basic, it’s such a pleasure and an honor to welcome all of you to my dwelling this night – Truman Corridor – to have a good time the seventy fifth anniversary of the founding of this excellent Alliance.

After all, 75 years in the past this group would have been fairly a bit smaller.  On the very starting, as all of you recognize, it was 12 founding members that laid the foundations for an Alliance that’s designed to protect transatlantic peace.  And over seven many years, NATO added new missions and new members as nations that share our values and our dedication to peace and stability joined the Alliance and made all of us safer and stronger collectively.

What a momentous event it’s tonight to have all 32 Allies collectively, represented for the very first time at this ministerial and right here tonight for this celebration.  (Applause.)

Earlier than turning the ground over to Secretary Blinken, I do have three very particular bulletins.  First, throughout this anniversary yr, the U.S. mission might be renaming its government convention room after Madeleine Albright, our sixty fourth secretary of state.  (Applause.)  A lot of you knew her – I do know you probably did – and the primary girl to ever serve in that function in america.

Now, as lots of you recognize, Secretary Albright performed an important function in advocating for NATO enlargement, resulting in the inclusion of a number of Central and Japanese European nations.  She additionally championed NATO’s involvement in battle decision and peacekeeping efforts, notably through the Balkan wars of the Nineteen Nineties.  Albright’s diplomatic finesse and strategic imaginative and prescient strengthened NATO’s function as a cornerstone of transatlantic safety cooperation, and it’s so becoming that we honor her tonight, notably with so lots of my U.S. colleagues right here that had a really shut and particular relationship with Secretary Albright, together with Secretary Blinken and former colleagues Jim O’Brien, Jamie Rubin, and Suzy George, amongst others.

Second, I’d like to attract your consideration to a really distinctive merchandise that we’ve borrowed from the NATO archives, and this one would possibly shock you just a little bit: NATO’s first cookbook.  (Laughter.)  That’s proper, cookbook – you heard me accurately – titled The Better of Style, printed in 1957 by the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic Officers’ Wives Membership.  (Laughter.)  And the guide highlights recipes representing the 15 Allies that we had on the time.  Now, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the primary SACEUR and by that point president of america, submitted his favourite recipe: old school beef stew.

However now, in that spirit, we’ve ready a beautiful menu for you tonight, however it doesn’t embody beef stew, so relaxation assured.  However what we did do tonight with the menu is we’ve created an array of very distinct dishes that includes the specialties and a particular meals of every of NATO’s 12 founding members.  So that you’ll see trays passing tonight with flags on them denoting which nation that individual dish is from.

Lastly – and that is what I’m actually most enthusiastic about – I’d prefer to introduce our particular visitor of honor, past the 2 gents sitting to my left and proper – standing to my left and proper, our particular visitor of honor this night, Harry S. Truman himself immortalized in bronze for his namesake dwelling in commemoration of NATO’s seventy fifth anniversary.  The eight-foot statue created by Missouri artist Tom Corbin is a really beneficiant reward from the Truman Library Institute, and I’d prefer to thank our friends from the institute right here tonight and in addition acknowledge Clifton Truman Daniel, President Truman’s eldest grandson.  (Applause.)

After tonight’s occasion, President Truman might be displayed completely beneath the pergola within the backyard behind us for residents and guests to Truman Corridor to admire for generations to come back.  Clifton, will you please do the honors and unveil our visitor of honor?  (Applause.)

And now, with out additional ado, it’s my pleasure and honor to introduce Secretary of State Tony Blinken to share a number of phrases with us on this very big day.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks.  Thanks, buddies.  Very arduous act to observe, however it’s so great to see you, and we’re wanting ahead to President Truman’s everlasting placement shortly after this night.

So first, welcome, everybody.  And Julie, thanks a lot for welcoming us to your very humble dwelling.  (Laughter.)  I do know you’ve been complaining for a very long time that there’s simply not a whole lot of elbow room, and we will all see what you imply by it.

Julie arrived simply months earlier than Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  The truth that the Alliance has not solely weathered this disaster however emerged larger, stronger, extra united than ever is in no small half due to Ambassador Smith’s management.  There is no such thing as a one I might quite have – however extra vital, the President would quite have – representing america on this place right now than Julie Smith.  Thanks.  (Applause.)

Equally – and I feel all of my colleagues are united in believing this – america, for the entire members of NATO, none of us might have hoped for a higher champion for this Alliance than Jens Stoltenberg.  Nobody might have finished a greater job holding us collectively when others had been attempting to divide us.  Nobody might have finished a greater job of actually carrying the Alliance ahead.  And Jens, we’ve all stated it in numerous methods at totally different instances, however it all the time bears repeating:  We’re so grateful in your management.  (Applause.)

I additionally wish to thank the entire everlasting representatives from the Alliance nations and the work that you just’re doing each single day along with your groups to essentially transfer ahead the work of the Alliance.  None of this occurs by itself.  None of it’s automated.  It’s due to the day-in, day-out work that you just’re doing to steer our Alliance ahead.

Now, I’m actually happy that we’re her after we’re renaming the convention room of the U.S. mission to NATO for Secretary Albright.  She was, as for therefore many people, an actual mentor in addition to a good friend, a supporter, an unimaginable counselor.  I feel all of us miss her each single day, however we’re additionally animated by her spirit, her willpower, and in some ways animated by her imaginative and prescient of what america might be, must be, in addition to what this Alliance might be and must be.  This could be her form of night time.  She liked NATO, and she or he made an enormous contribution to it.

Virtually precisely 25 years in the past – throughout the Atlantic, on the Truman Library in Missouri – Madeleine formally welcomed Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary into the Alliance, and she or he quoted an previous Central European expression to mark the second: Hallelujah.  (Laughter.)  That grew the Alliance to 19 members. Immediately, after all, we’re 32.

On the time, Madeleine and her counterparts had been additionally wanting ahead to a different Washington Summit – that was the one marking the fiftieth anniversary of our Alliance.  She reminded the viewers that day NATO’s power relies on its unity.  And she or he warned, and I quote her, “We all know that when the democracies of Europe and America are divided, crevices are created by means of which forces of evil and [forces of] aggression could emerge; [but] that after we stand collectively, [there is] no power on Earth… extra highly effective than our solidarity on behalf of freedom.”

Madeleine understood this as a result of she’d lived it personally.  As a small youngster, her household had been pushed from their dwelling not as soon as however twice – first by the Nazis, then by the communists – earlier than discovering refuge in the UK after which america.

Another person understood this profoundly: Harry S. Truman.  He understood on a private degree what can occur after we enable the forces of evil, the forces of aggression to unfold.

When america entered World Warfare I, he rejoined the U.S. Nationwide Guard, and he was put answerable for an artillery unit that noticed brutal fight in France.  He later wrote this:  “I do know the pressure, the mud, the distress… of the soldier within the subject.  And I do know too his” – and add in the present day her – “braveness.”

The expertise left Truman – together with generations of women and men who survived the 2 World Wars – decided that historical past wouldn’t repeat itself.  Harry Truman believed that the easiest way, possibly the one manner, to make sure that was to bind America’s destiny to that of different nations who shared our values; for all to decide to defending each other’s territory as if it had been their very own.

Now, these of us right here in the present day in some methods could take that without any consideration now, after 75 years, however this was a radical perception in its time, and it was additionally an untested one.  And in some methods it’s additionally straightforward to imagine that NATO’s success was by some means preordained.  It wasn’t.

It required that the 12 founding members of the Alliance – after which those that got here after – not solely to construct foundations of peace, however then to maintain fortifying, adapting these foundations as new challenges emerged, challenges that the founders of NATO couldn’t presumably foresee.

And for three-quarters of a century, that’s precisely what our Alliance has finished.  That’s how NATO helped forestall the Iron Curtain from enveloping the free nations of Western Europe, the way it helped avert warfare with the Soviet Union, and helped newly impartial nations stroll the trail to democracy.

For these achievements and so many others, we’re indebted to the tens of millions of troopers, sailors, aviators whose braveness and willingness to place their lives on the road have given weight to our sacred dedication to defend each other.

We’re additionally indebted to all of the leaders and diplomats who formed the Alliance over these 75 years – not simply those that had been current on the creation, but additionally these current at NATO’s many recreations over subsequent many years.  Their collective service has given generations of individuals on each side of the ocean that joins us a uncommon and invaluable reward: unprecedented safety.

And but, whilst we meet right here this night, that safety – along with the Alliance’s core rules of democracy, liberty, the rule of regulation – that is as soon as once more being challenged, challenged by those that consider that may makes proper and people who would search to redraw borders by power.

And naturally, we all know many new challenges have emerged – once more, ones that the founders of NATO couldn’t presumably have foreseen, challenges that will’ve been unimaginable to NATO’s architects: a rising local weather disaster, cyber assaults, disinformation.

The Alliance is assembly these threats as we all the time have: by adapting collectively.

Over the previous three years, we’ve enhanced our deterrence, we’ve strengthened our jap flank, we’ve ramped up investments in our protection industrial capability, we’ve launched a brand new Strategic Idea, we’ve welcomed two exceptionally succesful new members – all work that our leaders will carry ahead on the Washington Summit in July.

However whilst our Alliance modifications, even because it evolves, its function stays enduring.  Ours is a defensive Alliance.  It’s by no means had and it by no means can have designs on the territory of some other nation.

As Truman stated on the founding, the aim of this defensive Alliance is to permit us to get on with the actual enterprise of life, the actual enterprise of presidency, the actual enterprise of society: “reaching a fuller and happier life for all… our residents.”

In that manner, the true measure of NATO’s success just isn’t merely the enemies that it’s deterred or the territory it’s defended, however all of the methods our residents have used their safety, used their freedom to enhance their lives in tangible methods.

No marvel that democracies proceed to make nice sacrifices to affix this Alliance.  No marvel nations far past the transatlantic area – together with dozens represented right here this night – are striving to deepen their partnership with NATO.

So, as we have a good time this extraordinary Alliance, let’s not lose sight of why we created it, or why it has endured these 75 years.  And let’s recommit ourselves to shoring up the foundations of peace, in addition to anticipating new and rising threats.

Lastly, allow us to collectively defend all we’ve in-built 75 years beneath NATO’s protect, and be certain that it stays sturdy to maintain constructing for the following 75 years and effectively past that.  To each certainly one of you who’re the life power of NATO in the present day, thanks, thanks, thanks in your engagement.  Thanks in your partnership.  Thanks in your solidarity.  Thanks for the work that also lies forward.

Thanks, everybody.  (Applause.)

AMBASSADOR SMITH:  Thanks very a lot, Mr. Secretary.  And Mr. Secretary Basic, the ground is now yours.  Thanks.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  Secretary Blinken, Tony; Ambassador Smith, Julie, thanks a lot for internet hosting us all right here tonight.  Ministers, ambassadors, pricey buddies, it’s nice to be right here on the Truman Corridor subsequent to President Harry S. Truman – at the very least, a statue of him – and along with the grandson of Harry S. Truman.  So that is actually a Truman night.

And it’s specifically nice to be right here because the secretary common of NATO, as a result of I’m not in a position to consider any particular person individual that has performed a extra vital function for this Alliance than President Truman, as a result of we’ve to attempt to think about how the world regarded like on the finish of the Second World Warfare.  As a result of then the plan was after all to get the troops, the forces again dwelling.  That was the case for everybody, however particularly for america, who despatched individuals throughout the Atlantic and to Europe to assist finish the Second World Warfare.

America left Europe after the First World Warfare.  That was not a giant success.  So due to this fact, I’m glad that after the Second World Warfare, america determined to remain – stick with their forces, stick with their troops, and never solely that, but additionally to underpin the transatlantic bond with the Marshall help, with a giant financial program to underpin the transatlantic bond.  After which on high of that – not solely retaining their forces and offering huge financial help to Europe, however on high of that, truly signed a treaty obligation to guard and defend Allies in Europe.

And the president accountable for all these choices, figuring out that to not carry again the troops, not carry again all of the boys after warfare was doubtlessly a really unpopular, troublesome place – economically pricey, politically pricey, and naturally additionally paying in human value – the president accountable for that call that was courageous and never apparent and really controversial on the time was President Harry S. Truman.  So due to this fact, we’d haven’t been right here and would haven’t been a seventy fifth anniversary to have a good time if it hadn’t been for that very courageous political determination by america to remain in Europe.  And due to this fact, it’s nice to have a good time the seventy fifth anniversary, and to do this at Truman Corridor along with the grandson and subsequent to the statue of the nice president.

Then, ever for the reason that Alliance was established or based in ’49, it has been an ideal success – preserving peace, stopping warfare, and enabling financial prosperity – and the truth that, as talked about each by Tony and Julie, that we’ve gone from 12 members to now 32 demonstrates that at the very least we’ve – there’s at the very least one thing proper we’ve finished over these years – (laughter) – establishing a bunch that so many wish to be a part of.

And the nice success has been enabled or has occurred not least due to U.S. management, from President Truman to President Biden, from Secretary Acheson to Secretary Blinken, and from Basic Eisenhower to Basic Cavoli, and in addition supported by many very succesful U.S. ambassadors, in the present day represented by Julie Smith.  So many because of all them for his or her management and the dedication they’ve demonstrated to our Alliance over all these years.

Then, what we are going to do tomorrow is to have a good time, however we may also do what has truly made this Alliance a hit, and that’s to give attention to how can we proceed to adapt.  As a result of the one motive why we’re essentially the most profitable Alliance in historical past is for 2 causes: one, our unity; and second, that we’ve been capable of change when the world is altering.

So due to this fact we have to put together for the upcoming NATO summit in July, the place we as soon as once more are going to have a good time but additionally going to exhibit our potential to take the mandatory choices to exhibit our unity and be certain that we stand collectively.  As a result of I can not inform you precisely what the following disaster or the following battle or the following warfare might be, however what I can inform you is that no matter what the following disaster might be, we might be secure so long as we stand collectively – North America and Europe.  As a result of collectively we characterize 50 p.c of the world’s financial would possibly and 50 p.c of the world’s navy would possibly, so so long as we stand collectively, nobody can threaten us; we’re secure.

So if you make sure that we exhibit that on the summit in Washington, our unity and our potential to vary, then we’ll proceed to be essentially the most profitable Alliance in historical past.  And that might be within the spirit of President Truman and that might be within the spirit of this Alliance over these 75 years.

Thanks.  (Applause.)

AMBASSADOR SMITH:  Effectively, thanks very a lot, Mr. Secretary Basic, each you and Secretary Blinken, in your remarks this night.  And because of all of our friends that joined us this night.  I additionally should say thanks to the superb workforce at USNATO and at Truman Corridor which might be accountable for bringing collectively this unimaginable occasion this night.  And to our honored friends tonight, please take pleasure in a style from the 12 unique founding Allies.  I invite you to discover the library and possibly even take a glimpse at that cookbook from very, very way back.  And do benefit from the music tonight offered by some members of the American (inaudible).  And final however not least, I ask you earlier than you allow tonight, please do signal the guestbook so we will keep in mind this very, very historic event.

Thanks once more and revel in.  (Applause.)

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