Secretary Clinton and Secretary Panetta Reaffirm the Transatlantic Alliance at Munich Security Conference
February 6, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta delivered remarks over the weekend at the 48th annual Munich Security Conference. Speaking to an audience that included heads of state, chiefs of diplomatic missions, top security experts, and other foreign policy luminaries, Secretaries Clinton and Panetta re-affirmed Europe’s central role in American foreign policy.
“When President Obama says that Europe remains the cornerstone of our engagement with the world, those are not just reassuring words; that is the reality,” said Secretary Clinton. “Europe is our partner of first resort.”
Secretary Panetta emphasized the centrality of NATO in American foreign policy: “I believe that today’s strategic and fiscal realities offer NATO the opportunity to build the alliance we need for the 21st century.”
Ambassador Feinstein attended the conference, where he had the opportunity to meet with Secretary Panetta and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.
"I joined Secretary Panetta for his meeting with Minister Siemoniak at the Munich Security Conference this weekend, where he stressed the importance of the new U.S. Aviation Detachment in Poland,” said Ambassador Feinstein. “When discussing U.S. plans for stationing troops in Europe, Secretary Panetta said ‘We will maintain two brigades garrisoned in Europe in addition to moving forward with the missile defense deployments … establishing an aviation detachment in Poland and taking steps to enhance the responsiveness of special operations forces in the region.’”