General George A. Joulwan
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe
This is my 10th Workshop and each one has marked a special point in both U.S. relations with the NATO Alliance and the wider issues of global security. The first Workshop I participated in was held in Norway in 1994, where we outlined the vision for a new NATO. At subsequent Workshops the issues of enlargement and partnership were discussed and debated, and at the '96 and '97 Workshops the dialogue with the Russian Federation was clearly productive. That dialogue between NATO and Russian military and political leaders in both Belgium and Russia led to Russian forces participating alongside U.S. and NATO forces in Bosnia, which stopped the atrocities and brought stability and the beginnings of peace to the Balkans. For 20 months I was proud to have a Colonel General from the Russian General Staff as my deputy at SHAPE Headquarters. The solid military cooperation between NATO and Russia was also instrumental in the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act in Paris in May 1997 that officially ended the Cold War.
It was special that former Ambassador to Russia Tom Pickering addressed us at the opening of this Workshop. In 1996, at a dinner in my honor in Moscow that the ambassador hosted, he remarked that the last time the Supreme Allied Commander and the Minister of Defense of the then-Soviet Union had met was in 1946, when General Eisenhower and Marshal Zukhov met after World War II. We fought side by side then and we are doing so again in the Balkans.
And now we are holding the Workshop in Moscow. How significant and historic! But I do not need to tell you that the world is still a dangerous place. Institutions as well as nations must continue to evolve and adapt to the challenges and threats we now face.
To our Russian hosts, I want to say a personal word. We have much to learn from you and I hope this Workshop will provide the venue for doing so. Russia is a great country with strong historic roots and traditions. May I also say that I have never seen Moscow more beautiful or its people more alive and vibrant.
Thank you in advance for your generous hospitality, and best wishes to you all for a productive, informative, and enjoyable 20 th International Workshop. I now propose a toast to a great country and a great people-to Russia.