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4 CES Open Forum Series

European Security: Does It Matter To The United States?

Feb 1, 2011 Radosław Sikorski


Prepared Text for the 2010-2011 August Zaleski Lecture
Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
February 28, 2011 at Harvard University

European Security matters. In contrast to the pseudo-security of the Cold War, European security today is vastly different but despite the demands for freedom around the globe, there is still unfinished business in terms of de- mocratization in Europe and on its immediate borders. In Poland, defence spending is significant and its forces have gained international experience that will soon allow it to deter conventional adversaries. But what about unconventional warfare? We don’t know what the next war will look like or what we face; to be prepared, global cooperation with trusted allies is crucial and why the US/European relationship will continue to be central to global security. European security must take Russia into account. While Poland is committed to maintaining good relations with Russia, the difference with the US and Europe is Poland shares the values of democracy, markets and individual rights with the latter. Until Europe is surrounded by states who also share those values, its borders will not be secure. Security takes many forms, both military and non-military. The US needs partners in managing global security; Poland is one of them and in some areas such as sharing experience in democratic transitions has a comparative advantage. Without the closest cooperation between the US and Europe, we run the risk of violent disarray and global insecurity stretching out into the foreseeable future. There is no time to waste.