Conversations in Diplomacy: Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Mar. 20, 2015 Series: Conversations in Diplomacy

Former NATO Secretary-General on NATO, Russia, and the transatlantic partnership

In this “Conversation in Diplomacy" with former NATO Secretary-General and 2015 spring Fisher Family Fellow, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Future of Diplomacy Project Director R. Nicholas Burns discusses NATO's collective security issues, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the destined leadership of the U.S. in the liberal democratic global community.

Criticizing the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia last year, Secretary-General Rasmussen likens the crisis in Eastern Europe to an "escalation ladder." Rasmussen fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make the next step of intimidating the Baltic states after Ukraine. He stresses the pressing need to support Ukraine militarily and financially as well as to "contain the threat from Russia in the Baltic states," including NATO states, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Rasmussen prescribes the strategy of "determined strengthening" of NATO's collective defense and deterrence in Eastern Europe by sending in a 'rapid reaction force' and implementing permanent stationing of NATO ground and air forces in the Baltic states.

The former NATO Secretary-General expresses more optimism about NATO countries increasing defense budgets to meet the NATO obligation of 2% of GDP. "It will be difficult but the Russian aggression against Ukraine is a wake-up call, which I think will initiate new thinking in many capitals," states Rasmussen. Rasmussen credits this increase to the fact that "Europeans have seen that while defense comes at a cost, insecurity might be even more expensive."

In response to the "arc of crisis," represented by Russian aggression and the rise of terrorist organizations like ISIL, Rasmussen proposes reinvigorated and confident U.S. leadership and European assistance in constructing a shared liberal democratic world order. 'As a friend to America, as a European, I would say we need more determined U.S. leadership," maintains Rasmussen.


For more information on this publication: Please contact Future of Diplomacy Project
For Academic Citation:Conversations in Diplomacy: Anders Fogh Rasmussen.” News, , March 20, 2015.