The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2008

Fact Sheet: 2008 NATO Summit
President Bush Acts to Strengthen And Expand Our NATO Alliance

     Fact sheet In Focus: NATO 2008

Today, President Bush is in Bucharest, Romania, to participate in the NATO Summit where Allied leaders will make important decisions to continue NATO’s transformation to meet 21st Century challenges by adding new capabilities and new members committed to advancing freedom throughout Europe and beyond. Together, NATO Allies are conducting critical missions around the world, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo, to build security and stability for the citizens of these young democracies. NATO will affirm that the door to Alliance membership remains open to European democracies that seek it and who meet the standards of membership.

At the Summit:

In Afghanistan, NATO Forces Are Bringing Honor To Their Uniforms And Pride To Their Countries

NATO's role in Afghanistan has expanded significantly. Since NATO took over the International Security Assistance Force in 2003, NATO’s presence in Afghanistan has grown from a small force operating only in Kabul to a force of over 47,000, leading operations throughout the country.

NATO forces are helping Afghans take increasing responsibility for their own security. With NATO's help, the ranks of trained Afghan soldiers have increased from 33,000 last year to 55,000 today. Afghan forces are now leading many important combat operations.

Our Alliance must maintain its resolve and finish the fight in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, which was once a safe haven for al-Qaeda, is now a democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope.

Many NATO Allies Are Also Fighting The Forces Of Terror In Iraq

During the Summit this week, Allied leaders will reiterate their support for the Government and people of Iraq and to assist with the development of Iraqi Security Forces.

The NATO Alliance Is Taking On Other Important Missions Across The World

NATO is an expeditionary alliance that is sending its forces across the world to help secure a future of freedom and peace for millions.

One of the most important steps to protect the citizens of NATO nations is the deployment of new capabilities to defend against ballistic missile attack. Today, dangerous regimes are pursuing powerful capabilities and building ballistic missiles that could allow them to deliver the world's most dangerous weapons to the capitals of free nations.

Over the past seven years, NATO has taken decisive action to transform the capabilities of the NATO alliance.

NATO has:

During the Summit, President Bush will encourage European partners to increase their defense investments to support both NATO and European Union operations. The U.S. believes if Europeans invest in their own defense, they will also be stronger and more capable when we deploy together.

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