For Immediate Release
February 16, 2005
Remarks by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld at the 41st Munich Conference on European Security Policy, 2/12/05
"There have been times when it was predicted by the all-knowing pundits that the Atlantic Alliance would crumble, that it would become irrelevant, that it was history. And that is surely what our enemies have wished for. They know that divisions and differences aid their cause. But we know that our collective security depends on our cooperation and mutual respect and understanding."
Since last year, these historic events have taken place:
NATO added seven new members - nations that are eager to contribute to the Alliance in important ways;
In Afghanistan, 8 million voters - 40 percent of them women - chose their first democratically elected president in 5,000 years;
In the Palestinian Authority, a democratically-elected president offers the hope of a new chance for peace;
Ukrainians have demonstrated the depth of their commitment to free and fair elections; and
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein's former subjects voted for the first time with ballots that offered 70 political parties, rather than just one.