President Bush yesterday reaffirmed his vision of NATO as an Alliance spreading democracy and security across the world, saying:
As NATO allies fight terror and promote progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, our Alliance is taking on other important missions across the world. In the Mediterranean, NATO forces are patrolling the high seas to combat terrorism as part of Operation Active Endeavor. In Kosovo, NATO forces are providing security and helping a new democracy take root in the Balkans. In Darfur, NATO has airlifted African Union peacekeepers and provided them with training to protect the people of that troubled region. The Alliance stands ready to provide further assistance to the AU-African Union force. Each of these missions underscores the changing nature of the NATO Alliance. See, NATO is no longer a static alliance focused on defending Europe from a Soviet tank invasion. It is now an expeditionary alliance that is sending its forces across the world to help secure a future of freedom and peace for millions.
While this vision for NATO has the support of some in the Alliance, and the president speaks as though it is a consensus position, it remains deeply controversial. President Bush has already been rebuffed by NATO on MAPs for Georgia and Ukraine - he doesn't have the political capital left in his lame duck year to push the Alliance into global adventuring.