The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), along with Friends of Europe, and Women in International Security (WIIS), hosted a conversation in Brussels with U.S. Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James.
The discussion was moderated by Claire Craanen, WIIS Brussels secretary general, and NATO senior analyst; and Ian Lesser, senior director for Foreign and Security Policy, and executive director Brussels, GMF. The welcoming address was delivered by Pauline Massart, deputy director, Friends of Europe.
Deborah Lee James offered a vision of today’s global security challenges including the problems in Europe’s periphery. She assured the audience of the United States’ longstanding commitment toward Europe’s security, stating that the transatlantic partnership is more crucial than ever. Secretary James elaborated on the day-to-day topics she deals with, such as air, space, and cyberspace issues. She pointed out that the nature of today’s threats are "more diverse and complex," which require strong partnerships between the U.S. Air Force and public-private stakeholders.
Secretary James also identified current challenges, such as the terrorist threat from the IS group, Russia’s violation of international rules through the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, as well as humanitarian crises such as Ebola. Secretary James called upon more international cooperation to face these challenges. Secretary James finished her remarks by emphasizing her belief in the global partnership between the U.S., the EU, and NATO, describing it as a “cornerstone for global security”.
A lively question and answer session followed her remarks.
This event was held in partnership with WIIS Brussels and Friends of Europe, and with the support of the U.S. Mission to NATO and the U.S. Mission to the EU.