Ivo Daalder was sworn in last Friday as United States Ambassador to NATO, and will be responsible for handling America’s most important multilateral alliance at a time when it is facing serious challenges. To confront these challenges and uphold U.S. interests within the alliance, Ambassador Daalder should adopt the following principles:

  1. Uphold the Primacy of NATO in the Transatlantic Security Architecture. The EU’s duplicative security arrangements should not undermine or supplant members’ obligations to NATO, whose primacy in the transatlantic security architecture is supreme.
  2. Pursue a NATO-First agenda. Although this Administration is feverishly pro-EU integration and desirous of resetting relations with Russia, it must put NATO first and send the message that the United States will not tolerate being sidelined by Moscow or Brussels.
  3. Support NATO enlargement. Specifically, the U.S. Administration should support (i) the Accession of Macedonia in Time for the 2010/11 Lisbon Summit; and (ii) the Immediate Accession of Georgia and Ukraine to NATO’s Membership Action Plan.
  4. Support two NATO declarations in support of deploying U.S. missile defenses to Europe. The Bucharest Declaration (April 2008) and the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Communiqué of December 2008 both recognized, “the substantial contribution to the protection of Allies from long-range ballistic missiles to be provided by the planned deployment of European-based United States missile defense assets.”
  5. Ask for greater European commitments to the mission in Afghanistan. Ambassador Daalder should decry the effective creation of a two-tiered alliance within NATO, naming names where necessary, and advocate more equitable burden-sharing arrangements for NATO’s military and civilian campaigns.

Ambassador Daalder described NATO as “the most successful multilateral organization the world has ever known.” In terms of transatlantic security and America’s national interest, he must put NATO first.