The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and outlined NATO's role in the fight against terrorism in a speech at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum on Wednesday.
The alliance invoked its collective defence clause - Article 5 of the Washington Treaty - for the first time in support of the United States, after 9/11.
“In the days that followed 9/11, NATO planes helped to patrol American skies. Soon after, troops from NATO Allies deployed to Afghanistan, to prevent that country from ever again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists,” Stoltenberg said.
He stressed that NATO Allies continue to stand with the United States, training Afghan security forces and providing surveillance aircraft to the US-led “Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh”.
He noted that NATO is boosting its contribution to the fight against terrorism, with a new training mission in Iraq and more support for partners, such as Jordan and Tunisia.
“Training local forces is one of the best weapons we have in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
Warning that terrorism comes in many forms, he recalled that the 2011 attacks in Norway were perpetrated by a white Norwegian. He said that to fight terrorism, they need military might, but also political, diplomatic and social tools.
“Our response to terrorism - in all its forms - wherever it appears - is to unite around our values, and stand up for our open and free societies,” the NATO chief said.