Eine unentbehrliche und dauerhafte Allianz

In den letzten Jahren haben zahlreiche Experten und Kommentatoren die Meinung vertreten, die atlantische Allianz werde zerfallen oder in der Bedeutungslosigkeit versinken. Als ehemaliger amerikanischer Botschafter bei der NATO kann ich aus Erfahrung sagen, dass derartig düstere Prognosen nicht neu sind. Als gegenwärtiger amerikanischer Verteidigungsminister ist mir klar, dass die transatlantische Partnerschaft so bedeutsam und unentbehrlich ist wie eh und je.

Man denke an die historischen Ereignisse des vergangenen Jahres und die Rolle, die die Vereinigten Staaten und Europa gespielt haben. Die NATO nahm sieben neue Mitglieder auf – Länder, die bereit sind, einen aktiven Beitrag zur Allianz zu leisten. Aus den Wahlen in Afghanistan, an denen acht Millionen Menschen, davon 40 % Frauen, teilnahmen, ging der erste demokratisch gewählte Präsident in der 5000-jährigen Geschichte des Landes hervor. Bei der palästinensischen Behörde gibt ein demokratisch gewählter Präsident Hoffnung auf eine neue Chance für den Frieden. In der Ukraine bewiesen gewöhnliche Bürger ihr tief greifendes Engagement für freie und faire Wahlen.

Im Irak trotzten die ehemaligen Untertanen Saddam Husseins den Drohungen und fanden auf ihren Stimmzetteln zum ersten Mal statt nur einer, 70 politische Parteien vor. Im ganzen Land kamen die Wähler auf Krücken oder in Eselskarren zu den Wahllokalen, vorbei an Plakaten auf denen gedroht wurde: „Wer wählt, stirbt“. Was für ein niederschmetternder Schlag für die Extremisten, deren Ideologie von den Wählern so eindeutig zurückgewiesen wurde.

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