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Letter to a Meeting of the Atlantic Treaty Association in Reykjavik, Iceland

August 27, 1977

Dear Mr. Mommer:

I ask you to extend to the Association my warmest greetings as you assemble again to consider the current state of our Alliance. We look to you, opinion leaders in the North Atlantic Community, for insights on how we should move to strengthen even further the security on which the Atlantic Community vitally depends.

Your deliberations have never been more timely. We are faced with a renewed military challenge from the Warsaw Pact. In the last decade, the Warsaw Pact has steadily and impressively strengthened its forces deployed against Western Europe.

At last May's NATO Summit, I joined my Alliance colleagues in a thorough review of the challenge. We chose our response carefully--a major program of defense improvements, both short and long-term, as well as both conventional and nuclear. My government is solidly committed to these efforts, which we believe will maintain the credibility of existing NATO strategy into the 1980's and beyond. We are intensively engaged, in cooperation with our Allies, in charting concrete force improvements in pursuit of this objective.

I would also like to reiterate that the United States remains categorically committed to NATO's strategy of forward defense and flexible response. This is my own firm conviction, and it will remain the policy of the United States as long as I am President. Since this is also the firm conviction of the Congress and the American people, there is absolutely no doubt that my successors in office will continue this commitment.

We continue to be convinced that this strategy, kept credible through timely force improvements, can preserve the territorial integrity of all Alliance members.

My nation's commitment to the defense of Western Europe is at the center of our foreign and security policies. The security of the North Atlantic community continues to be vital to that of the United States itself.


[Mr. Karl Mommer, President, Atlantic Treaty Association]

Jimmy Carter, Letter to a Meeting of the Atlantic Treaty Association in Reykjavik, Iceland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244164

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