On September 27, 2011, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and NATO Deputy Secretary General Designate discussed the  continuing  evolution of U.S. defense policy, lessons learned from the Alliance's intervention in Libya, and the need to strengthen the European-American partnership on multiple fronts in order to meet common security challenges.

On September 19, 2011, Claude-France Arnould, the European Defense Agency’s new Chief Executive, addressed the multiple challenges in bolstering the European Union’s defense capabilities and furthering EU-US defense cooperation at a time of severe budgetary restriction.  She focused particularly on the European Union’s Pooling and Sharing Initiative and the need for increased transatlantic cooperation in order to effectively meet common security challenges and improve defense capabilities.

On September 14, 2011, Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy shared her insights into NATO’s current agenda and priorities leading up to the NATO Summit to be held in Chicago in the spring of 2012.

The NATO-led operation in Libya has raised esteem for the French military and their capabilities among their American counterparts, according to this New York Times article reporting how French behavior in the Libyan operation has gained respect in the Pentagon.

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The proposed U.S. missile-defense system in Europe remains a major sticking point in relations with Russia: the recent NATO-Russia Council meeting (July 4) chose to postpone further debate, apparently until after the next NATO summit and into the 2012 U.S. presidential elections. A week after that meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a European Institute-sponsored event in Washington that the impasse on missile defense is a great “impediment” in a generally upward trend in U.S.-Russian ties.

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