So Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, first of all thank you for this very warm welcome.
Let me start by just stating the following and that is that Europe needs America and America needs Europe.
I want to talk about what binds us together.
Today marks exactly one hundred years since the final day of the Battle of the Somme. One of the bloodiest campaigns in the First World War.
The European powers could not call a halt. The result was utter destruction.
Two decades later, Europe was once again engulfed by war.
Two World Wars – and the Cold War – have taught us that the security of Europe relies on the United States.
NATO has been a unique force multiplier. A platform from which to project strategic interests. And for working seamlessly with Allies and partners around the globe.
Our AWACS surveillance aircraft support coalition air operations.
A stronger, safer, and more prosperous Europe means a stronger, safer, more prosperous United States.
Russia, breaking international law. Turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East. The refugee and migration crisis. International terrorism. Hybrid warfare. And cyber-attacks.
It is no secret that the United States has called for European Allies to spend more on defence.
Agreeing on measures to implement the Global Strategy in the area of security and defence.
One issue we need to address better is the fragmentation of the European defence industry.
NATO nations and EU members simply cannot afford two sets of forces and capabilities.
So at least some of the ghosts of the past appear to have been laid to rest.
NATO has a unique set of experience, expertise and capabilities. A tried and tested command structure.
Together, we can be a formidable force for good.
We are working to implement the joint statement we made in Warsaw.
When NATO and the EU work together we can deliver real security. For our nations. And beyond.
In these uncertain times we need strong American leadership.
Because united we are stronger and we are safer. Thank you.