Tauscher, already chairwoman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, returned today from the 53rd Annual Session of The NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland, where she’d joined about 350 legislators from NATO member, partner and observer countries to discuss major security issues on the Alliance’s agenda, including Afghanistan and Iran.
As the Parliamentary Assembly subcommittee’s chairwoman, she’s charged with working to ensure that NATO invests in better defense systems, people, and platforms, and that partner countries make greater investments in interoperable systems.
“The new, emerging, and existing threats to America are very similar to the threats that our NATO allies are facing,” she said in a news release. “This is the same group that came to action when we were attacked on September 11, saying an attack on one member is an attack on all, and it’s a partnership that we need to foster. Working with our allies allows us to develop new and better strategies to protect our homelands, promote economic security, and it strengthens the transatlantic relationship at the core of the NATO alliance.”
Each of the Parliamentary Assembly’s eight subcommittees usually meets twice per year.
The Parliamentary Assembly is not formally connected to NATO; rather, its a forum for member nations and associates to hash out policy issues and build mutual understanding. Delegates to the Iceland session developed policy recommendations for NATO on Afghanistan, the Western Balkans, missile defense, NATO’s next round of enlargement, climate change, and the Alliance’s relations with Russia. They were briefed by fellow parliamentarians, experts and policymakers on issues such as Iran and nuclear proliferation; security in southeast Europe; Islam in the Caucasus; the relationship between intelligence, terrorism and the preservation of civil liberties; the prospects for a new Strategic Concept for NATO; and India’s economic development.