As a result of your talks here there’s been an agreement on an exchange of intelligence on counter-terrorism, what kind of intelligence does NATO
have available that we wouldn’t already get from the Americans and other member countries?
JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Well, as you know, NATO is not a producer of intelligence itself, NATO is a consumer, but NATO collects intelligence. NATO is
fed by the allies, NATO synthesises intelligence. NATO, and in that respect I think there can be added value in Australia in what happens with NATO,
as there can be added value for NATO what Australia can bring, so I think it’s a useful agreement.
AURIE OAKES: What other areas of cooperation, what other links are being considered between NATO and Australia?
JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Well I think there are many. If you realise that Australia and NATO and like many other countries are facing the same
challenges and threats, NATO cannot fight the fight against terrorism all by itself or the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction or the
consequences of fragile and failed states, Australia can’t do that either. And I think that short of saying that NATO is a global policeman and that
fact that NATO is involved in Afghanistan that NATO is not a Eurocentric organisation anymore that it is relevant to NATO what is happening in this
region makes Australia a relevant partner for NATO. I mean Australia is defending exactly the same values as NATO has been defending since it started
in 1949. We both, NATO is an alliance with 26 democracies, Australia is a democracy so we have a lot in common I think.
LAURIE OAKES: Well I wouldn’t have thought so but you yourself are on the record for suggesting that the data is less than perfect, you are talking
about Afghanistan. You yourself said last June I don’t mind taking out my begging bowl once in a while but as standard operating procedure this is
simply intolerable, and that was because you couldn’t get commitments from your own members to supply what you needed.
JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Nothing in life is perfect, Sir. The Secretary-General has to realise that as well as every other individual, nothing is
perfect and you are right in quoting me. Last year we had some trouble in getting the necessary forces into Afghanistan, that trouble is behind us,
but that in itself is not an argument to declare the alliance obsolete. I mean our fourth generation process needs improvement, the usability of our
forces, the way we can use the forces we have on paper should be increased. I have ambitions as Secretary-General, nothing is perfect, the Alliance
isn’t perfect, but the Alliance is such, as I’ve tried to explain to you, very much alive and kicking and short of being the world’s policeman
is operating in many cases under the mandate of the United Nations in many parts of the world and I think doing good work.
All you europen bashers overlook the fact that NATO is playing an important role in Afghanistan make no mistake it is very important that NATO
continues to adopted to the 21st century. Australian forces exercising with there NATO counter parts is an interesting idea even if it would take
awhile for Australian forces to arrivle in Europe.