Transatlantic security alliance defended at Global Dialogue Dinner with Spanish Ambassador Morenés

His Excellency Pedro Morenés, Ambassador of Spain to the United States; Spanish Minister of Defense (2011-2016) Photo credit: Stephen Bobb

With the Catalonian separatist movement fading for the time being, regional security returns as a focal point in Spain and in relations between the United States and the EU nation. NATO is central to U.S.-Spain security cooperation; however, the long-time transatlantic military alliance has come under fire by President Trump who has claimed that European member nations are not making adequate financial contributions to the intergovernmental defense alliance. The main point of contention is the 2% standard. In 2014, NATO nations pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defense and many of the nations are still working to meet that goal. On February 28, Meridian International Center and Lockheed Martin hosted Ambassador of Spain Pedro Morenés and a group of seasoned transatlantic security experts from the public and private sectors for a deep dive into NATO and the security partnership between Spain and the United States.

Held as part of the Meridian Global Dialogue Series, the dinner conversation hashed out the 2% standard from multiple perspectives. Whether Spain’s (and Europe’s) principal security threat was from the east or from the south was also widely debated with the general consensus that attention must be paid to both areas. Spain’s Minister of Defense from 2011 to 2016, Ambassador Morenés was in his element addressing his country’s security strategy and parameter. Participants from RAND, the Atlantic Council, Heritage Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace appreciated the open and frank delivery of Ambassador Morenés. Likewise, the Ambassador found the think tank perspectives of value as well as the viewpoints of those representing the State Department, the National Defense University, and the Israeli military.

Among those attending the dinner, in addition to Ambassador Morenés and Meridian President and CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday (the dialogue facilitator), were Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel, Vice President, International Government Affairs, Lockheed Martin International; Whitney Baird, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Europe, U.S. Department of State; Ian Brzezinski, Principal, Brzezinski Group; Major General Mickey Edelstein, Defense Attaché, Embassy of Israel; Brigadier General John Jansen, Commandant, Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University; Colonel Rachel McCaffrey, Executive Director, Women in Defense, National Defense Industrial Association; Magnus Nordenman, Director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative, Atlantic Council; Juan Penalver, Director, International Business Development, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems; Dakota Wood, Senior Research Fellow, Defense Programs, The Heritage Foundation; and, Ana Wugofski, Vice President International Business Development, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Project Partner

Lockheed Martin

Project summary

Transatlantic security alliance defended at Global Dialogue Dinner with Spanish Ambassador Morenés | February 2018
Number of Attendees: 20
Regions: Europe and Eurasia, Near East and North Africa
Countries: Spain, Israel
Impact Areas: Security and Defense, Foreign Policy
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector