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U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld (file photo) (AFP)
MUNICH, 4 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said today that he can envisage the NATO alliance acting globally in the fight against terrorism and other international problems.
Speaking at a conference on international security in the German city of Munich, Rumsfeld said that a NATO confined to its traditional European base was "a NATO of the past."
He noted that NATO is already active in Afghanistan and said he could easily envisage it expanding its activities elsewhere.
In response to questions, he said he could also envisage a possible NATO link with Japan, Australia, and other countries in the Far East. However, he made clear this was only hypothetical at this stage.