Sep 13, 2017
The United States remains committed to revitalizing NATO so it can meet today's security needs while maintaining the fundamental principle of Article 5 — that an attack on one is an attack on all, said the U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison.
A renaissance of NATO offers the best hope to unite the United States and its Western Allies against threats including Russian aggression in Europe, including Georgia and Ukraine, Russian malign influence activities, international terrorism, nuclear and missile capacities of rogue nations, and efforts to wipe out religious and individual freedoms around the globe.
NATO is the most successful alliance in world history, said Ambassador Hutchison.It was founded on the conviction that by joining together, the democracies of Europe and North America could best deter and counter Communist expansion.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s led to a brief era of good feelings as security concerns appeared less important and many nations reduced their defense investments.
But those days are long gone, said Ambassador Hutchison.New security challenges have appeared in the form of Russia's military aggression in Ukraine and Georgia.Terrorism has dramatically grown as a worldwide threat, including in Europe, as the recent attack in Spain demonstrated.
As an essential part of this revitalization, NATO Allies must meet the defense-spending pledge made at the 2014 Summit in Wales — namely, 2 percent of gross domestic product, of which 20 percent is spent on major equipment and modernization.This is necessary, said Ambassador Hutchison, “because their own security and our collective security require it.”
Under NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's leadership, Allies agreed to outline concrete plans for reaching this two percent military spending goal.In June, Allies individually agreed to take on, for the first time, the full set of military capability targets assigned to them by NATO.
The United States remains committed to the collective defense mission of NATO. President Trump has proposed spending nearly $4.8 billion on the European Deterrence Initiative, an effort to shore up security in NATO's eastern edge, as a demonstration of the United States' will to defend its Allies. As Ambassador Hutchinson stressed, “twenty-nine Western democracies are far more effective at ensuring our security than one country acting alone.”