Apr 08 2016
The Wall Street Journal
From a statement issued April 6 by Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee:
This morning I met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss how the United States and our NATO allies are working together to confront common threats from Russia’s neo-imperial ambitions to ISIL’s apocalyptic terrorist campaign. It was a powerful reminder of the essential contributions America’s allies make to our national security.
The day after the September 11th terrorist attacks killed over 2,600 Americans and 135 citizens of NATO countries, America’s NATO allies joined with us for the first time in history to invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which declares that an attack on one is an attack on all. When America took the fight to al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, NATO fought beside us. At the peak of the war, 40,000 NATO forces were deployed to Afghanistan as part of the international coalition. That’s 40,000 Americans that did not have to risk life and limb in Afghanistan because of the contribution of our NATO allies. Today over 6,000 NATO troops are part of Operation Resolute Support. Over the course of the war, over 1,000 NATO soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. Like many of my colleagues, I have urged more of our NATO allies to honor their commitment to spend more on their own defense. But the price our allies have paid in blood fighting alongside America should never be diminished or forgotten.
America is safer and more secure because it has allies—not just in Europe, but around the world—that are willing to step up and share the burden of collective security.