Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on this week’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Brussels:
“With all eyes on the NATO summit in Brussels, America’s allies must never forget that across the Atlantic, there remains overwhelming bipartisan support in the Congress for the transatlantic alliance. Indeed, Congress continues to take action to strengthen the alliance and our common security, including through the defense authorization bill currently under negotiation. In this way, Congress reflects the values of the American people, who understand that America is stronger and safer because of its allies, and that those allies should be treated with the respect they deserve.
“I hope the President will follow this example, and use the opportunity presented by the NATO summit to reaffirm the values of a transatlantic alliance that continues to have a real and profound influence on global security. No U.S. policy or strategy in Europe can succeed without a strong transatlantic alliance. Allies can and must have candid discussions with one another about differences. But unrestrained attacks on our closest partners will only serve to sow dissent among allies and embolden our adversaries.
“While years of debilitating cuts to defense have raised legitimate questions about burden sharing, NATO members have begun the process of restoring the organization’s military readiness, capacity, and capability. Defense cuts have stopped, and defense spending is on the rise. Our allies increased defense spending this year by the biggest margin in a quarter of a century, and their forces are supporting American troops in more places than ever before. To be sure, there is much more work left to be done in the alliance, from further increasing defense spending to improving NATO’s speed of decision. But make no mistake, this is real progress.
“Building on this, I hope that during the upcoming summit we will continue to see progress on command structure reforms, new initiatives aimed at countering terrorism and enhancing readiness, and renewed support for the Open Door policy through accession talks with Macedonia. These developments will send a stronger message of NATO’s commitment to collective defense than any tweet.
“As we face the most complex and dangerous security environment since the end of the Cold War, we must not forget that America is safer and more secure because we work with and through our allies. Throughout the past seven decades, the United States and its NATO allies have served together, fought together, and sacrificed together for a vision of the world based on freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law. Our enduring alliance stands as an important safeguard in preserving this world order—and it is essential to securing our national interests.”