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Stoltenberg Expresses Confidence in U.S. Commitment to NATO Following Election

Credits: The Times

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed confidence that the United States would maintain its commitment to the military alliance after the November presidential election, despite threats from Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

Stoltenberg emphasized the importance of NATO for both Europe and the United States, highlighting the alliance’s value in providing the U.S. with 31 friends and allies, a strategic advantage not enjoyed by Russia or China.

Trump’s previous comments suggesting that he would “encourage” Russia to attack any NATO country not meeting the 2% GDP spending target for the alliance drew criticism in Europe.

Stoltenberg (Credits: The Guardian)

Stoltenberg warned against undermining NATO’s deterrence and reminded the U.S. of the benefits of a strong alliance, noting that the U.S. has never fought a war alone. The possibility of Trump’s return to the White House has spurred efforts in Europe to bolster its defense capacities.

The EU recently unveiled plans to strengthen its defense industry, while NATO allies aim to meet the alliance’s 2% GDP spending target swiftly. Stoltenberg clarified that the criticism from Trump and others was mainly directed at NATO allies for not investing enough in the alliance.

Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at least 18 NATO member countries are expected to meet the 2% spending target this year. The war in Ukraine has heightened the priority of defense and security for European nations.

Stoltenberg (Credits: The American Conservative)

The conflict has also prompted Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, with both nations requesting to join just months after Russia’s invasion. Sweden’s accession, made possible after Hungary lifted its veto, means the country is now protected under NATO’s collective defense clause.

Stoltenberg emphasized that NATO membership makes Sweden safer and strengthens the alliance. He also reiterated NATO’s open-door policy, stating that it is for the U.S. and European countries to decide on membership, not Moscow or President Putin.

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