April 4 marked the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The organization, originally formed to combat the Soviet Union, was a consistent punching bag for Donald Trump, both as a candidate for office in 2016 and as president.
Before the anniversary, President Trump met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House.
In an op-ed, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ7) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY21) explained the importance of NATO today in the face of increased Russian aggression in Europe.
Gallego followed up his op-ed with the following press release:
NATO is the most successful military alliance in history. Its seven decade long enforcement of the peace and defense of American and European democracy is a testament to its Member states’ military power, economic dynamism, and the strength of their free peoples meeting common threats as one.
Much has changed since 1949 when the Washington Treaty was signed. NATO has proved its resilience in meeting new threats not imagined at its founding. What has always endured is the alliance’s commitment to the common defense of our values and tireless work to ensure peace across the North Atlantic region.
As Washington hosts Secretary General Stoltenberg and as we as an alliance move forward into our 71st year, let every nation know that the United States’ commitment to NATO’s principles is ironclad. At a time of uncertainty, NATO is a pillar of stability and strength. I will continue to work with the overwhelming majority of my colleagues in Congress, in the Administration, and with our allies and partners to strengthen this critical strategic alliance and preserve the peace for decades to come.
Although President Trump appears to be happy with NATO at the moment, his repeated attacks on the organization and our allies have made our country less secure. When Trump calls his administrations commitment to Article 5 of the treaty, which says that an attack on one member is an attack on all members, he plays into our enemies hands.
Statements and articles like those recently authored by Gallego help persuade our allies and our adversaries that despite the president’s attitude at any given moment, the vast majority of members of Congress and the American people support NATO and support our historic allies.