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Risch, Menendez, Tillis, Shaheen, Johnson, and Murphy Introduce Bipartisan Legislation in Recognition of NATO 70th Anniversary

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Jim Risch (R-ID), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with their colleagues Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Chris Murphy (D-CT), have introduced bipartisan legislation in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and in recognition of the great accomplishments the organization has made over the past 70 years.

“NATO is the greatest political-military alliance in history, and the world is undoubtedly a better, safer place because of it,” said Chairman Risch. “The peace and prosperity that this alliance helped create is truly remarkable. It is fitting that we stand together with our allies in recognition of the accomplishments made over the past 70 years.”

“NATO is the strongest military alliance in the history of the world and we must consistently act to protect it,” said Senator Menendez. “That means that all political leaders in the United States should never waver from a robust and rock solid commitment to the Alliance. I am proud to join this resolution in recognition of NATO’s 70 years of success, and hope that this will serve as the basis for renewed commitment to NATO in responding to Kremlin aggression and emerging threats around the world.”

“Over the last 70 years, NATO has been vital to ensuring mutual security and maintaining peace and stability throughout the world,” said Senator Tillis. “It is an honor to serve as the co-chair of the bipartisan Senate NATO Observer Group and work with my colleagues to strengthen the alliance between America and member states.”

“For seven decades, NATO has helped maintain our post-World War II order and guarded our collective security. Seventy years of the transatlantic alliance has helped keep the United States safe from our adversaries and has shown us that we are stronger working together than we are alone,” said Senator Shaheen. “This resolution reaffirms the Senate’s steadfast commitment to defend NATO, combat threats to our global security and continue to strengthen our transatlantic bond. I’m glad to join members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and my fellow Senate NATO Observer Group Co-Chair Thom Tillis to demonstrate this chamber’s allegiance to our allies.”

“NATO has played a critical role in maintaining stability in Europe. Russia’s continued aggression and tests of western resolve make NATO’s importance today incredibly apparent,” said Senator Johnson. “The best way to celebrate NATO’s 70th anniversary is to work to strengthen the alliance, and in that spirit, I look forward to welcoming North Macedonia as a member in the near future.”

“When the United States called on our NATO partners to defend us after we were attacked, they answered. That’s an unbreakable bond,” said Senator Murphy. “At a time when foreign powers all around the world are increasingly trying to weaken Western governments, NATO is as critical today to our national defense and stability as it was 70 years ago. And it’s only growing. Today, we celebrate NATO and recommit to the alliance.”

The resolution establishes that the Senate:

  • lauds NATO for its 70-year maintenance of the alliance and recognizes its singular contributions to maintaining the safety, security, and democratic systems of its members;
  • calls on NATO member states to continue to fully meet their Wales pledges, more fully share the security burden by increasing their defense spending with a focus on meeting capabilities targets, enhancing interoperability, improving readiness, and modernization to respond to the threats that face the alliance on each of its flanks;
  • stands in robust support of those NATO members who spend two percent or more of their GDPs on defense, acknowledges the four countries that have met that goal since 2014, and strongly encourages the remainder to strive to quickly reach that goal;
  • affirms that the Senate stands ready to consider, if all applicable criteria are satisfied, the Republic of North Macedonia’s application to join NATO;
  • backs the White House’s 2017 affirmation that the United States ‘‘stand[s] firmly behind Article 5’’ of the NATO Treaty;
  • welcomes former Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ efforts to encourage significant NATO reforms, especially regarding modernization, readiness, command structure adaptation, military mobility, and improving NATO’s speed of decision- making to ensure the alliance remains fit for purpose; and
  • reaffirms the commitment of the United States to NATO’s mission, and its belief that NATO is the most successful security alliance in our Nation’s history and one that will continue to be a cornerstone of United States security.

 Full text of the resolution can be found here