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McCain Institute Celebrates NATO’s 75th Anniversary, Serves as NATO Public Forum Institutional Partner

U.S. Senator John McCain was an ardent supporter of the NATO alliance and its role in combatting authoritarian aggression.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 9, 2024) – As 32 world leaders gather in the United States this week for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Washington Summit, the McCain Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) celebrates NATO’s 75th anniversary as an institutional partner for the 2024 NATO Public Forum.

Since its creation in 1949, the collective defense alliance has grown from 12 to 32 member countries, and this year’s summit will be the first for Sweden, NATO’s newest member. A June 2023 Wall Street Journal op-ed by McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas and McCain Institute Board Member Dr. Mark T. Esper advocated for Sweden’s accession into NATO to contest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“NATO has deterred authoritarianism and autocracy for decades and continues to curb Vladimir Putin’s grip on Eastern Europe,” said McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas. “Senator McCain was relentless in his support for NATO, and the McCain Institute works to continue his legacy of advocating for alliances that promote and protect democracy around the globe.”

“The NATO alliance has deterred Russian aggression against its members for 75 years, and will continue to do so while serving as a force for good in Europe and abroad for many more years to come,” said McCain Institute Board Member and Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper.

U.S. Senator John McCain was an ardent supporter of the NATO alliance and its role in combatting authoritarian aggression. In response to the debate over the admittance of Montenegro into the alliance in 2017, Senator McCain said, “If there is objection, you are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin.”

In July 2018, Senator McCain helped champion a bipartisan bill preventing any president from unilaterally withdrawing the U.S. from NATO by requiring a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate. This provision ultimately became law as part of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

Senator McCain helped advance the work of NATO throughout Eastern Europe to ensure transatlantic stability. The McCain Institute continues this work, and has partnered with NATO by providing recommendations on how to combat misinformation and hosted a series of NATO-focused events, including, “The Future of the NATO Alliance with a More Aggressive Russia.”

As an institutional partner for the 2024 NATO Public Forum, the McCain Institute hosted events in Washington, D.C., and Tempe, Ariz., last month as part of the official civil society engagement for the summit.

“My dad spent his life supporting causes greater than himself – one of the greatest being the fight for democracy,” said McCain Institute Board Member and Navy Reservist Jack McCain at the McCain Institute’s event in Arizona. “Dad said that any great cause could only be won when people from all sides work together. He would be proud to see Sweden and Finland join the Alliance, and glad NATO’s importance is being discussed in Arizona.”

Watch the McCain Institute’s Capitol Hill event HERE and the Arizona event HERE.

Learn more about the McCain Institute’s Democracy Programs HERE.

Publish Date
July 9, 2024