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McCain Institute Statement on President Biden’s NATO Summit

WASHINGTON, DC (June 14, 2021) Since its founding, NATO has served as the largest bulwark against tyranny in world history. We are pleased to see President Joe Biden travel to Brussels, Belgium to reaffirm America’s commitment to the world’s most successful alliance on his first foreign trip.

During a 2016 visit to Estonia, Senator John McCain said, “The best way to prevent Russian misbehavior is by having a credible, strong military and a strong NATO alliance.”

Today in Brussels, we hope to hear about concrete plans for NATO to continue and expand its mission and purpose for the future. They include:

  • NATO has to improve its military capacity, readiness and mobility. We need plug-and-play interoperability among all Allied rapid response formations.
  • Keep an open door to Georgia and Ukraine. Russia has no right to a “sphere of influence” outside of its internationally recognized borders.
  • Strengthen NATO’s ability to fund, recruit and continue to train staff on the newest cyber defense measures.
  • Improve Alliance intelligence sharing capabilities on Chinese malign activities. We should create a new multilateral consultative network with our partners in the Indo-Pacific.

Vladimir Putin has proven to be just as ruthless and reckless an operator outside of Russia’s borders as he is inside of them. We have seen this through his wars of aggression and the inhumane treatment of Alexei Navalny and other political activists.

NATO was created to defend Europe. In order for NATO to uphold this responsibility, its member-states must recognize the significant threat that Russia poses to European security.

Now more than ever, America and the world need a united and forward-looking NATO that is capable of defending the alliance in cyberspace, the Baltics, the Black Sea and everywhere in between. As the world contends with a rise of authoritarianism and a more aggressive China and Russia, America’s commitment to NATO must never waver.

For more discussion on today’s NATO Summit, see former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s conversation with former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt from earlier today. Watch Here.

About the McCain Institute
Inspired by the character-driven leadership of Sen. John S. McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute implements programs and initiatives to make a difference in people’s lives across a range of critical areas: leadership development, human rights, rule of law, national security, preventing targeted violence and combating human trafficking.

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

Publish Date
June 14, 2021