National Security & Defense

NATO Chief Warns of Russian Aggression in Speech to Congress

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. (Carlos Barria/REUTERS)

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg warned Wednesday in a speech to Congress that the alliance must address increasing Russian aggression.

“There is no contradiction between the defense and dialogue,” Stoltenberg told a joint session of Congress convened for NATO’s 70th anniversary. “We do not want to isolate Russia. We strive for a better relationship with Russia.” Citing recent NATO efforts to enhance defenses in the face of Russian offenses, he added, “We do all of this not to provoke a conflict, but to prevent conflict and to preserve peace; not to fight, but to deter; not to attack, but to defend.”

Stoltenberg read off a laundry list of Russian transgressions, including the country’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, its support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, its “sophisticated disinformation campaigns” and interference in elections, the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain, and violations of a key Cold War-era arms deal.

“We do not want a new arms race. We do not want a new cold war. But we must not be naive. An agreement that is only respected by one side will not keep us safe,” Stoltenberg said of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the U.S. withdrew from in February amid claims of Russian violations.

In a thinly veiled reference to President Trump’s suggestion that the alliance is outdated, the NATO chief also said that, “Our alliance has not lasted for 70 years out of a sense of nostalgia or sentiment,” but “because it is in the national interest of each and every one of our nations.”

He did, however, echo Trump’s repeated insistence that NATO member countries must spend more on defense, insisting that, “Our desire for a peaceful world is simply not enough. We must act and invest to make it so. NATO allies must spend more on defense.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Ten Questions for the ‘Squad’

Democratic infighting reached a fever pitch last week with bickering and personal attacks between members of the “Squad” and other House Democrats. During that period, Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley mostly avoided doing interviews. However, that all ... Read More

The Rise of the Chinese-American Right

On June 13, during a nasty storm, a group of Chinese New Yorkers gathered in front of the gates of Gracie Mansion, the New York mayor’s residence on the Upper East Side, to protest. Inside, Mayor Bill de Blasio was meeting with two dozen or so representatives of the Asian-American community to discuss his ... Read More

How Beto Made Himself into White-Privilege Guy

Robert Francis O’Rourke is white. If it’s any consolation, he’s very sorry about that. “Beto” has been running from his Irish ancestry for some time now. Long before the Left fell headlong into the logical termini of its triune fascination with race, power, and privilege, O’Rourke sensed that there ... Read More
White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More

Why Was Richard Spencer on CNN?

Self-avowed white nationalist Richard Spencer went on CNN yesterday. What he said isn't particularly interesting, because Richard Spencer isn't particularly interesting. What is interesting, at least in the sense that a multi-car pile up on the side of the interstate is interesting, is the bastard logic of the ... Read More