NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday issued a powerful warning that American or European solo performances in security policy are not an option.
‘We face a difficult security situation for a whole generation. This is not the time to question the partnership between Europe and the United States’, writes Stoltenberg in an article in the British newspaper The Observer in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory.
Trump created concern after his election when he suggested that the United States would not assist NATO allies that had not paid their share.
The statement cast doubt on collective defense as the core of the alliance.
In response, Stoltenberg said that the only time NATO had used Article 5 (which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all) was after the terrorist attacks against the U.S.A. on 11 September 2001.
‘Over 1,000 European soldiers had ‘paid the ultimate price’ while serving in Afghanistan, in operations that were a direct response to the 9/11 attacks against the U.S.A.’, he added.
The Secretary General of NATO admitted that European leaders must increase their financial contribution to the alliance, a demand Trump emphasised during his election campaign. The U.S.A. currently accounts for 70 percent of NATO’s expenses.
‘It’s so easy to take the liberty, security and growth we enjoy for granted. In these difficult times we need strong American leadership and a Europe that will take its share of the burden. But first and foremost, we must recognise the value of partnership between Europe and America’, wrote Stoltenberg.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today