NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Congressman Mike Turner, and President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda.
Congressman Turner, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly President, addressed 28 heads of state in Warsaw, Poland at the NATO Summit this morning in a closed session. Below are Congressman Turner’s remarks as prepared:
NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government
Warsaw, Poland, 8 July 2016
Hon. Michael R. Turner (United States)
President, NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Thank you for the opportunity to present the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s views on the challenges to our Alliance.
NATO is a force for peace. It was NATO that brought peace to the Balkans. The treaty that ended the war in Bosnia bears the name of my hometown, Dayton.
Two decades later, NATO faces new security threats, and must remain an anchor of stability.
Russia now calls NATO an adversary and seeks to undermine NATO, while showing a complete disregard for international laws and norms. Russia speaks the languages of force and intimidation, not dialogue and cooperation.
Our nations are also threatened by international terrorists–working in some cases with our own citizens.
NATO’s members, partners, and adversaries may change; however, the threat that leaders of other nations may attack their own populations or seek to dominate their neighbors will not. Aggression will not be defeated by the passage of time or a new century of ideas. Security can only be assured by credible military forces that can deter and defend against those who would do us harm.
Your constituents lock their doors at night, not because they believe that their neighbors are murderers and thieves, but because not doing so would be irresponsible for the protection of their families. Similarly, underfunding deterrence irresponsibly places our NATO family at risk. Dialogue is important to avoid conflicts, but it cannot offset the investment necessary for deterrence.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Declaration for this summit calls for: NATO to rely upon its traditional assets.
The first is unity. Our words and actions must show that NATO’s security is one and indivisible.
The second is the unique commitment to collective defense. We must show that NATO has the will and the means to defend each and every inch of our territory.
The third is our military might: the Alliance needs conventional and nuclear capabilities sufficient to reassure our own members and deter those who threaten us. That must include a sizable, persistent forward presence in the east and southeast, combining fixed and rotational elements and pre-positioned equipment, with contributions from all 28 allies.
NATO must have the arrangements and infrastructure necessary to reinforce that presence rapidly in the face of opposition.
NATO forces must be flexible, able to deploy rapidly within Europe or beyond to project stability, for instance, by supporting the international counter-ISIL coalition or building partners’ capacity in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
And, we must complete NATO’s missile defense system to defend our territory against the growing number of nations acquiring missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.
But, what about the cost?
The United States has made a commitment with the European Reassurance Initiative. Europe must now follow suit.
In Wales, we began to address the funding gap. Now we must make sure that the investments are equitably shared.
In addition, the Assembly supports an accelerated timeline for achieving the Wales spending targets.
We are also pressing for a prompt ratification of Montenegro’s accession to demonstrate that NATO’s open door is a reality.
On behalf of the Assembly, we appreciate your leadership of NATO, a defense alliance united by its values and its commitment to peace.
Ahead of the NATO Summit, Congressman Turner released the report “Deterring to Defend: Delivering on NATO’s Promise”. This report details the many facets and dimensions of Russia’s global strategy – including its illegal occupation of parts of Georgia and Ukraine, nuclear threats against NATO Allies, its intensive propaganda and subversion campaign, and massive investments in military modernization, among others.
Click here to read the report.