Stoltenberg marks NATO’s 75th anniversary: “Strength lies in US-Europe unity

0
63

BRUSSELS -Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance. “Today, we mark the 75th anniversary of the most robust, enduring, and successful alliance in history – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Congratulations,” he expressed during a ceremony at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

“In the aftermath of World War II, the dread of another catastrophic war was palpable. Hence, on this day in 1949, the foreign ministers of 12 European and North American nations convened to sign the Washington Treaty, giving birth to our Alliance. This shielded our citizens throughout the lengthy Cold War era. From the Berlin airlift to the Cuban missile crisis, and up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In 1979, I served in the Norwegian army. Had there been a war, we would have been at the forefront. However, I was not fearful, for I knew we were not alone. We had the might of the NATO alliance backing us,” Stoltenberg further elaborated.

Following the cessation of the Cold War, it was imperative to resolve two severe ethnic conflicts in the Balkans. In 2001, in response to the September 11 attacks, we invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time, affirming that an attack on one ally is an attack on all. From that point forward, NATO has led the battle against terrorism. The illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 marked a significant turning point. Since then, we have embarked on the most extensive collective defense buildup in generations. Today, NATO is larger, more robust, and more unified than ever before. We started with 12 members, and now we stand at 32,” Stoltenberg continued. “We have facilitated the spread of peace, democracy, and prosperity throughout Europe. The experiences of two world wars, the Cold War, and all subsequent challenges have underscored our interdependence. Europe relies on America for its security. Equitable burden-sharing is crucial, and Europe is significantly increasing its investment. I don’t subscribe to the idea of America alone or Europe alone. I believe in the unity of America and Europe within NATO. Because together, we are stronger,” she concluded.