NATO Upholds Fair Member Expenditure

December 6
8:12 AM 2016

Unto the next year, 2017 will be a year of action for NATO. At the NATO Summit in Warsaw last July, our leaders agreed on the next steps for strengthening our deterrence and defense capabilities, and to project stability beyond our borders. 

In the spring, four multinational battalions will deploy to Poland and the Baltic States. These will be led by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. NATO will also have a strengthened presence in the Black Sea region, with a Romanian-led multinational brigade. Together, and supported by reinforcements and national forces, they will present a strong signal to any potential aggressor: that an attack on any ally will be met by a response from all allies. At the same time, we are keeping open channels of political dialogue with Russia, because dialogue is even more important in times of tension. 

In the south, NATO is supporting its partners to project stability in the region. NATO has already trained hundreds of Iraqi officers to better fight the Islamic State group. This program will be significantly expanded in the new year. Every ally is already a part the US-led mission to counter ISIS, and NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft are now providing vital support for the coalition's air campaign. 

Close cooperation between NATO and the European Union is also vital for our security. In Warsaw, I signed a joint declaration with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, which committed both organizations to a new level of cooperation. This year, we will increase our partnership with the EU in areas such as countering hybrid warfare, cyber defense, exercises and supporting the defense industry. 

NATO and the EU are already working together in the Aegean Sea to cut the lines of illegal migration. Sea Guardian, NATO's new maritime operation in the Mediterranean Sea, is engaged in surveillance, counterterrorism and capacity-building for our partners in the region. It will also share information with the EU's Operation Sophia and provide it with logistical support. By combining our different skills and strengths, NATO and the EU are a formidable force for good. 

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