This moment may define our children’s future – POLITICO

That is why, on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, we reaffirm NATO’s founding principle: an attack on one of us is considered an attack on all. One for all and all for one. Together, we will defend every inch of NATO territory and stand united against any future Russian aggression.

For years, Putin has spread lies and false narratives to justify his war. One of these narratives is that NATO poses a threat to Russia. But the opposite is true: today, nations are rejoining NATO because they feel threatened by Russia. Finland and Sweden have a long and proud tradition of neutrality. However, after Putin’s invasion of a peaceful neighbor, they exercised their sovereign right to freely choose their alliances and have now strengthened our ranks.

For Europe to be at peace, Russian imperialism must be stopped. We cannot allow any “gray zone”, because Putin sees this as an invitation to undermine territorial integrity and sovereignty, to draw imaginary lines on the map and, ultimately, to resort to military force . Its full-scale invasion of Ukraine also proved that a policy of concessions towards Russia, in the hope of bringing peace or stability to the continent, is naive.

This is why European allies should shoulder their fair share of NATO’s collective burden and be prepared to take on more responsibility for Europe’s defense. The enduring transatlantic bond remains the foundation of our security, and we Europeans must address some of the most pressing gaps that have become painfully evident in recent months and years: capability deficits, the readiness of our forces , production capacity, logistics, standardization and interoperability.

Flags of NATO member countries in front of NATO headquarters on March 11, 2024 in Brussels | Omar Havana/Getty Images

The United States has long shouldered a greater share of the burden than the rest of our Alliance. But collective defense is our collective effort. In this regard, we reaffirm the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense – one that contributes positively to global and transatlantic security and is both complementary and interoperable with NATO.

To assume this greater responsibility for our common security, we, European allies, should take the following steps:


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