NATO’s Madrid summit was about meeting the challenges of today and preparing for the challenges of the future, President Joe Biden said after the alliance’s meeting today .
The summit was intended to respond to the challenge that Russia has issued to Ukraine and all countries with Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war. It is about confronting challenges everywhere to the rules-based order that has brought unprecedented peace and security to the world. And the summit was meant to strengthen the alliance.
“Before the war started, I told Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, NATO would not only get stronger, but would get more united, and he would see the democracies of the world rise up and oppose his aggression and defend the rules-based order,” Biden said at a press conference. “And that’s exactly what we see today.”
Biden spoke about Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Ukrainian Defense Contact Group. The group is made up of more than 50 countries that pledge to support Ukraine. The group has already pledged nearly 140,000 anti-tank systems, more than 600 tanks, nearly 500 artillery systems and more than 600,000 artillery rounds, as well as advanced multiple rocket launcher systems, anti-ship systems and air defense systems, the president said.
“The United States is leading the way,” he said. “We have provided Ukraine with nearly $7 billion in security assistance since I took office. In the coming days, we intend to announce more than $800 million more, including a new advanced western air defense system for Ukraine, more artillery and ammunition, battery counter radars and additional ammunition for HIMARS [high mobility artillery rocket system] multiple rocket launchers that we have already given to Ukraine and other HIMARS from other countries as well. »
The world has changed, Biden said, and so has the alliance. He noted that when the latest strategic alliance concept was promulgated in 2010, it characterized Russia as a partner, and it didn’t even mention China.
“At this summit, we have brought our alliance together to address both the direct threats Russia poses to Europe and the systemic challenges China poses to a rules-based global order,” he said. -he declares. “And we invited two new members to join NATO. It was a historic act. Finland and Sweden, two countries with a long tradition of neutrality, chose to join NATO.”
NATO allies are mobilizing. The majority of allies are on track to meet the 2% of gross domestic product spent on defense they agreed to in 2014 – after Russia first invaded Ukraine and illegally annexed Crimea.
He noted that Germany had pledged to spend 2% in the future and announced a special fund of $100 billion for its military. Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands have announced that they will also meet their 2% commitments. Poland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania make more than 2.5%, with some reaching 3%, the president said.
“Together, we are deploying more assets and capabilities to strengthen our alliance in all domains – land, air, sea, cyber and space,” he said. “We reaffirmed that our commitment under Article 5 is sacred: an attack on one is an attack on all, and we will defend every square inch of NATO territory.”
The President said that the United States was completely on board. It improved force posture and changed the footprint of US forces in Europe. “We are going to station more ships here in Spain,” he said. “We are stationing more air defenses in Italy and Germany; more F-35s in the UK; and, to bolster our eastern flank, a new permanent headquarters for the Fifth Army Corps in Poland.”
He also ordered an additional brigade combat team positioned in Romania and additional rotating deployments in the Baltics.
It was the first NATO summit attended by the leaders of the Indo-Pacific allies. “As I indicated to Putin, … his action would provoke a global response, bringing together democratic allies and partners across the Atlantic and Pacific to focus on the challenges that matter to our future and to defend the order based on rules against challenges, including from China,” Biden said.
The show of unity in Madrid was impressive. The alliance remained strong against Putin and vowed to continue “as long as it takes”, the president said.
Putin wanted to break up NATO. He thought the nations would break the alliance and act like Finland has done since World War II – a neutral nation. “Instead, he got the ‘NATOization’ of Finland,” Biden said. “We are more united than ever. And with the addition of Finland and Sweden, we will be stronger than ever. They both have serious armies.”