The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is very concerned with recent misguided statements related to the United States’ commitment to upholding NATO treaty agreements.
As a nonpartisan organisation, JBANC believes in and advocates for robust transatlantic relations between the United States and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
We stand firm in our belief that NATO and America’s commitment to its NATO allies are fundamental to ensuring US and European security, and we urge both the current administration and the new one elected in November to continue to support all NATO allies, including the Baltic countries. We urge to reaffirm commitment to the NATO’s Article 5 (NATO’s collective defence: an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies – editor). Continued dangerous rhetoric on either side of the Atlantic could harm some of America’s best friends, partners, and allies [in NATO].
The Baltic countries are undeniably strong in their commitments to NATO and fully understand what is at stake. Although challenged in fully rebuilding their militaries over the past 25 years, they have worked to fulfil their NATO commitments.
“The Baltic countries are undeniably strong in their commitments to NATO and fully understand what is at stake.”
Estonia spends over 2% of GDP of pledged defensive expenditures, and while currently just under 2%, Latvia and Lithuania have been increasing their military budgets more rapidly than any of the other NATO members over the past few years, and will be reaching that threshold soon.
There has been rock-solid commitment and engagement by the Baltic countries in supporting NATO and US-led actions in Iraq, the Balkans, and in Afghanistan, after invoking the Article 5 commitment to help defend the United States after 9/11.
“Estonia spends over 2% of GDP of pledged defensive expenditures.”
The alliance is facing more and more unconventional threats. It is imperative for allies to share their collective knowledge in key security areas – whether cyber, strategic communications, or in the energy security sphere. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania make substantial contributions in all of these areas.
JBANC condemns any indication that the United States might reconsider its treaty obligation to defend a NATO member, especially on economic grounds. During these increasingly turbulent times, we need strong solidarity among all of our NATO allies.
“JBANC condemns any indication that the United States might reconsider its treaty obligation to defend a NATO member, especially on economic grounds.”
Baltic Americans particularly understand the importance of effective US leadership in supporting these alliances. We take great pride in the cooperation and strong relationships forged between the United States and the Baltic countries and support all actions to continue them.
Transatlantic ties must be solid; the United States cannot allow any weakening of resolve or commitment to our allies. The ironclad long-lasting leadership of the United States in NATO is critically important.
Cover: President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the press before meeting with (former) Latvian president Andris Běrzinš, Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite in the Cabinet Room of the White House, 30 August, 2013 (official White House photo by Amanda Lucidon).