The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing more than 20 million Central and Eastern European Americans, strongly backs the United States’ continued unconditional commitment to upholding the NATO Treaty as well as US support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all Central and Eastern European nations.
“Our organisation stands firm in its belief that America’s close cooperation with all NATO allies and partners is fundamental to ensuring U.S. and European security,” the organisation said in a statement. “The CEEC urges both the current and future administrations to continue developing allied relations with all NATO members and transatlantic partners, and to take such action as deemed necessary to maintain security of the alliance, including the European Reassurance Initiative.”
According to the CEEC, the renewed aggressive behaviour and actions of Russia against Central and Eastern European nations “have raised the importance of NATO’s credibility and cohesiveness for regional stability”.
“In February 2016, then-NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, stated at a hearing of the US House Armed Services Committee that ‘Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners’. Earlier this year, the CEEC sponsored a policy forum on NATO’s stance on Russia on Capitol Hill. A major theme of our discussion characterised Russia’s increasing aggression since 2008 not only in terms of fanning regional conflicts but as a fundamental assault on the post-World War II international order.”
The CEEC believes the commitment by the United States to NATO countries should be based on collective defence, shared values and democratic principles, as well as support for regional partners. “We have, and continue to support the principle of NATO’s Open Door policy, for all willing and qualified nations,” the organisation said.
“The security of the United States lies in the peaceful expansion of democracy, not in the appeasement of aggressor states making imperial claims,” the CEEC added. “Proactive US leadership is vital to NATO’s continued effectiveness, to protect peace and security in Europe. The crisis driven by Russia in Central and Eastern Europe, and in Ukraine specifically, will not just go away. In an informationally interconnected and economically interdependent world, the United States must take the lead in promoting international norms and consolidating geopolitical stability.”
Cover photo is illustrative: An F-22 Raptor pilot from the 95th Fighter Squadron, based at Tyndall Air Force, and his jet at the Ämari Air Base, Estonia, in 2015 (courtesy of USAF).