World Biden calls NATO's common defense pact 'a sacred obligation' amid cyberattacks
NATO chief arrives in Washington looking ahead toward Russia and China, away from Afghanistan
AFGHANISTAN IN REARVIEW MIRROR: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is in Washington today to meet with President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ahead of next week’s summit of alliance leaders in Brussels. © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020 With the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan expected to pass the halfway mark this week (the U.S. Central Command will release a new, updated percentage tomorrow), the pace the troop exit is ahead of schedule and on track to be completed well before the Sept. 11 deadline set by Biden.
Presidenton Monday called NATO’s Article 5 – which states an attack on one member nation is an attack on all – "a sacred obligation," and NATO was poised to update how it will respond jointly to cyberattacks.
"I constantly remind Americans that when America was attacked for the first time on its shores since what happened back at the end of World War II, NATO stepped up,” the president said in a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, referencing theterror attacks.
"I just want all of Europe to know that the United States is there. The United States is there."
At Senate hearing, Republicans spar with Pentagon leaders over size of $715 billion defense budget
‘BARELY TREADING WATER’: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley faced a respectful but highly skeptical onslaught from key Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday as they sought to defend the Biden administration’s proposed $715 billion Pentagon budget. © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020 “You have a hard job, especially coming here to defend a budget you probably don't like or didn't support internally, but you've got to do it now,” said Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, addressing Austin and Milley at one point.
Biden’s endorsement of NATO stands in stark contrast to his predecessor, former President, who called the alliance "obsolete," which he later , and once declined to endorse Article 5, which has been a key tenet of the alliance since it was created in 1949.
On Sunday, White House National Security Advisersuggested that the communique released at the end of the NATO summit could include language to update Article 5 to now include the growing global threat of cyberattacks.
"This would be on a case-by-case basis," he said. “And the notion is that if someone gets hit by a massive cyberattack, and they need technical or intelligence support from another ally to be able to deal with it, they could invoke Article 5 to be able to get that."
Some US allies near Russia are wary of Biden-Putin summit
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Central and Eastern European nations are anxious about the coming summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, wary of what they see as hostile intentions from the Kremlin. Some in the countries that once were part of the Soviet Union or the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact during the Cold War worry that Washington could scale down support for its allies in the region in a bid to secure a more stable and predictable relationship with Russia.
Following his meeting with Stoltenberg, Biden kicked off the first day of the NATO summit by sending a clear message to Russian Presidentthat he intends to stand up for threatened nations in Russia's backyard -- and met with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, expressing support for their security.
"It was a constructive, warm, vigorous engagement between him and the three leaders and a real show of solidarity and unity with NATO’s eastern flank," a senior administration official said.
Biden previewed his upcoming meeting with Putin during his meeting with Baltic leaders, discussing "the threat that Russia poses," the official said, and also brought up the recent "air piracy" that occurred when aflight was forced to divert and land in Belarus - which was originally bound for Lithuania.
Biden at NATO for bridge building after Trump mocked alliance as 'obsolete'
Biden is attending his first NATO meeting as president, aiming to build bridges after Trump berated allies as 'deadbeats' and belittled the alliance.The only time that the Article 5 provision was invoked was when NATO member states rushed to support the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But Trump, who once branded NATO "obsolete," wondered out loud why he should send U.S. troops to defend countries he apparently had barely heard of.
"The four leaders committed to further strengthening our political, military, and economic partnerships, including working together through NATO to address challenges posed by Russia and China," the White House said in a written statement following their meeting.
He also met with the president of Poland and Romania in separate, brief meetings Monday at NATO headquarters.
Biden will be holding a solo news conference following hiswith Putin in Geneva on Wednesday, defending that choice by saying he doesn’t want the attention to be on physical details, but rather the substance of their discussions from their own points of view.
"I don't want to get into being diverted by, did they shake hands? How far did they -- who talked the most and the rest," Biden said in England on Sunday. "He can say what he said the meeting was about and I will say what I think the meeting was about. That's how I'm going to handle it."
Biden is also expected to hold a one-on-one meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday afternoon, amid strained relations between the two countries.
In April, Biden became the first sitting U.S. president tothe Ottoman Empire's killing and deportation of Armenians over a century ago as genocide, breaking from his predecessors and risking inflaming tensions with Turkey, a key NATO ally, who warned against it.
The U.S. also angered Turkey over the decision to cancel its participation in the F-35 fighter jets program last year after they accepted a Russian-made air defense system.
When the two spoke on April 23, Biden expressed his interest in the "effective management of disagreements," according to a White House readout of their call.
A sense of relief over 'dear Joe' and post-Trump summit era .
BRUSSELS (AP) — Over the four years of Donald Trump's presidency and through the seeming eternity of pandemic misery and isolation, America’s partners in world affairs were waiting to exhale. As they cycled through Group of Seven, NATO and European Union summits over the last week, exhale they did, between bites of haggis mousse, pineapple weed and Dover sole. President Joe Biden — “dear Joe” to the European Commission's chief — engaged fellowAs they cycled through Group of Seven, NATO and European Union summits over the last week, exhale they did, between bites of haggis mousse, pineapple weed and Dover sole.