WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today spoke on the Senate floor and called for renewed support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Below are excerpts from Coats’ speech:
“I very much welcome this renewed attention to NATO. It also gives us the opportunity to respond to those who believe that NATO has outlived its usefulness, is too expensive and should be done away with. Such a view needs a rebuttal. Now, it is not necessary or correct to claim that NATO has no problems, or its role has not changed, or its future is clear. NATO does face challenges – in defining its mission, securing its resources and providing the leadership the world requires. But to deny the alliance’s obvious value is, in my opinion, a major mistake.”
“No one can argue that these global threats are not the core of modern security challenges. Similarly, no one can dispute that the most effective and powerful alliance in world history should and must organize itself to confront them. And most certainly, no responsible leader should look at these threats and conclude that an alliance built to confront them should be abolished.”
“It is clear to me that the uncontrolled flood of refugees from Syria could best be handled by creating safe areas in and near Syria for the Syrian people to remain there in safe and humane conditions. Building on NATO’s Bosnia experience, the Alliance could be critical to providing the security for such areas, on the ground and in the air. This would not be fighting the war in Syria, but protecting the populations in UN-designated areas. Difficult? Yes, but it has been done before. And NATO is the only possible organization to do it.”
“From what I can tell from President Obama’s recent lengthy interviews on foreign policy published in the Atlantic Monthly, he has not drawn the correct conclusions from the foreign policy failures in recent years in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere. For me, we have abdicated America’s traditional leadership role. For the Alliance, I fear this could be the beginning phase of our disengagement from Europe which, if it continues, will be at our peril. Without firm US leadership of NATO, we will begin to see the commitment of our allies weaken. They simply do not have the muscle or the financial capability to support a NATO coalition without U.S. leadership.”
To watch Senator Coats’ remarks, click here.