Senate passes near-unanimous resolution supporting NATO

The Senate passed a resolution affirming U.S. support of NATO by a near-unanimous vote of 97-2, a move that contrasts with President Trump's escalating criticisms of the alliance this week.
By Rick Docksai | Jul 12, 2018
The Senate passed a resolution Tuesday affirming the U.S. commitment to supporting NATO by an overwhelming 97-2 margin. The vote contrasts with President Trump's opening salvos against alliance leaders Wednesday as he began another already-contentious alliance summit in Brussels.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) proposed the measure, which pledges that the United States' financial and military contributions to NATO will continue in full. The motion also calls on the Trump administration to establish a "comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy" to counter "malign activities by Russia that seek to undermine faith in democratic institutions" in the United States and worldwide. Reed said that the measure was necessary, given Trump's public statements calling NATO "obsolete" and hinting at paring down the U.S. role in it.

"No one should ever doubt the United States' resolve in meeting its commitments to the mutual defense of the NATO alliance," Reed said. "Unfortunately, this motion has become necessary because some of our closest allies have come to question the US commitment to collective self-defense," Reed said. "Our allies are starting to wonder whether they can rely on the United States to come to their defense in a crisis."

Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were the only nay votes.

Trump has frequently chided NATO partners for spending less on NATO than the United States. He stepped up his criticisms this week, tweeting on the way to Brussels that NATO's European members should reimburse the United States for its "unfair" levels of fiscal support to the alliance. Trump went on to accuse Germany in an opening speech of undercutting U.S. security further on account of ongoing discussions to build a new pipeline for importing Russian oil.

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