The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the most successful alliance in history. In its 70 years, NATO has brought a historically unprecedented period of great power stability to Europe. NATO’s “attack on one is an attack on all” guarantee, underscored by the presence of American military forces on the continent, assures the security of the democratic West’s territory and political institutions. A strong trans-Atlantic alliance was — and remains — absolutely essential to our defense of American national interests.
Our commitment has underwritten decades of security and economic prosperity, for the United States and for its European allies. NATO’s original achievement, in the pithy words of one secretary-general, was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.” Yet it also ensured the first lasting peace between France and Germany in centuries. It nurtured democratic transitions in Spain and Portugal. It filled geostrategic vacuums in the “bloodlands” of eastern Europe.