FP4A Statement on Senate Approval of NATO Expansion

August 3, 2022

FP4A Statement on Senate Approval of NATO Expansion

Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America hailed the Senate’s near-unanimous approval of Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO. The nearly 75-year-old alliance is a cornerstone of U.S. defense policy and has proven to be one of the most successful and durable alliances in history. Russia’s unjust and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has made clear that a united front in Europe is needed to deter and respond to Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian and imperialist efforts.

By voting to allow Finland and Sweden to accede, the U.S. has taken an important step to modernize and strengthen the alliance and U.S. national security, as two nations with capable militaries and vibrant democracies add their considerable strength to NATO’s mutual defense alliance. FP4A is particularly pleased with the bipartisan nature of this vote – signaling America’s unwavering and stalwart support for NATO, our NATO allies, and transatlantic security. Finland and Sweden’s imminent NATO membership will strengthen the security not only of our trans-Atlantic partners, but of every American.

While the ratification of Finland and Sweden’s bid to join NATO is critical for the future of the Atlantic Alliance, FP4A is dismayed by Senator Rand Paul’s attempt to undermine the collective security principle that underpins the North Atlantic Treaty despite overwhelming support from the American public. Since its founding, Article V to the North Atlantic Treaty has been invoked only once – in response to the brutal attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Immediately after the attacks, NATO member states invoked the collective defense principle enshrined by NATO and actively engaged in the fight against terrorism alongside American service members. Article V, which was ratified by the Senate in 1949, does not undermine our national sovereignty; rather, it enhances our collective security and deters malicious, aggressive actors. Indeed, Article V’s ironclad commitment has helped to ensure that no NATO nation has been attacked by another state since the treaty’s ratification.

“NATO is the most powerful military alliance in history and the central pillar of European security. Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine only reinforces the vital deterrent role the Alliance must continue to play today. There’s no question that the accession of Finland and Sweden will add to NATO’s strength and to our shared security,” said Andrew Albertson, Foreign Policy for America’s Executive Director. “Senator Paul’s misguided attempt today to unravel the collective defense principle – key to NATO’s success – was just the latest example of his reckless, shameful isolationism. Time and time again, NATO members have stood by the U.S. when it mattered, and there should be no doubt that we will stand by them as well in a time of need.”