MUNICH – A few years after World War II, when the North Atlantic Treaty was ratified in the United States and our relationship with Europe was cemented, President Harry Truman said simply, “The more closely the nations of the Atlantic community can work together for peace, the better for all people, everywhere.”
The decades since have proven him right. And, as our transatlantic relationship has grown both stronger and more expansive, so has democracy, prosperity, and stability in Europe, the United States, and around the globe.
But, though the transatlantic relationship today is as strong and as critical as ever, there is no question that we are in the midst of a defining moment for our partnership. We are facing multiple tests, two of which are especially worthy of attention, because they test international law, multilateral mechanisms, and the global order that we have spent the last 70 years working to build and maintain.
The first test is obviously Ukraine, where Russia has endangered the security landscape of Eastern and Central Europe, first through its illegal occupation of Crimea and now through its overt and brazen effort to destabilize eastern Ukraine.