- Publicēts Otrdiena, 09 Augusts 2016 11:15
CEEC Reaffirms Need for Strong U.S. Leadership in Europe
The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing more than 20 million Central and Eastern European Americans, strongly backs the United States' continued unconditional commitment to upholding the NATO Treaty as well as U.S. support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all Central and Eastern European nations. Our organization stands firm in its belief that America's close cooperation with all NATO allies and partners is fundamental to ensuring U.S. and European security. The CEEC urges both the current and future Administrations to continue developing allied relations with all NATO members and transatlantic partners, and to take such action as deemed necessary to maintain security of the Alliance, including the European Reassurance Initiative.
The renewed aggressive behavior and actions of Russia against Central and Eastern European nations have raised the importance of NATO’s credibility and cohesiveness for regional stability. In February 2016, then-NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove stated at a hearing of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee that "Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners.” Earlier this year the CEEC sponsored a policy forum on NATO’s stance on Russia on Capitol Hill. A major theme of our discussion characterized Russia’s increasing aggression since 2008 not only in terms of fanning regional conflicts but as a fundamental assault on the post-World War II international order.
At the Warsaw Summit in July 2016, NATO stated it was fully prepared to defend the alliance and pledged an increase in military spending, in response to Russia’s unpredictable and aggressive behavior in the region. The CEEC believes the commitment by the United States to NATO countries should be based on collective defense, shared values, and democratic principles, as well as support for regional partners. We have, and continue to support the principle of NATO’s Open Door policy, for all willing and qualified nations.
The Central and Eastern European region is facing a multitude of threats from Russia. It is imperative for NATO members and partners to share collective knowledge in key security areas for combating a multitude of hybrid war forms, including cyber, media and economic manipulation, and destabilization in energy security. The CEEC supports U.S. continued commitment and leadership in addressing these threats.
The security of the United States lies in the peaceful expansion of democracy, not in the appeasement of aggressor states making imperial claims. Proactive U.S. leadership is vital to NATO’s continued effectiveness, to protect peace and security in Europe. The crisis driven by Russia in Central and Eastern Europe, and in Ukraine specifically, will not just go away. In an informationally interconnected and economically interdependent world, the United States must take the lead in promoting international norms and consolidating geopolitical stability.
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Established in 1994, CEEC is composed of eighteen national, membership-based organizations representing Americans of Armenian, Belarusan, Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Georgian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, and Ukrainian descent.
The Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) is a member organization of the CEEC.
- Publicēts Sestdiena, 30 Jūlijs 2016 11:42
Pēc piemiņas svētbrīža visi bija aicināti uz mielastu Gaŗezera Dzintaros. Tagadējie un bijušie čikāgieši, kopā ar Mārtiņu, Pēteri un Andreju. (foto Viktors Krievs)
- Publicēts Pirmdiena, 25 Jūlijs 2016 16:56
The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is very concerned with recent misguided statements related to the United States' commitment to upholding NATO treaty agreements. As a non-partisan organization, JBANC believes in and advocates for robust transatlantic relations between the United States and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Our organization stands firm in its belief that NATO and America's commitment to its NATO allies are fundamental to ensuring U.S. and European security, and urges both the current Administration and that elected in November to continue to support all NATO allies, including the Baltic countries, and reaffirm commitment to the Treaty's Article V. Continued dangerous rhetoric on either side of the Atlantic could harm some of America’s best friends, partners, and allies in NATO.
The Baltic countries are undeniably strong in their commitments to NATO and fully understand what is at stake. Although challenged in fully rebuilding their militaries over the past 25 years, they have worked to fulfill their NATO commitments. Estonia spends over 2% of GDP of pledged defensive expenditures, and while currently just under 2%, Latvia and Lithuania have been increasing their military budgets more rapidly than any of the other NATO members over the past few years, and will be reaching that threshold soon. There has been rock-solid commitment and engagement by the Baltic countries in supporting NATO and U.S.-led actions in Iraq, the Balkans, and in Afghanistan, after invoking the Article V commitment to help defend the United States after 9/11.
The Alliance is facing more and more unconventional threats. It is imperative for allies to share their collective knowledge in key security areas – whether cyber, strategic communications, or in the energy security sphere. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania make substantial contributions in all of these areas.
JBANC condemns any indication that the United States might reconsider its Treaty obligation to defend a NATO member, especially on economic grounds. During these increasingly turbulent times, we need strong solidarity among all of our NATO allies. Transatlantic ties must be solid; the United States cannot allow any weakening of resolve or commitment to our allies. The ironclad long-lasting leadership of the United States in NATO is critically important. Baltic-Americans particularly understand the importance of effective U.S. leadership in supporting these alliances. We take great pride in the cooperation and strong relationships forged between the United States and the Baltic countries and support all actions to continue them.
JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc., and the Lithuanian American Council.
July 21, 2016