NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Washington D.C. to meet senior United States officials and lawmakers. On Monday (4 October 2021), Mr. Stoltenberg met President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss how to further strengthen the transatlantic bond and prepare the NATO Summit in Madrid next year. He also met Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and spoke to Secretary of State Antony Blinken by phone.
The NATO Secretary General said the Alliance continues to adapt to a more unpredictable world, where great power competition is rising, along with cyber threats, terrorism, and the security impact of climate change. He stressed that Allies are investing more in defence. 2021 is the seventh consecutive year of growing defence spending across European Allies and Canada, with 260 billion dollars more on defence invested since 2014. The discussions also addressed Afghanistan. Mr. Stoltenberg said that Allies had taken the decision to leave together after many rounds of consultations. He stressed the mission had not been in vain, as for 20 years, no terrorist attacks have been launched on our countries from Afghanistan. NATO Allies continue to work together to ensure the country does not again become a safe haven for terrorists. He concluded that the difficult decision on Afghanistan does not change the need for Europe and North America to stand together in NATO.
On Tuesday (5 October 2021), the Secretary General met with members of the Senate NATO Observer Group led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Senator Thom Tillis. He then met with the US House Foreign Affairs Committee and NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NPA) hosted by Congressman Gerald E. Connolly, President of the NPA.
The Secretary General concluded his visit by participating in an event hosted by Brookings Institution and Georgetown University, titled “NATO in a Competitive World”.