Navy Undersecretary Thomas B. Modly has returned from a trip to Europe in which he visited vastly different countries facing different challenges, but with the same feeling about their alliance with the United States.
Norway and Romania are both NATO allies of the United States, but one extends above the Arctic Circle and the other borders the Black Sea. It would be hard to find more disparate nations in the alliance, but both nations are remarkably similar in their appreciation of their alliances with the United States and NATO, Modly said in an interview.
The undersecretary said he wanted to go to places “that are high value with respect to our alliance relationships.” He wanted to visit smaller countries that demonstrate the importance of the alliance, and see first hand what the nations face and what the United States – especially the U.S. Navy – can do with them.
Modly visited U.S. service members in the countries and met with national leaders. He said his visit to Norway was “an eye-opener to me.”
“I knew we were strong allies with the Norwegians, but the depth of the relationship was stunning,” he said. “I came away appreciative of what they do for us in terms of defense cooperation. They are very comfortable and open about working with Americans and mentioned many times that the…