Shanahan Joins NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels to Discuss Alliance Deterrence

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan and his fellow NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels to assess the effectiveness of the alliance’s deterrence of Russia, as well as other security challenges, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday.

At a news conference yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg frankly discussed Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and he stressed that all NATO allies agreed with the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Cold War treaty.

Moscow continues to develop and deploy several battalions of the SSC-8 missile, despite the efforts of the United States and other NATO allies – over many years – to encourage Russia to return to compliance,” he said. “We all know that a treaty that is only respected by one side cannot keep us safe, and that is why the United States, with the full support of all NATO allies, has announced its intention to withdraw from the treaty.”

The secretary general said NATO does not want a new arms race. He said Russia can still return to compliance with the treaty, and he urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to take that opportunity.

“At the same time, we are planning for a world without the INF Treaty,” Stoltenberg said. “At this meeting of defense ministers, we will discuss what steps NATO should take to adapt to a world with more Russian missiles and maintain…

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