Latvian Americans call questioning of US commitments to NATO irresponsible

  • 2016-07-23
  • BNS/LETA/TBT Staff/Riga

Some American politicians’ recent comments doubting the importance of NATO and the nation’s collective defense commitments are irresponsible and deny the position the US has held for over 50 years, the American Latvian Association (ALA) believes. 

ALA chairman Peteris Blumbergs said in a statement to the press that, under the influence of the campaign atmosphere, several notable US politicians have lately questioned NATO’s role in the global security system and planted uneasiness among the Alliance’s leaders and society about American readiness to uphold the principles of collective defense. 

The association emphasises that it categorically criticises such irresponsible comments which contradict the position the US has held for over 50 years and which raise doubts regarding the US’s willingness to be the cornerstone of the international security structure. ALA said it supports strong transatlantic co-operation and the US’s active role in the Alliance. 

In ALA’s opinion, the US’s evasion of its international commitments would cause a vacuum in the global security system, which could be used by followers of adventurous policies like Russia, and which would not be in the US’s national and security interests. 

Underscoring the quarter-century of close bilateral co-operation between the US and Latvia, the association says that Latvia is very much aware of its commitments as a NATO member and that Latvian soldiers have been supporting various US and NATO-led operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere in the world and that Latvian servicemen have fought and died alongside US troops. 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stated that the United States under his leadership might not defend NATO members in the event of  Russian aggression, the AP news agency reported. 

Trump said in an interview with The New York Times he would decide whether to protect the Baltics against an attack by Russia depending on whether the nations in question "have fulfilled their obligations to us." 

"If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes," the presidential candidate added.