NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Washington DC to meet with senior officials and lawmakers from the United States. On Monday, October 4, 2021, Stoltenberg met with President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss how to further strengthen the transatlantic bond and prepare for the NATO summit in Madrid next year. He also met with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and spoke by phone with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
The NATO Secretary General said the Alliance continues to adapt to a more unpredictable world, where competition from major powers increases, as well as cyber threats, terrorism and the impact of climate change on security. He stressed that the Allies are investing more in defense. 2021 is the seventh consecutive year of increased defense spending between European Allies and Canada, with $ 260 billion more invested in defense since 2014. Discussions also focused on Afghanistan. Mr Stoltenberg said the Allies made the decision to leave together after many rounds of consultations. He stressed that the mission had not been in vain, because for 20 years, no terrorist attack has been launched on our countries from Afghanistan. NATO Allies continue to work together to ensure that the country does not once again become a haven for terrorists. He concluded that the difficult decision over Afghanistan does not change the need for Europe and North America to unite in NATO.
On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, the Secretary General will meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and participate in an event hosted by the Brookings Institute and Georgetown University titled “NATO in a Competitive World”.