Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Unite the alliance behind Ukraine and his party behind his candidacy

By 37ci3 Jul8,2024

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden heads to the NATO summit he will host in Washington this week with two distinct challenges, neither of them easy.

On the international stage, he wants to make a case for preserving global alliances at a time when many populist and nationalist leaders are looking inward, according to his advisers.

But the more difficult task will be on the domestic front, where he will have to spend three days of meetings, speeches and dinners – capped by a press conference on Thursday – with an energy and focus that was noticeably absent during the debate with Donald Trump. .

The summit should be a friendly forum for Biden, who is trying to fend off challenges from his fellow Democrats. drop out of the presidential race after his poor discussion.

It takes place at her home, so she won’t have to deal with overseas travel and the late hours she says. leaving him exhausted before the debate.

“He will be on the international stage,” said William Daley, President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff. “This is the first major milestone the president has had since the debate.”

Biden has invested a great deal of political capital in helping Ukraine fend off a Russian invasion, and the summit will show how the pro-Ukraine coalition he helped build remains largely intact.

White House officials said before a meeting of NATO’s 32 nations that he and his NATO counterparts would implement a series of measures to strengthen Ukraine’s war machine.

The leaders are expected to announce the delivery of new air defense systems to help Ukraine shoot down Russian missiles and drones, as well as progress on Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

A senior White House official said in an interview: “Look for very specific results and announcements from this summit regarding NATO’s support for Ukraine.” “There will be some big muscle movements that will prove the point [for Ukraine] is still very strong.”

The summit marks the 75th anniversary of NATO, the collective defense treaty that served as a bulwark against Soviet and Russian aggression in Europe in the post-World War II era. The mutual defense clause, known as Article 5 of the agreement, has been invoked only once, when the United States asked its NATO allies to participate in the response to the 9/11 attacks.

Biden will host NATO leaders Tuesday night at Mellon Auditorium, where the treaty was signed on April 4, 1949. The next night, Biden will host a dinner for NATO colleagues at the White House.

The alliance relies heavily on US funding, leadership and military support, all of which have been threatened under Trump’s presidency. Asserting that the US was short-sighted, Trump accused various European allies of failing to meet their commitment to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defense.

In February, Trump said that Russia canwhatever they want” by appealing to countries that have not spent enough money on defense, raising the possibility that he will ignore Article 5 of NATO if elected.

“There’s no question that NATO is at serious risk, given Trump’s clear denigration of NATO’s value to the United States,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. “The same applies to Ukraine.”

The senior official said Biden has begun reviewing drafts of his speech at the conference. One message he could send is that NATO members increase military spending on his watch, undercutting Trump’s portrayal of some European allies as freeloaders.

By the time Trump leaves office in January 2021, only nine of his allies have passed the 2% threshold, according to the Biden administration. Today is the 23rd.

“Many Americans think the Europeans are doing nothing, and they’re not taking advantage of us,” James Townsend, a former assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy, told a briefing. For journalists hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank. “This case is getting weaker and weaker.”

Approaching the summit are crucial elections in the US and Europe. The new British Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, will attend the summit a few days later Labor defeated the Conservatives in national elections. His center-left party has been out of power for 14 years.

The far-right party led by Marine Le Pen was cruising to a weak third place in France on Sunday. an unexpected result that will surely please Biden.

Le Pen said CNN interview If his party wins power, it will prevent France from arming Ukraine with weapons capable of striking inside Russia’s borders.

Le Pen’s loss helps strengthen the consensus within NATO to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty. However, Hungary is left out. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, He met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week to discuss ending the war. A nationalist He became friends with TrumpOrban irritated US officials with his visit to Moscow.

“Obviously, we were not happy with Orban’s visit,” a senior White House official said. “But he’s Orbán and we’ve been dealing with him for a while.”

A separate question facing NATO is the fate of Biden and the prospect of Trump’s return. Foreign policy experts said they expect the presidential race to be the focus of private meetings and conversations throughout the summit.

Trump favors what he calls an “America First” approach, which calls into question the US’s democratic traditions and alliances between nations that share liberal values.

Biden will no doubt use the summit to promote his favored internationalist approach. Thursday’s press conference will be an opportune moment, assuming he can speak with significantly more coherence and force than he did during Trump’s debate on June 27.

“This is a great opportunity for him [Biden] to lead with strength and energy and emphasize commitment to the alliance,” said another former defense official, Jan Brzezinski, speaking at an Atlantic Council briefing.

“He should do this not only at the table and in closed meetings, but also by using all the public forums created by this summit to demonstrate that leadership,” Brzezinski said.

“Allied leaders will be looking for it. They are clearly concerned about what is being seen in the debate. This is a great opportunity to change that impression significantly.”

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