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Amid global uncertainty, world leaders gather in D.C. for NATO's 75th anniversary summit

There will be a large Congressional delegation of both Democrats and Republicans at the summit.
People from various groups protest outside the White House
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 08, 2024

When the world leaders of more than 30 nations descend on Washington, D.C., for the NATO summit, they'll be celebrating the alliance's 75 years — but will be mainly focused on the future.

"We live in more uncertain times, and we live in more unpredictable times, and NATO is a pillar of stability and certainty in more dangerous times," said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg as he previewed the gathering.

Scheduled for July 9-11, the summit is expected to focus mainly on Ukraine, and shoring up financial and military commitments from the 32 countries that make up the alliance.

"The emphasis is going to be on what NATO can do to help Ukraine win this war, and so there's going to be standing up an organization specifically to help train Ukrainians to help them fight," said Ann Marie Dailey, a policy researcher who specializes in NATO at the RAND Corporation. "There probably will be an announcement on help on air defense systems, and there's also going to be a potential pledge of all NATO members and how much assistance they will continue to give Ukraine down the line."

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Dailey said the tens of billions of dollars in American taxpayer money sent to Ukraine also yield a benefit back home.

"The United States is investing in Ukraine, but in doing so, it's investing in its own security," Dailey said. "And I think what you're seeing is that a lot of the money that is in these aid packages to Ukraine, is actually being reinvested in rebuilding the U.S. defense industry."

Yet, the summit comes amid a time of political upheaval, with recent elections in the United Kingdom and France and upcoming elections in the U.S. — something Stoltenberg spoke about ahead of the summit.

"NATO has never been a given. NATO will never be a given," Stoltenberg said, "but NATO has proven extremely resilient — because when you have new governments, when you have new political leaderships in charge, then they see the reality: They see that a strong NATO is good for them."

There will be a large Congressional delegation of both Democrats and Republicans at the summit. The overarching message from them is that by supporting Ukraine's defense, they believe it stops Russia from potentially attacking a NATO member country — which, if that were to occur, would require all NATO allies to respond, including the U.S.