Representatives of the Estonian American National Council (EANC) to the board of the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC), along with the American Latvian Association (ALA) and the Lithuanian American Council (LAC) representatives, drafted the following statement for release by JBANC. All agreed on the importance of informing our constituent communities regarding our views following the recent NATO and Helsinki summits. We invite our community members to share the statement locally and contact the offices of their representatives in Congress to discuss the points it highlights.
Press Release: JBANC Thanks Congress for NATO Support
July 24, 2018
PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
The Joint Baltic American National Committee Thanks Congress for NATO Support
The recent NATO Summit and subsequent events have emphasized the importance for the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) to reiterate its support of NATO. JBANC understands that the strength of the Alliance is a product of more than its members’ levels of defense spending. JBANC expresses its appreciation for the actions taken in both chambers of Congress to reaffirm the commitment of the United States to NATO and Article 5. We applaud the efforts of Senators Shaheen and Tillis to revitalize the Senate NATO Observer Group (SNOG), and the recent Senate and House resolutions affirming the importance of NATO.
Emphasizing to lawmakers the importance of defending NATO’s frontiers and Western values in the Baltic region is central to JBANC’s mission. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are on the front lines of the Kremlin’s aggressive behavior toward the West. Their participation in the Alliance has set a strong example for meeting the 2% benchmark for defense spending and for per capita contributions to out-of-area missions. They have also developed niche expertise in cyber, information and energy security, further enhancing NATO capabilities and readiness in hybrid warfare.
We thank the U.S. government for its strong support of the region to date in the form of Enhanced Forward Presence, European Deterrence Initiative funding, the National Guard state partnership program, and joint exercises – and call for the continuation of these programs. A permanent U.S. military presence in the Baltics would be a further sign of U.S. support and would bolster the alliance’s deterrence effectiveness in the region. We deeply appreciate the role Congress has played in securing U.S. support for the Baltic nations and will continue to advocate on these issues on behalf of the Baltic-American communities.
JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc., and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc.