WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Thursday introduced the bipartisan NATO Alliance Recognition and Promotion Act. The bill encourages enhanced security cooperation with America’s European allies and the continued enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It does so by reaffirming the commitment of the United States to collective defense under the NATO treaty, and by putting Congress on record that NATO members should review defense spending to ensure that it is sufficient and that the allies should continue to pursue enlargement initiatives for aspirant countries.

“As we look back on the anniversaries of the last three NATO enlargements, it is clear that the addition of these European countries into NATO has strengthened our collective security and contributed to the vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace,” said Murphy. “Recent events in Ukraine should be a reminder of the importance of meeting NATO’s defense spending targets and prioritizing spending on efforts that support interoperability.  It is equally important that we maintain NATO’s open-door policy for countries who meet the high standards and commitments of the world’s pre-eminent security alliance.”

“The historical record is clear: NATO has been successful in keeping the peace that eluded Europe twice in the 20th century and cost millions of lives,” said Johnson. “Another war was avoided despite decades of confrontation by an aggressive Soviet Union because the United States and our allies found strength in our mutual defense commitment.  Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NATO defense shield has expanded into eastern Europe. This ongoing commitment to mutual defense is crucial to promoting stability and peace in Europe.”