Just days after the conclusion of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH), president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, for a Transatlantic Talk on the implications of the Warsaw Summit. This latest installment of the GMF’s Transatlantic Talks series was moderated by U.S. Bureau Chief of Le Figaro, Laure Mandeville.
Congressman Turner’s discussion began with opening remarks by GMF president Karen Donfried, and questions from Ms. Mandeville. The Congressman began by stating that in the wake of the Brexit referendum last month, “unity… really is the spirit of what came out of the summit”, and that there are new opportunities and imperatives for greater cooperation between NATO and the European Union. Congressman Turner also said that “this NATO Summit is probably best known for not having any disappointments.”
— German Marshall Fund (@gmfus) July 12, 2016
The NATO Summit also provided a clear opportunity to build consensus on the perception of the threats facing the Alliance, most notably from Russia. The Congressman spoke a great deal on the need for all 28 member states to think about the investments needed to create a functional deterrence, including building capacity for a military alliance “that can keep our people safe”. Congressman Turner also spoke at length about the changes in perception of Russia since the end of the Cold War, concluding that the West can no longer believe that “the more secure Russia feels, the more secure the World is.” Instead, there is now an acknowledgement that Russian aggression is part of its character.
— Camilo Derya Rivera (@RiveraVacirca) July 12, 2016
Congressman Turner also reported that, in spite of a perceived reluctance to lead throughout the Obama Administration, that the United States did lead at the Summit in Warsaw. However, when discussing the impacts of the upcoming U.S. elections, he explained that regardless of who wins, there were changes that needed to be made.
The discussion opened for a question and answer period, where guests asked questions regarding relations with Georgia and Ukraine, the clarity of purpose vis-à-vis Russia, what the Alliance could do beyond deterrence and dialogue, and others.