“The Parties to this Treaty are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area.” – Preamble, The North Atlantic Treaty, April 1949″

Order, justice, and prosperity all rest on the cornerstone of physical security. Reflecting on The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has proven to be the world’s most successful security and defense alliance. United in purpose and principles, NATO’s founding member states forged a coalition of North American and European states that effectively prevented the spread of authoritarianism and tyranny to open, democratic societies.

NATO’s resolute firmness in its protection of a secure and just Transatlantic Community continued after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. NATO member states stood up in defense of Bosnian and Kosovar citizens suffering tremendously amidst the violence unleashed in the wake of Yugoslavia’s dissolution. Members unwaveringly rose together in response to the terrorist attack on 9/11 leading an international coalition to free Afghanistan from its brutal Taliban rule. This transatlantic alliance stands today in increasing preparedness for new threats arising from adversarial great powers, international terrorist organizations, and other future security challenges.

Key to NATO’s intrepid endurance is the founding principle of common defense. An alliance standing to protect one and all. If one member were to be attacked, all members had freely agreed to come to its defense.  A pragmatic choice, yet one unequivocally honorable.

Common values serve as mortar that cemented the bricks of the alliance: Freedom of thought, speech, and assembly in an open marketplace of ideas. The right to a representative government accountable to its citizens. Rule of law and the protection of property rights. A competitive, open market where an individual can put forth his or her best. Lasting, successful relationships are built on shared values that transcend the short-term interests and agendas. Moreover, it is an agreed-upon set of principles that prevents adversaries from exploiting the lesser differences of the moment.  USEA unequivocally supports steadfast and vigilant efforts to keep NATO fortified in the face of current and future threats to the Transatlantic Community.