H.Res. 152: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States remains committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

H.Res. 152

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States remains committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Date
March 30, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.Res. 152 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative John Tanner (D-TN) on February 10, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 152 resolves that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that:

•  "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is to be commended for its pivotal role in preserving trans-Atlantic peace and stability;

•  "NATO continues to be the premier institution that promotes a uniquely trans-Atlantic perspective and approach to issues concerning the interests and security of North America and Europe;

•  "The NATO allies, at the Summit meeting to be held in Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany, in April 2009, should articulate a concrete vision for the Alliance in the 21st century, clearly setting out the continued importance of NATO for the citizens of the Allied nations;

•  "The Alliance should begin considering a new strategic concept that takes into account the changing international security environment, reaffirms the Alliance's functional and symbolic purposes, and outlines how to develop its military capabilities accordingly;

•  "The Alliance, while maintaining collective defense as its core function, should, as a fundamental Alliance task, continue to identify and address new areas where it can provide added value in tackling future threats outside the NATO treaty area, based on case-by-case consensual Alliance decision;

•  "The Alliance should make clear commitments to remedy shortfalls in areas such as logistics, command, control, communications, intelligence, ground surveillance, readiness, deployability, mobility, sustainability, survivability, armaments cooperation, and effective engagement;

•  "The Alliance must ensure equitable sharing of contributions to the NATO operations, common budgets, and overall defense expenditure and capability building;

•  "The Alliance must recognize and act upon the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism by intensifying consultations among political and military leaders, and consider alternative capabilities to counter these threats to the international community;

•  "The Alliance should pace the process of NATO enlargement and remain prepared to extend invitations for accession negotiations to any appropriate European democracy meeting the criteria for NATO membership as established in the Alliance's 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement;

•  "While maintaining its unequivocal right to make its own decisions, NATO should seek to strengthen its relations with Russia as an essential partner in building long-term peace in the Euro-Atlantic area; and

•  "The Alliance should fully support the NPA's activities in continuing to deepen cooperation within the Alliance to forge strong links with associate and observer nations."

 

Background

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949 by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO is comprised of 26 countries in Europe and North America, including the United States. The fundamental role of NATO is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means. The organization is founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law. Through the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), NATO is helping to establish the conditions in which Afghanistan can enjoy a representative government and self-sustaining peace and security. The Alliance took over command and coordination of ISAF in August 2003. NATO will hold a 60th anniversary summit meeting on April 4, 2009, at Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany.