US Secretary of State Blinken promises a “steady commitment” to NATO

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to rebuild and revive the transatlantic NATO military alliance and to share US plans for a possible withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On his first visit to NATO headquarters, Blinken said that the alliance was at a crucial moment in terms of threats around the world, as well as climate change.

“I have come here to express the firm commitment of the United States (towards NATO),” Blinken told reporters when he met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “The United States wants to build our partnerships, first and foremost with our NATO allies, we want to revive the alliance.”

After four years of friction with Washington during Donald Trump’s presidency, which said the alliance was obsolete, NATO’s European allies have also welcomed the change of tone under the new US President Joe Biden.

Stoltenberg has identified areas where NATO can be modernized in the medium term – from climate action to more sustainable financing of military operations – and needs US support,

Asked about a possible withdrawal from Afghanistan, Blinken said that an American review of alternatives was still ongoing and that he would listen and consult with allies. NATO foreign ministers will discuss Afghanistan over the next two days in Brussels.

“We went in together, we have adapted together and when the time is right, we leave together,” Blinken said of Western involvement in the country.