U.S. commitment to NATO iron-clad, says Jim Mattis

Alliance to hold its biggest military exercises since Cold War
U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday sought to reassure rattled European nations of America’s “iron-clad” commitment to NATO, as the transatlantic alliance announced its biggest military exercises since the Cold War. If U.S. allies have been unnerved by President Donald Trump’s comments on the 69-year-old military alliance, massive manoeuvres at the end of October are intended as a show of force and unity in the face of an increasingly assertive Russia. The Trident Juncture 18 exercise will draw in 45,000 troops, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said — the biggest movement of NATO personnel and vehicles since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Speaking shortly before the announcement at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Mr. Mattis told reporters in Paris that the U..S was “keenly aware of the dangers close to your home”.
“Every NATO ally is awake today to the reality of Russia’s malicious behaviour. Every ally has now increased defence spending,” he said. In a possible veiled reference to Mr. Trump’s repeated verbal attacks on NATO, Mr. Mattis said that when it comes to America’s relationship with the alliance, “actions speak loudest”. “The U.S. has acted, showing that our commitment to the transatlantic alliance remains iron-clad,” he said. He noted that in defence spending plans for 2019, U.S. lawmakers have not cut military spending in Europe “by a single cent, instead maintaining once again the highest levels of commitment since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall”.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/us-commitment-to-nato-iron-clad-says-jim-mattis/article25106937.ece

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