President Joe Biden makes his entrance at a NATO summit aiming to consult European allies on efforts to counter provocative actions by China and Russia while highlighting the US commitment to the 30-country alliance that was frequently maligned by predecessor Donald Trump.
The summit Monday comes as Biden tries to rally allies for greater coordination in checking China and Russia, two adversaries whose actions on economic and national security fronts have become the chief foreign policy concerns in the early going of the Biden presidency.
Biden will use his time at the summit to underscore the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the alliance charter, which spells out that an attack on one member is an attack on all and is to be met with a collective response.
”I will make it clear that the United States’ commitment to our NATO alliance and Article 5 is rock solid,” Biden told US troops in the United Kingdom last week on the first stop of his eight-day European trip. ”It’s a sacred obligation.”
The White House said the communique to be signed by alliance members at the end of the NATO summit is expected to include language about updating Article 5 to include major cyber attacks a matter of growing concern amid a series of hacks targeting the US government and businesses around the globe by Russia-based hackers.
The update will spell out that if an alliance member needs technical or intelligence support in response to a cyber attack, it would be able to invoke the mutual defense provision to receive assistance, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
The president will begin his day meeting with leaders of the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank regarding the “threat posed by Russia,” China and the recent air piracy in Belarus, according to Sullivan. He’ll also meet with NATO secretary Jens Stoltenberg.