Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate Senator Hawley and others on NATO Expansion  CSPAN  August 4, 2022 3:54am-5:04am EDT

3:54 am
a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. hawley: madam president, i
3:55 am
rise today to discuss american national security and the decisions that we must make to keep this nation safe. the senate will vote today on whether to expand nato by admitting sweden and finland. i intend to vote no, and i encourage my colleagues to do the same, and i want to say a word or two as to why. finland and sweden want to expand nato because it is in their national security interests to do so, and fair enough. the question that should properly be before us, however, is is it in the united states' interests to do so? because that's what american foreign policy is supposed to be about, i thought. it's about american security, protecting american workers, defending american jobs, securing american prosperity. and i fear that some in this town have lost sight of that. they think american foreign
3:56 am
policy is about creating a liberal world order or nation-building overseas. with all due respect, they're wrong. our foreign policy should be about protecting the united states, our freedoms, our people, our way of life, and expanding nato, i believe, would not do that. listen, we should tell the truth about the consequences of the decision that we're going to take today. expanding nato will require more united states forces in europe, more manpower, more firepower, more resources, more spending. and not just now, but over the long haul. but our greatest foreign adversary is not in europe. our greatest foreign adversary is in asia. and when it comes to countering that adversary, we are behind the game. i'm talking, of course, about china, the communist government of beijing has adopted a policy of imperialism.
3:57 am
it wants to dominate its neighbors, dictate to free nations, it's trying to expand its power at every opportunities, and that includes power over the united states. beijing wants power over our trade, over our jobs, over our economy. they want us to come to them and beg for market access. they ultimately want to reign supreme as the world's hedga mon, the sole super power. chinese leaders have said it themselves, this is no mystery, beijing wants a world in which the united states and all other nations are forced to bow before china's might. it's their stated ambition. this would be a world in which the chinese government and its proxies would touch every aspect of our lives, from chinese dpoodz dominating our -- goods dominating our markets to chinese propaganda flooding airwaves and money and influence corrupting american politics. this would be a world in which china would be free to expand
3:58 am
its use of slave labor and to double down it's global campaigns of repression. that's the world that beijing wants, and the truth is we are not now in a position to stop them. let me say that again. the truth is, we are not now in a position to stop them. that is a hard truth, but it is the truth nonetheless, and the american people deserve to hear it. our military forces in asia are not postured as they should be. the commander of our forces in the indo-pacific has testified to this on multiple occasions. we do not have the weapons and equipment we need in the region. we don't have enough advanced munitions, sealift and airlift are far short of where they need to be. attack submarines are some of the most important aspects we have in asia and europe, but they're already in short supply and the fleet is sinking. on top of all that, we do not
3:59 am
yet have a coherent strategy for stopping china's dominance in the pacific, beginning with the possible invasion of taiwan. and we are not committing the attention and resources we need to develop and implement that strategy. why aren't we prepared to do what we need to do in asia? well, because we have been distracted for too long, for decades, by nation-building activities in the middle east and by legacy commitments in europe. so now the choice is this, we can do more in europe, devote more resources, more manpower, more firepower there, or, or we can do what with we need to do in asia to deter asia. we cannot do both. we cannot do both. the chief of naval operations recently testified that the joint force is simply not sized to handle two simultaneous conflicts. that's the reality. both the 2018 and the 2022
4:00 am
national defense strategies, which were developed by different administrations of different political parties, reached the same conclusion. we have to choose. it's not enough to simply say that china is the pacing threat or to say that the risk to taiwan is real. we must do something about it. we have to prioritize of we have to focus. and that means we have to do less in europe in order to prioritize america's most pressing national security interests, which is in asia with regard to china. now, this isn't to say that the united states should abandon nato, but it is to say that you're european allies really must do more. they must take primary responsibility for the conventional defense of europe and rely on u.s. forces for our nuclear deterrent and select conventional assets. this is not just so that america can focus on china, though that
4:01 am
is of overriding importance to us. no, this is also about nato's future. european allies have to step up now or risk leaving nato exposed if the united states and our forces are pulled from europe into a conflict in the pacific. every european allies must make necessary investments now for today's threat environment or risk the worst. but nato isn't doing that. our european allies are far from where they should be. nato states agreed years ago, back in 2006, to spend at least 2% of gdp on defense, but many nato members still haven't met that pledge. meanwhile, nato supreme allied commander in europe testified a few weeks ago that our allies need to spend more than 2% just to meet existing ground force requirements, which brings us back to sweden and finland. both countries are longtime nato
4:02 am
defense partners and strong opponents of russian imperialism. both occupy important geography. they are also advanced economies with capable military, and i respect all of that. but their admission would also bring distinct challenges. sweden still isn't spending 2% of gdp on defense and doesn't plan to until 2028. finland announced a one-time defense spending boost, but it's not clear whether it will sustain the higher investment, the minimal needed for nato. now, some say we shouldn't worry about any of this some say finland and sweden can defend themselves ant won't require -- won't require anything from the united states or nato allies. if true, why join nato? the truth is both countries wants nato's help defending themselves. that's why they're applying for membership.
4:03 am
fair enough. because so many nato allies spent years funding their militaries, it will be the united states that will be asked to send forces to help defend sweden and finland in a time of crisis. even absent a crisis, nato expansion will mean more united states forces and u.s. firepower in europe for the long term. if we want to make nato stronger, the right course is to increase the amount that member states spend on their own defense, say, to 2.5%, and press our european allies to take primary responsibility for europe's conventional defense. but this administration, it's going in exactly the opposite direction. they had the chance to push for greater european miment spending and investment at the recent madrid summit. they didn't do it. instead, the biden administration has committed the united states to massive spending in ukraine, far outpacing our european allies, even as they surged tens of
4:04 am
thousands of troops into that region, apparently for good. some say expanding nato will allow the united states to do less in europe. i wish that were true. but how can it be when nato is overdependent on american support right now? how would increasing nato security needs somehow magically enable partisan united states to do -- enable the united states to do less? the fact is nato expansion will generate new requirements. sweden has already asked the united states to increase its naval presence in the p baltic area, for example. make no mistake, expanding nato means expanded obligations for the united states and europe. that's the nature of a security commitment. some say we need to expand nato in europe to deter china in asia, but china isn't going to be deterred by the number of our commitments in europe. china is going to be deterred by our power to deny their imperial
4:05 am
ambitions in asia. that's it. that's the whole ball game. we cannot strengthen our deterrent posture in the pacific if we're sending more forces and resources to europe to defend new allies. that's the bottom line. finally, some say we can't beat china by retreating from the rest of the world, but i'm not arguing for retreat and i'm not arguing for isolation. what i am arguing for is an end to the globalist foreign policy that has led our nation from one disaster to another for decades now. what i am arguing for is the return to a classic nationalist approach to american foreign policy, the one that made this country great, a foreign policy that is grounded in our nation's interests and in the reality of the world as it is, not as we wish it was or not as we once hoped it would be. in years past, nato was a bulwark against an imperial
4:06 am
soviet union. today the world's greatest imperial threat is in asia and the hour to address that threat is growing very late. we owe the american people this truth. we owe them a clear accounting of the facts, and we owe them the courage to make tough choices. today i submit that means voting against expanding nato and focusing where we must, to do what we must to deter an imperial china. this isn't an easy vote, to be sure, but it is the right one for our security, for our prosperity, for our people, for our nation. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senior senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: madam president, i rise today in support of finland and sweden's application to join nato. i give my strong support to this application. i disagree heartily with our colleague from missouri.
4:07 am
i know you know, madam president, having worked on this issue as i have, having visited these countries, we know how important they are to minnesota and wisconsin. minnesota has a special bond with the kingdom of sweden and the republic of finland, and at the core of this bond, at the core of the bond between our country and these countries is shared values, values of democracy, values of freedom. and, yes, we have challenges. of course we do in asia. but i happen to believe when you are a great power like the united states of america, you can do two things at once. and let's look at what these countries add to our security by joining nato. first of all, finland is over 2% of their budget on military. sweden is increasing their budget on military. both nations have professional militaries.
4:08 am
they have strong and transparent economies, and mostly they believe in human rights, in freedom, in liberty, and equality. they believe in democracy. and i will note specifically finland has added an extra $2.2 billion in defense spending this year. and greece and poland and lithuania and latvia and estonia and united kingdom above 2%. let's get the facts straight here and talk about what these countries will add to our security. we are at an unparled moment in history. since vladimir putin's cruel, unjustified invasion of ukraine, people all over the world have been waking up out of a two-year playing, out of a slumber to realize just how from fragile our democracy is.
4:09 am
we realized it here in this building when not so long ago insurrectionists invaded this chamber. we didn't just sit back and say, well, there goes our democracy. we stood up. we stood up, democrats and republicans, in this very chamber. and when president zelenskyy of ukraine took to the streets, the minute that this invasion started and looked at a video camera and said we are here, he was saying that to his own people to give them the courage to stand up against the inhuman barbarism of a dictator. but he was also saying it to the rest of the world. we see it on ukraine's front lines where everyday people took up arms and are taking up arms to protect their country. it sent a warning shot to tyrants around the world who believe that free democracies are just up for grabs. ukrainians have shown their true colors in bright blue and
4:10 am
yellow, which happens to be the colors of sweden. they have shown their true colors, and they are showing the world what courage is all about. having been in the last group of senators from this chamber who met with leaders in ukraine just a few weeks before the war started, i can tell you this, the people of ukraine want to choose their own destiny and the moral flame they have lit across the world will not be doused. russia's unprovoked aggression in ukraine has changed how we think about the world security. that's why i strongly support the decision of these two great democracies -- sweden and finland -- to join the most important and defensive alliance in the world, nato. when president biden met in may with finnish and swedish leaders about their application to join nato, he said the people of finland and sweden, he said to them that we have and they have
4:11 am
the total and complete backing of the united states of america. we supported that. the the senate committee on foreign relations echoed its support with an overwhelming bipartisan support just last month. our leaders support this pact. by joining nato, allies made a sacred commitment to one another that an attack on one is an attack on all. the only time in history this has been a vote was after 9/11, when the united states was attacked, and all our allies rallied to our side. as americans, we have never and will never forget that. in june we celebrated the anniversary of the end of world war ii in europe. nato was formed in the wreckage of world war ii when president truman signed the north atlantic treaty. he is expressed the goal of its founders to protect the peace. for decades it has been crucial to upholding that peace. now 73 years later, nato is as
4:12 am
important as ever, and the recent decisions made by our great friends, the great countries of sweden and finland, are a testament to the continued promise of this alliance. as swedish prime minister anderson said in may, with sweden and finland as members, nato will also be stronger. we are security providers with sophisticated defense capabilities, and that is correct. we are champions of freedom, democracy, and human rights. that is correct. as finland's leaders, president ninisto and president marin also said, nato membership with strengthen finland security. as a member of nato, finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance. i had the honor of being on a panel at the munich security conference with president ninnisto, and i saw firsthand his commitment to the democracy in finland and to the democracy all over the world.
4:13 am
finland and sweden are already among our closest partners on a range of issues. they are already important contributors to the international community, including in the united nations, the organization for security and cooperation in europe, and other international organizations. finnish and swedish troops have already served shoulder to shoulder with u.s. and nato forces in kosovo, in bosnia. in 1994 sweden and finland joined nato's partnership for peace program, strengthening our official relationship and coming one step closer to being a full-fledged nato member. nato, finland and sweden partnered together in security in the baltic region, a practice that will be more important now. in 2018 finland, sweden and the u.s. signed a trilateral agreement to promote security in northern europe. both finland and sweden are already working in coordination
4:14 am
with the u.s. and other allies and partners to support brave ukrainians standing up to vladimir putin. sweden has responded to russian bombing in maternity hospitals with millions of dollars of support and helmets and body shields as well as billions for the refugees flowing from ukraine. finland has sent military aid, including thousands of assault rifles and 70,000 ration packages and offered millions of dollars in humanitarian aid. both nations also have the potential, as i noted, to bring huge assets to this alliance, not as my colleague from missouri implied to somehow make things harder. are you kidding? maybe he hasn't seen these countries. i have. finland, after fighting its own territorial wars with the soviet union, has a reserve force of 900,000 strong. sweden has built its own fighter jets, and both countries recently announced upcoming expansion and reform of their
4:15 am
militaries. as the arctic region which holds increasing importance for the u.s. and european security sees encroachment from russia and china, may i add to my colleague from missouri, sweden and finland are poised to help nato confront these challenges. i am here to give my full support for sweden and finland entering nato. as we make clear, we stand with sweden, we stand with finland, and we stand with democracy. russia's war in ukraine, a full-scale, unprovoked, and premeditated war against a sovereign and democratic country, has changed europe and the world, but it has also demonstrated the importance and resilience of our trans-atlantic alliance. we have all witnessed the bravery of the ukrainian people as they fight for their lives, and we are proud to stand with them. this is about the future of political freedom, economic
4:16 am
freedom, technology freedom, and, yes, democratic freedom. finland and sweden taking the step of nato membership will not only strengthen their own security, but the cause of freedom in europe and around the world. and i would say when things are tough, we keep our friends closer. and i believe that the strong nato and the inclusion of sweden and finland will actually help us with the rest of the world, not just with this conflict in ukraine. and so i ask my colleague from missouri, who is not here right now, to consider that as we look at our alliances and how we deal with china, we must strengthen our trade alliances. we must strengthen our military alliances. and certainly including finland and sweden as a member of nato is one big positive step. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor.
4:17 am
the presiding officer: the junior senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: today the senate exercises one of our unique and most important constitutional responsibilities, the debate and ratification of a treaty. and the nato accession treaty for sweden and finland is the most consequential kind of treaty because it commits america to the mutual defense of another country. we commit along with our nato partners to come to sweden and finland's defense if they're attacked. just as finland and sweden will come to our defense if we're attacked. it's a weighty matter indeed. i want to explain why if one honestly considers all the circumstances and weighs all the evidence, i don't believe this is a close debate at all. if finland and sweden join nato,
4:18 am
the alliance will unquestionably be stronger. the risk of war and of america being dragged into war will decrease in europe and vladimir putin's unprovoked war of aggression against ukraine will backfire in another significant lasting way. i noted at the outset how unusual this moment is. finland and sweden are historically neutral countries. sweden has refrained from joining military alliances since the days of napoleon. finland also charted a course of neutrality even after the soviet union invaded finland during world war ii. now these historically neutral countries have petitioned to join nato. why? sweden, and especially finland, have always lived closer to the bear's den and thus had a
4:19 am
different relationship with moscow than we do. but now the russian bear is rampaging, mauling a sovereign country on its borders that's not in the ranks of nato. finland and sweden want to naturally avoid ukraine's fate. they concluded reasonably enough that there is strength in numbers, and they're right about that. if i were sitting in stockholm or helsinki, i would want to join nato too, but we're here in the united states senate. what matters to us, what should matter to us is what's in it for us. much as we may esteem the fins and the swedes, and we should, they're good people, we need allies that enhance our common defense, allies who can pull their own weight and then some. military alliances are not
4:20 am
charities. but finland and sweden aren't charity cases. they bring into nato their well-trained, well-equipped technology and vital geography. finland is a country of warriors with a long and proud tradition and to put it bluntly of fighting an killing russian invaders. in 1939, russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression against finland. what has become known as the winter war. few observers gave small finland a chance. but the outnumbered and outgunned fins shocked the world. not least stalin and the russian communists by matching the red army blow for blow. ever wonder where the term molotov cocktail comes from?
4:21 am
the fins gave it to us. what they lacked in antitank weapons, they made up in grit an courage. finnish soldiers rushed soviet tanks and dropped the mom inside them -- the bombs inside them. then there's the legendary sniper who killed an estimated 500 russian soldiers, among the highest number of confirmed sniper kills ever reported in combat. he entered into the history books better known by his well-earned nickname, white death, which also happens to be what every russian general fears from another tangle with the fins. the fins haven't forgotten the lessons of the winter war. still today every adult finnish men must fulfill a period of
4:22 am
national service, almost all choose the military. finland has a 900,000 man reserve it can draw on in a time of crisis and can fill an army of 280,000 when fully mobilized. finland's reserves are larger than the reserves of france, germany and italy combined. finland has firepower in addition to manpower. according to scholars, the foundation for the defense of democracies, finland has one of the strongest militaries in europe with more rocket launchers than france, germany or the united kingdom. it has a strong fleet of fighter jets and plans to buy 11 american-made f-35's. sweden is an industrial
4:23 am
powerhouse that will add muscle to the alliance. the swedish navy is an advanced force with advanced warships and submarines. they have produced some of the finest radar aircraft and weapons. in conjunction with the british, the swedes manufacture the in-law antitank. i would add that the swedish firm erickson along with nokia, are among the few alternatives to w huawei for telecommunicati. they are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to their defense many following russia's invasion of ukraine, finland boosted defense spending by # 0% and will spend more than 2% of its total economy on the military this
4:24 am
year. sweden is in the middle of doubling its defense spending and plans to reach that 2% goal no later than 2028. for these reasons alone, finland and sweden are not only worthy additions to the alliance but will become two of the strongest members of the alliance from the moment they join. but that's not all. they also add key geographic advantages to our alliance. first, the swedish island of gotland is in the middle of the baltic sea, fewer than 200 miles from the military base in kaliningrad. he who goals gotland goals -- control gotland controls the baltic. in the event of a conflict with
4:25 am
russia, nato could keep enemies from resupplying by sea. they would make it easier to relieve the baltic states by sea and air in the event of a russian invasion. second, finland controls the northern shores of the gull of finland through which russian ships must pass to reach petersburg. our nato ally estonia already has the coastline of this narrow waterway, that is not even 30 miles wide at its smallest point. by adding finland to the alliance, russian aggression would become even more difficult. third, the danish straits would also being in effect nato waters. russia's baltic fleet must pass through this stra extra tij -- a
4:26 am
strategic choke point. sweden controls the northern and eastern shores. by adding sweden to the alliance, we further complicate russia's naval operations. fourth, the 800-mile border of russia and finland -- this border would more than double the amount of border that russia must defend. it will threaten russia's military installations where russia's largest naval forces are positioned to break out into the atlantic and threaten the united states. so aside from their military strength and economic power, finland and sweden allow us to turn the baltic into a nato lake, bottle up russia's fleet,
4:27 am
cut off its isolated military base and expose russia to greater risk in the event of conflict. all things considered then one might contend that finland and sweden are the strongest candidates to join nato since its origin in 1949. we will soon see that most senators agree when we vote later today and really how could one disagree. after all, the last countries to join nato, montenegro and north macedonia were each proved -- approved by the senate with only two no votes. those countries brought their own case to nato. let's be honest, who can deny finland and sweden? countries far larger, capable, and far more strategically situated. it would be strange, indeed, for
4:28 am
any senator who voted to allow montenegro or north macedonia into nato to turn around and deny membership to finland and sweden. i would love to hear the defense of such a curious vote. but since some observers have criticized their bid for membership, let me address those arguments now. the most basic argument is -- isn't really directed at finland or sweden but at nato itself. some critics say america shouldn't defend countries halfway around the world. these critics are seven decades too late. we are treaty bound to defend more than two dozen nations in europe. whether we support this treaty today or not, we will still be treaty bound to defend those nations. so the real question today is whether adding two capable and strong nations to our mutual defense pact will make us stronger or weaker.
4:29 am
the evidence i've shared demonstrates that adding finland and sweden will indeed make us stronger, more likely to deter russian aggression and to defeat russian aggression should it come. next, some opponents contend that admitting finland in particular is a liability because the united states would be committing to the defense of its 800-mile border with russia. this argument is both alarmist and backwards. it's alarmist because russia hasn't attacked a nato member in its more than 70-year history even as it has attacked many nonnato countries. given the russian army's pitiful performance in ukraine, they will be in no position to wreak break with that -- to break with that record any time soon and finland is the least likely to be attacked by russia after the trauma of the winter war.
4:30 am
white death is a strong deterrent. moreover, these critics are thinking about this issue backwards. as i said earlier, it's russia that has to worry about its long border should it attack our allies. nato is a defensive alliance, always has been, always will be. neither finland nor any other nato country has any plan or desire to invade russia. but should russia ever be tempted to attack nato, the finnish border creates nearly insurmountable war-planning dilemmas for the russian general staff. to borrow what u.s. grant told his commanders about robert e. lee, rather than worry about what russia would do at finland's border, russia should
4:31 am
be worried about us. putin noticed and acquiesced. others say our main strategic focus should be on china, not russia. i agree. china is the greatest long-term threat to the united states, but admitting finland and sweden to nato enhances our common defense, especially our defenses in europe, a nato that is stronger militarily, economically and geographically in europe is a nato that needs to lean less on american power. we ought to welcome strong capable allies in europe who can free up the american military to focus more on the pacific theater. that's dubbably true -- doubly true when there is erickson and nokia that can help us beat china in the global technology race. others have objected that the
4:32 am
majority of nato members are currently failing to pay their fair share toward our common defense. i agree here too. i'm tired of freeloading, grandstanding friends. how is that a criticism of sweden or finland. as i said, finland pays its fair share and sweden has chartered a clearer path their than many nato members. and both nations are doing so for a reason more durable than diplomatic sweet talk, perceived danger. some claim that expanding nato will provoke russian aggression, but the fact is nato expansion is the result, not the cause, of russian aggression. countries are banking on nato -- banking on nato's door because of russia's behavior. as i mentioned earlier sweden and finland have long histories of neutrality. vladimir putin's balance towards
4:33 am
his neighbors has made that neutrality untenable in their minds. a few critics of nato expansion love to quote the words of george washington's farewell address. our first president warned against permanent alliances and he recommended as little political connection as possible with other nations. that advice was well suited for a young republican in 1796 but washington didn't stop writing where these critics stopped reading. the great statesman saw a future where america would gain strength, stand up and assert itself. washington continued. with me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country, to settle immature its yet recent institutions and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it humanly speaking the
4:34 am
command of its own fortunes. we have gained since washington's time the command of our own fortunes. one of the pillars of our strength in modern times is our network of allies and partners in the old world. these beachheads and lodgements of freedom help us keep the awful power of modern war at a distance. finland and sweden are two such nations. they have asked to join our mutual defense alliance and they are worthy partners. i urge my colleagues to grant their request, ratify this treaty, and welcome two more strong beachheads and lodgements into the north atlantic treaty organization. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senior senator from delaware. mr. carper: madam president, the speaker just finished speaking before he leaves the floor, he and i same -- share the same
4:35 am
initials, trchlts c. and in -- t.c. and in this case we share the same views on an important issue. it's important to have the t.c.'s speaking from the same hymn book. madam president, on a lighter note, some of the conversation here is pretty serious. this is a serious matter, but i want to tell -- take it just a little bit lighter. i'm reminded of the words of harry truman, former president, used to say the only thing in the world is the hiss we -- the only thing new in the world is the history we forgot or never learned. and i want to take, if you will, as the presiding officer knows, every tuesday we have our caucus lunch. republicans have theirs. unfortunately we don't dine together enough. but our caucus lunch, we have a history moment or history minute, maybe a minute or two, one of the highlights of frankly the time we spend together. i want to look back a little bit in time as we take up today an issue that's right before us.
4:36 am
as it earn its out, the first swedes and fins, madam president, came to america about 384 years ago from a place kalamar, sweden. as we heard from others who have spoken, sweden and finland were the same country. there was no finland. all the fins leaved in sweden. and they continued to live in sweden for a good long time. i think swedish -- 1809, swedish rule over finland officially came to an end and finland separated from sweden. but when the two ships, the kalamar nickel and fogle grip set sail from what was in sweden, across the atlantic ocean toward the western hemisphere, they got close to land and ended up sailing north of would later would become the delaware bay, sailed further
4:37 am
north of what would become a more narrow channel, the delaware river and continued to sail -- didn't go up as far as what is now philadelphia, but they came across an unchartered river that went to the west off of -- a left turn off the dwir river to the west -- delaware river to the west. at the sailed for about a mile, maybe a mile and a half. and they decided they would put down their anchors. a bunch of rocks, big rocks along the sides of that river. put down their anchors and declared that spot the colony of new sweden of what is now wilmington, delaware, the colony of new sweden. and they raised their flag and said this is where we're going to make -- that was i think maybe the first european, at least in my state, the first european colony that was created and was created later and taken over by i think the dutch and then by maybe the british. but initially it was the swedes
4:38 am
and the fins who cool niced that -- colonized that spot. delaware has -- has one of the newest national parks in america. it's a different kind of national park that tells the story of delaware's involvement in the early -- earlier history of the settlement of our country leading up to the ratification of the constitution on december 7, 1787 which took place in our state capital. delaware became the first state for one whole week, madam president, we were the entire united states of america. and we opened it up and let in maryland and pennsylvania and 47 or so more, including wisconsin and i think for the most part it's turned out pretty well. we had some bumps in the road, as the presiding officer knows. but colony of new sweden was in place for probably about 25 years and then the dutch took
4:39 am
over and then the british sort of took over the region in 1664. when the dutch created the colony of sweden in what is now wilmington, delaware, they also built a church. and they built what is now known as old swedes church. we have a lot of churches in this country and the old swedes church is believed to be maybe the longest, continuously serving church in america. how is that for history? and it was part of our national park that we created, somebody worked on for years. we created in a decade or two ago. old swedes church. it's still there. still doing the lord's work. the -- this is a beautiful, beautiful picture. this is the kalamar nickel, full sail. this is one of the two ships
4:40 am
that brought the swedes and fins to america, all 384 years ago. we -- this is the swedish flag over here. and this is the delaware flag over here. the kalamar nickel is literally has a permanent place to be, maintained and anchored along the christina river and about -- when i went to the biden station this morning to catch the train to come down here, as i do most mornings, madam president, if i had just not gotten on the train and headed down river about a mile, i would come to this ship right on the christina river. it set sail many places around the world, really the ship that represents our state which used to be the colony of new sweden. we all get to meet people from different places around the world. and i've been privileged to meet a lot of swedish americans.
4:41 am
it turns out there are more swedish americans than there are swedes in sweden. let me say that again. there are now more swedish americans than there are swedes in sweden. there's a bunch of them. and they contribute to our country, certainly to our state in many, many different ways. i work a lot on economic development, always have as government and even now. some of the finest business people i have ever met are swedes or swedish extraction. funny story, if i could, madam president, everybody -- 25, the king and queen of sweden, come to revisit the colony of new sweden. we have a big celebration for a couple of days right along the banks of this river, the christina river. by the way, the christina river, all those years ago when the swedes first came to shore, they made the river after their child queen who at the time was 12 years old. imagine peaking at the age of 12
4:42 am
and becoming a queen or a king. christina, the -- that river is named after her. i like -- women who are named christina, i tell them their heritage, their name goes all those years back to when the swedes first came here and helped to settle our country. anyway, once every 25 years the king and queen of sweden come to visit us. and in 2013 king carl, the 16th and queen sylvia of sweden came to delaware for several days. we had a huge celebration on the banks of the christina river. i had the privilege of sitting next to the queen during dinner, this big banquet, hundreds of people, black tie, great music, wonderful speeches. and she and i had just a delightful time talking over dinner. i said to her, we talked about the arts, and i like films and i
4:43 am
believe the presiding officer is a film buff. one of my early favorite directors, emar -- ingmarbergland, we talked about his films and the films that actually touched our lives and helped shape our lives. we talked about music. we talked about music. i said to the queen of sweden, i said i've always heard -- i don't know where i've gotten this, your highness, i don't know where i got this, but for some reason i make a connection between you and the singing group abba. now, inga mar, one of the greatest of all time, abba, maybe one of the top singing groups in the history of the world, they actually still record from time to time. but anyway, i said to the queen -- queen sylvia, is there a connection between abba and you and your husband?
4:44 am
she said, well, there is. i said what is it. she said the night before we were married in sweden, she said there's a huge celebration and a concert, outdoor concert with tens of thousands of people. they said the ed lines group for the concert was abba. i said no kidding. i said did they sing? she said that was the night they debuted the song dancing queen. maybe one of the best pop songs i've ever heard. i won't say we sat there and hummed a few bars but maybe we between. -- but maybe we did. we had a lot in common with the swedes and the fins. we share a lot of likes and really very much a appreciation, if you will, of the arts, including film, including music. they are a country that prides
4:45 am
ourselves on free enterprise system. so do the swedes. you look up the term no-brainer and you won't find it in the dictionary. but if you look up the term no-brainer, madam president, it would say this vote today. and the issue that's before us. why in god's name why wouldn't we want the swedes and fins to join us together. a congresswoman from delaware, she talks about sticks tied together can't be broken. sticks tied together can't be broken. one stick, you're going to break it. pile a bunch of them together, you can't break them. the same is true here. the same is true here. the admission of finland, admission of sweden into nato makes that band of sticks even stronger and that much harder to break. i'm just delighted that we have an issue when there's been a
4:46 am
fair amount of dissension in these halls, i'm delighted that we have something i think we can all -- pretty much -- almost all can agree on. this will be a good thing. it's going to be good for our country, good for sweden, good for finland. i think it's going to be good for our planet. and those of us who are privileged to live in what used to be the colony of new sweden couldn't be happier. and we're delighted to celebrate. i would just say to anybody listening, you know, i've never been to a national park in delaware. we want you to know we have one and it's a great one, from one end of the state to the other. start up north. get off the train, walk about a mile, you'll be at what used to be the hope place, the starting place of the new colony of sweden. with that, madam president, i think i've done enough damage. thank you for the time to speak and i'm going to dwreeld to -- to yield to a fellow from alaska who is a man -- i don't know if he spent a lot of time on ships
4:47 am
and boat. i spent a few years as a navy guy. but the marines, they spend a lot of time at sea. they take rides in our boat, as it were. i would say different uniforms but same team. on this one we're on the same page and it's great to be there. i yield the floor. mr. sullivan: madam president. the presiding officer: the senior senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: madam president, it's always good to follow my friend from delaware, captain -- navy captain carper, vietnam vet, naval aviator, the whole works. it's an honor to serve with him on epw and other committees. thank you, my good friend from delaware. madam president, i call up my amendment number 5192 and ask that it be reported by number. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from alaska, mr. sullivan, proposes an amendment numbered 5192. mr. sullivan: madam president,
4:48 am
after world war ii, european leaders looked to the united states to help heal a fractured world and to help provide safety against increasing communist russian aggression. as winston churchill said, quote, there i sat with the great russian bear on one side of me with paws outstretched and on the other side the great american buffalo. well, the buffalo prevailed, nato prevailed and the world's most successful and enduring military alliance was born. in 1949, the senate ratified the nato treaty by a vote of 82-13. president truman was quoted at the signing ceremony of the nato
4:49 am
treaty by saying, quote, in this pact, we hope to create a shield against aggression and the fear of aggression. for us, war is not inevitable, he continued. men with courage and vision can still determine their own destiny. they can choose slavery or freedom, war or peace. the treaty we are signing here today is evidence of the path they will follow. that was when president truman signed the first nato treaty. and indeed, madam president, since the formation of nato, no world wars have broken out, no country that is a signatory of nato has been invaded by another country's military forces.
4:50 am
in fact, the only time nato's article 5, which is the pillar of the alliance which states that an attack on one is an attack on all, was invoked was actually after the terrorist attacks on america on 9/11. our allies came to our help to ensure afghanistan wouldn't harbor terrorists. we appreciate that help. we appreciate it deeply from our nato allies. madam president, nato, however, senior senator more than just a military alliance. it is a group of countries with shared values and beliefs and a commitment to the principles of democracy. all of this, in addition to the military alliance, is the
4:51 am
heritage of nato. president ronald reagan summed it up in a speech to our nato allies in 1993. quote, what do the soviets mean by words like democracy, freedom, and peace? not, i'm sorry to say what we mean. place the word soviet with russia and the sentiment unfortunately holds true today. we see the antithesis of these democratic values and shared beliefs of nato being played out in real time before us in the streets of ukraine where vladimir putin is leading a brutal assault on ukraine, russia's democratic neighbor, and committing atrocities, horrible atrocities against the brave people of that country.
4:52 am
as both president truman and reagan remarked, members of the nato alliance are like members of the same house and the same family. the house and the family of democracy. so today the u.s. senate will welcome the nations of sweden and finland into the nato family. like any family, we may not agree on everything, but when it's most important, we will have each other's back. that is the essence of nato. and the core reason for its success. neither russia nor any other country will be able to invade sweden or finland now that they've become members of nato without its nato allies coming to their support.
4:53 am
of course, fund has subpoenaed the russian invasion. in 1939 where without the help from other nations its greatly outnumbered finnish army fought off over one million russian forces for three months. but that won't happen again to fingerprinted and it won't happen to sweden. they won't be alone now. we welcome these countries' commitment to freedom and their advanced professional militaries, which will make nato stronger. and, too, finland and sweden, no longer will you be working with nato, you will be in part of the greatest defense alliance in history.
4:54 am
so welcome to these great countries. as churchill once said, there's only one thing worse than fighting with allies and that is fighting without them. so, madam president, i strongly support the inclusion of these two great nations, sweden and finland, into the nato alliance. important owe cautions like this -- important occasions like this are also an opportunity to reflect on the obligations of membership, not just for these new nato members but for all nato members. and on the heels of the russian invasion and annexation of crimea in 2014, the heads of state and representatives of the then 28 member countries who made up nato, attended a very
4:55 am
important summit, a nato summit in wales. there they agreed upon a common goal for all nato members that they would spend a minimum of 2% of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024. this 2% of gdp nato defense spending goal has been strongly supported for decades by american administrations, both republican and democrat. presidents bush, obama, trump, and now president biden. at the time, in 2014, of the
4:56 am
nato summit in wales, ten of the 28 members of nato met that 2% guideline. now, eight years later in 2022, the 30 nato country members, we only have eight of those 30 meeting that 2% threshold. i have a chart here. it lays out the 2% goal, who's above it, who's below it. there's many other countries besides the ones that are listed there, madam president. but the bottom line is, since wales and that important commitment, there's not been much progress in nato on this shared goal and commitment. now, i am a very strong supporter of nato and a very strong supporter of the u.s.
4:57 am
military. and i want nato toendure for decades to come. but alliances can't endure if shared commitments and shared burdens are not met. this is particularly true for democratic alliances like nato. there must be a sense among the citizens of such countries that all are pulling their weight for the collective defense of the alliance, for the collective defense of each other. so as i mentioned at the outset, madam president, i am calling up an amendment to the resolution. my amendment is to make this commitment clear. it is to announce the u.s. senate's expectation for all nato members -- the united states, existing members, and
4:58 am
now new members -- expectations on what has already been agreed to by each nato country and its citizens. the amendment is simple. it states the following -- the senate declares that all nato members should spend a minimum of 2% of their gross domestic product on defense and 20% of their defense budget on major equipment, including research and development, by 2024, as outlined in the 2014 wales summit declaration. that's it. it's a simple amendment, madam president, and i hope it can pass in the next hour by a voice vote. let me conclude with this. a robust expanded nato with finland and sweden as new
4:59 am
members is needed now more than ever, especially given the brutal invasion of ukraine by russia. we need to fully understand the broader implications of this invasion. we have entered a new era of authoritarian aggression, led by russia and china's dictators who are increasingly isolated and dangerous, driven by historical grievances, paranoid about their democratic neighbors, and willing to use military force and other aggressive actions to crush the citizens of such countries. these dangerous dictators -- vladimir putin and xi -- are increasingly working together to achieve their aggressive goals. we must wake up to the fact that this new era of authoritarian aggression will likely be with
5:00 am
us for decades. we need to face it with strategic resolve and confidence. the united states has extraordinary advantages relative to the dictatorships of russia and china. if we are wise enough to utilize and strengthen them. our global network allies, our lethal military, our world-class network of natural resources, our dynamic economy, and, most important, our democratic values and commitment to liberty. xi's and putin's vulnerability is that they fear their own people. we should remember this and exploit this in the years and months ahead. nato, as an alliance, encompasses so many of these
5:01 am
powerful comparative advantages -- a lethal military, a global network of allies, dynamic economies, and the power off democratic values and the commitment to liberty. we should all welcome and celebrate the addition of finland and sweden to the nato alliance, but we should also use this moment to recognize the seriousness of the authoritarian threats on the rise all over the world and recommit ourselves, all nato members, to our obligations of
5:02 am
5:03 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on