Vice-President Mike Pence reassured nervous European allies by declaring the unwavering support of the U.S. to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO) but balanced such pledge with echoing of the previous call of President Trump for Europe to do its part by increasing its military spending.
Pence made the statement in a speech at the Munich Security Conference attended by European and world leaders and senior officials led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He also told the gathering that he was bringing President Trump's message of giving importance to the trans-Atlantic bond. The Vice-President reaffirmed America's commitment to continue being Europe's greatest ally, and that the country will always stand by Europe.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has expressed accord with President Trump's call for allies to increase their defense spending. In fact, he has been pushing the allies to develop spending plans and make them available before Trump's scheduled visit in Europe in May.
European leaders have been nervous about what the U.S. might do to reduce its commitment to the region should allies fail to heed its call for greater military and defense spending. Pence made the reassurance that the U.S. would continue its contribution to the NATO deterrent force in Poland and the Baltic states. He also underscored that the U.S. will walk its talk by increasing its military spending to strengthen its forces to be in a better position to protect its allies.
Pence reiterated Trump's belief and previous statement that peace can only come through strength, that is why it is imperative for the U.S. to be strong in its military might. While pledging support, Pence underscored Trump's challenge that the alliance would be weakened if European allies will not do their part in boosting military spending.