Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the U.S. remains committed to the NATO alliance and will work to help it face upcoming security challenges. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff reaffirmed the U.S commitment to NATO on Thursday (February 23) amid a recent warning from the Trump administration that Europe must contribute more to the alliance. U.S. President Donald Trump sent top U.S. officials to Europe last week with a familiar warning from Washington that allies must spend more on defense, this time with the ultimatum "or else". Dunford told reporters: "Yes we're committed to NATO," adding the alliance has to remain relevant. "We've been working on pretty hard, even even before the transition of administrations is to make sure that NATO continues to transform to be relevant to the security challenges that we confront today and tomorrow as opposed to the security challenges we confronted yesterday and that of course in NATO terms, they talk about it as 360 degrees meaning we not only meet the state challenges that NATO friends but also the non-state challenges that have manifested themselves in terrorist attacks or immigration or other destabilizing activities that we know of had broad political and economic consequences in Europe," Dunford said at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. By current standards, Washington funds about 70 percent of NATO spending. Dunford also discussed his recent meeting with Russian military officials where they agreed to create ground communication links and outline steps their pilots could take to avoid an inadvertent clash over Syria. "My purpose in meeting with my Russian counterpart, was to make sure that we mitigated the risk of miscalculation and we opened up lines of communication that would be effective in the event of a crisis intensity," Dunford said. Dunford also said he would be providing President Donald Trump with options for troop levels in Syria.