[Senate Hearing 115-780] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] S. Hrg. 115-780 ASSESSING THE VALUE OF THE NATO ALLIANCE ======================================================================= HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ SEPTEMBER 5, 2018 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations [GRAPHIC NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.govinfo.gov __________ U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 40-165 PDF WASHINGTON : 2020 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS BOB CORKER, Tennessee, Chairman JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey MARCO RUBIO, Florida BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire JEFF FLAKE, Arizona CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware CORY GARDNER, Colorado TOM UDALL, New Mexico TODD YOUNG, Indiana CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, Connecticut JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming TIM KAINE, Virginia JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts ROB PORTMAN, Ohio JEFF MERKLEY, Oregon RAND PAUL, Kentucky CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey Todd Womack, Staff Director Jessica Lewis, Democratic Staff Director John Dutton, Chief Clerk (ii) C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Corker, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator From Tennessee.................... 1 Menendez, Hon. Robert, U.S. Senator From New Jersey.............. 2 Haass, Hon. Richard N., President, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC................................................. 4 Prepared Statement........................................... 7 Burns, Hon. R. Nicholas, Former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts................... 9 Prepared Statement........................................... 11 Sloan, Stanley R., Professor and Author, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont............................................ 15 Prepared Statement........................................... 16 (iii) ASSESSING THE VALUE OF THE NATO ALLIANCE ---------- Wednesday, September 5, 2018 U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:00 a.m. in room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Bob Corker, chairman of the committee, presiding. Present: Senators Corker, Risch, Rubio, Johnson, Gardner, Young, Barrasso, Menendez, Cardin, Shaheen, Coons, Udall, Murphy, Kaine, Markey, and Merkley. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB CORKER, U.S. SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE The Chairman. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will come to order. And I want to thank our witnesses for being here with us. It is a very important hearing. I know there is a lot of noise this morning going on in Judiciary, but this is a very important topic. We thank you for rescheduling. I know we had hoped to do it before and the Senate schedule changed. But we are glad to have three such distinguished witnesses. As our members know, this is the third in a series of hearings on Russia, with today's hearing assessing the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In a strong bipartisan manner, this committee has expressed support for our NATO allies and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the transatlantic partnership. I know most members of this body believe, like I do, that a strong NATO is essential, especially given the level of aggression from Russia not seen since the Cold War. Unfortunately and the reason we are here today is that in recent months the value of this critical alliance has been repeatedly questioned. The recent NATO summit was, in my view, a low point in that regard. While I strongly support the notion that all NATO countries, especially Germany, need to meet the 2 percent requirement for spending on defense, at the same time, a weakening of the alliance is not in U.S. national interests. And by questioning the very premise of NATO, harshly rebuking individual member states, purposely using false information in an effort to turn public opinion against the alliance, and casting doubt on our commitment to Article 5, in effect inviting our rivals to test it, NATO is undoubtedly weakened. And, of course, this in turn plays right in the hands of Vladimir Putin. Today I hope we can set the record straight and provide the American people with a true understanding of this important alliance. We will go into these issues in greater detail as we hear from our witnesses, but I would like to frame our conversation starting with a few facts. Since 1949, NATO has been a vital block of American security. It has linked the U.S. with Europe and Canada through mutual defense, shared interests, and basic values. Our partners stood ready during the height of the Cold War and stood with the United States following the September 11 attacks on our nation, the only time in the 69-year existence of the alliance that Article 5 has been invoked. Let me repeat. Article 5 has been invoked once in 69 years, and it was in response to an attack on the U.S. homeland. Now, in regards to funding, here is the reality. We spend less than 1 percent of our overall defense budget on NATO itself. And even if we were to add up all of the costs associated with the European security, our forward presence, missile defense, and security assistance, it totals just 5 percent of our defense spending. But it is true that not all of our NATO allies are meeting their commitments, which is why I support the administration urging our NATO partners to commit more resources to defense. So the bottom line is, yes, some of our allies need to step up. But at the end of the day, NATO is a very good investment for U.S. national security. I think Secretary Mattis understands that. I think Secretary Pompeo understands that. And I think many others within the administration understand the same. I think it is important that we give the American people a clear-eyed assessment of NATO, its value, and its relationship to our country. I am hopeful that today's hearing will provide just that. I want to thank the witnesses again for being here. I look forward to your testimony. And now I will turn to my friend, our ranking member, Bob Menendez. STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT MENENDEZ, U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First, thank you for convening this hearing on assessing the value of the NATO alliance. I appreciate all our witnesses as well coming back--well, making the arrangements to be here. So we appreciate that very much. As we will continue to seek information about the debacle in Helsinki, I appreciate, Mr. Chairman, your willingness to lead a series of hearings on the U.S. policy with respect to the Russian Federation. NATO has secured peace in Europe since 1949 and has been critical to U.S. efforts in places outside of NATO like Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kosovo. It is an alliance based not only on security commitments but shared values among its members of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. In a world where various forces are eroding democracy and the rules-based international order, it is a core interest of the United States to bolster and strengthen alliances like NATO, a guarantor and the cornerstone of peace for Americans in the transatlantic region for 70 years. Unfortunately, President Trump clearly takes a different view. He has questioned the value of the alliance to the United States and said that NATO, quote, ``was helping Europe more than it was helping us.'' He has repeatedly dismissed and undermined the merits of the Article 5 mutual defense clause, intimating that the, quote, ``aggressive country of Montenegro with its 600,000 people could lead the United States into World War III.'' And some of his comments regarding NATO have been patently false. If we accomplish nothing else this morning, I hope this committee can dispel the President's harmful disinformation. The President has claimed that NATO Secretary-General Stollenberg has given him total credit for the rise in NATO members' defense spending because the President, quote, said it was ``unfair.'' The truth is that defense spending by NATO allies has been on the rise since Russia's invasion of Crimea in 2014 in reaction to a security threat from Putin, not insults and bullying from Trump. The truth is that NATO allies continue to work hand in glove with United States partners in Afghanistan and other places around the world, risking and even losing their lives, a sacrifice that the President seems unable to comprehend if it is not expressed in dollars and cents. The truth is that NATO allies have committed to spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense, and this defense spending comes out of the budgets of individual countries for their own militaries. The 2 percent commitment by NATO allies is not membership dues nor are they paid into some sort of centralized piggybank in Washington or Brussels. The communique and some of the decisions coming out of the NATO summit were positive and constructive, but those measures only go so far. Secretary Pompeo made clear last month that the President's statements are the policy of our government, and I agree. So when President Trump says things that clearly contradict his own administration's actions, it undermines their work. And worse, it sends mixed signals to our friends and foes alike who are likely to hedge their behavior in response to protect their interests. This incoherence calls into question what we as a country stand for. That is why Senator Graham and I included language in our Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, which would subject U.S. withdrawal from NATO to a congressional vote. I want to thank Senator Kaine for his leadership on a similar legislative effort. We must make clear to the administration and to our allies that the U.S. commitment to the alliance is rock solid. Mr. Chairman, to understand the value of the transatlantic bonds bolstered by NATO, you need to only know a simple number and that is the one that you referred to. And that number is one, the number of times that NATO's Article 5 provision on collective defense has been invoked by the United States. After we were attacked on September 11th, our NATO allies swiftly came to our aid after that terrible day and have been alongside us ever since. One person has been clear-eyed about NATO's value because his top priority is to undermine it, Vladimir Putin. His regime has grown increasingly hostile towards not just NATO but also the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law on which it is based. Indeed, his regime has staked its reputation on antagonizing NATO members and all that the alliance represents. This committee has taken bipartisan steps recently to send a different responsible message to our allies. We stand for the rule of law and an international order based on liberal democratic values. We stand for security alliances among democracies based on mutual defense against our enemies. We stand against dictators that invade their neighbors with soldiers and cyber-attacks, and we stand with our allies and friends through thick and thin. I look forward to hearing from our distinguished witnesses today about their thoughts on what more this body can do to concretely embody those values. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Thank you very much. Our first witness today is the Honorable Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been here many times before us. Our second witness is the Honorable Nicholas Burns, who has also been before us many times, former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Our third witness is Mr. Stanley Sloan, a non-resident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. We thank all three of you for being here. I know that each of you knows if you have any written materials, we would be glad to enter them into the record. If you would not mind summarizing in about 5 minutes, we would appreciate it. We are thrilled that you are here. And with that, if you would begin, Mr. Haass, we would appreciate it. STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARD N. HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, WASHINGTON, DC Ambassador Haass. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for this opportunity to testify. It is good to be back before this committee where I am shocked to say I began my government service 44 years ago now. I am also really pleased to be with these two individuals. At least two out of three of your choices were first-rate. Let me just make clear that my views today are mine alone rather than the Council on Foreign Relations, which does not take institutional positions. Let me say one other thing in the way of introduction. I would be remiss if I did not note the passing of one of the great men of this or any institution, John McCain. And John was a great advocate of the Atlantic Alliance and also of a realistic policy toward Russia, and I am sure he would have welcomed the hearings that you, Mr. Chairman, and your colleagues are holding. We meet today in what I would describe as the third era of NATO. The first paralleled the Cold War, and it was dominated by the effort to deter and to prepare to defend against the threat posed by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The second era followed the Cold War, and it was defined by enlargement, the consolidation of democracy in former Warsaw Pact countries, and in going out of area. That second era, though, drew to a close and the third began with Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine, which gets us to our topic for today. And through each of these eras, including now, NATO, as both you and the ranking member said, have proven itself to have value and substantial value at that. The Cold War stayed cold until it ended on terms even optimists had trouble envisioning. There has been no armed Russian aggression against any NATO member. And as again you both pointed out, NATO allies rallied to our side following 9/11. Now, I fully expect that European defense spending levels and military preparedness will figure prominently today, but it is essential that a concern over burden sharing not blind us to the reality of benefit sharing. The United States stays in and supports NATO not as a favor to Europe, but as a favor to itself. NATO membership is an act of strategic self-interest, not philanthropy. The United States can afford what NATO costs. Total U.S. defense spending is less than half the Cold War average as measured by a percentage of our GDP. What the United States spends on NATO and European defense is but a fraction of that. We can have the guns we need without sacrificing the butter we want. What this country does with NATO and in the world more generally cannot be blamed for our domestic shortcomings. What is more, American society could not insulate itself from the adverse effects of a world characterized by increasing disarray, which would be certain to result if NATO ceased to be. Central to NATO's continuing relevance is that Russia poses an all-too-real threat to what we used to call the West. Russia needs to know that the United States and its NATO partners have both the will and the ability to respond locally to anything it might do. Deterrence is obviously preferable to defense, but deterrence is never far removed from the perception that this alliance is willing and able to defend its interests. It is entirely conceivable that Moscow could seek to test the readiness of NATO members to stand by the Article 5 clause. The United States also needs to be prepared for the sort of gray zone aggression Russia has employed in eastern Ukraine with its dispatch of irregular forces and the arming of locals. What is required to meet this threat is training along with arms and intelligence support so that NATO members near Russia can cope with what I would describe as Article 4 and a half contingencies. The United States never wants to put itself in a position where the only response to a challenge is to escalate, whether by expanding a crisis in terms of geography or in the type of weaponry used. Yes, NATO members and Germany in particular should spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. But as I am sure both of my colleagues will point out, European defense spending levels are in fact rising. European members of NATO, along with Canada, spend some $300 billion a year on defense. But more important I would say and for you to think about than how much is spent is how it is spent. There is far too much duplication and not nearly enough specialization within and across NATO. And European countries must possess a range of capabilities along with the ability to get them there and sustain them once they are there. The U.S. cannot introduce uncertainty as to its commitment to NATO. Alliances are about collective defense, that an attack on one is an attack on all, and any doubt as to U.S. reliability risks encouraging aggression and increases the inclination of countries to accommodate themselves to stronger neighbors. A failure to respond to clear aggression against any NATO member would effectively spell the end of the alliance. Let me just make a few final points. The first is that I believe NATO membership for either Ukraine or Georgia should be placed on hold. Neither comes close to meeting NATO requirements. Going ahead further risks dividing the alliance at this time and adding military commitments the United States and NATO are not in a position to fulfill. Second, the time has come to face the reality and rethink our approach to Turkey. We are witnessing the gradual but steady demise of this relationship. Turkey may be an ally in the formal sense, but it is no partner. Nor is it a democracy. The Trump administration is right to have confronted Turkey over the detention of an American pastor, but its focus is too narrow and with tariffs it chose the wrong response. We also need to rethink Afghanistan. We need to rethink our policy ambitions and limit our policy ambitions to building government capacity and limiting the ability of terrorists to base themselves there. Extending government control over the whole of the country or creating conditions for peace are likely to be beyond reach. Let me make two final points, and then I will stop. It is important to recognize that NATO cannot survive in a policy vacuum. It is part of a larger U.S.-Europe strategic relationship. There is no economic or strategic justification for a trade war. The overuse of sanctions and the overuse of tariffs set back U.S. economic and strategic interests alike. There are other better options for advancing our economic and trade interests across the Atlantic. The EU, the European Union, is a friend; not a foe. It is the best partner available to the United States for tackling the full range of global challenges that define this era. It also remains an essential partner for containing Iran. And a final point. I began with a historical point. I want to end with one. No one should assume European stability is permanent. To the contrary, history shows that the last 70 years are more exception than rule. It should be the objective of the United States to extend this exception, given the many benefits and the costs of European instability. And a strong NATO in the context of a robust European relationship is the best way to do just that. Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity. [The prepared statement of Ambassador Haass follows:] Prepared Statement of Dr. Richard N. Haass Mr. Chairman: Thank you for this opportunity to appear before the Committee on Foreign Relations on the subject of the value of the NATO alliance. I want to make clear that my views are mine alone and that I am not speaking for the Council on Foreign Relations, which takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. I admit to being somewhat surprised that this is the subject of a hearing just now. Although the question of NATO's value was understandably raised at various times over recent decades, I would have thought the Russian interventions in Ukraine and Georgia, its interference in the elections and referenda of various NATO members, and NATO's role in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and its other ``out of area'' contributions would have settled the question. But the one thing we should have learned from recent months and years is to be careful of assumptions and of taking anything for granted. That is one reason why this hearing is well-timed, as Congress has the ability to be a much-needed classroom for the country. Let me take a step back before I address today's topic directly. We are in what can best be understood as the third era of NATO. The first, which began with NATO's inception and ran for four decades until the end of the Cold War, was dominated by the effort to deter and to prepare to defend against the threat that the Warsaw Pact posed to the Atlantic democracies. NATO was also a vehicle for promoting stability and trust among the countries of Western Europe and North America, seeking to eliminate the dangerous impulses that had twice before in the previous half-century triggered war at great cost to themselves and the world. In all this and more NATO succeeded. The Cold War stayed cold until it ended on terms even optimists had difficulty envisioning. Success, however, created its own questions, including whether NATO was still needed and, if so, in what form and with what functions. The answer was that NATO still had a role to play, one defined by enlargement and the consolidation of democracy in former Warsaw Pact countries and, additionally, in going out of area to meet shared security challenges beyond the formal treaty area. Actions were undertaken in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Libya, albeit with decidedly mixed results. Another function for NATO in this, its second era, was to stay in business so as to provide a hedge against the unavoidable uncertainty as to what sort of an international actor Russia would turn out to be. Enlargement was successful in that NATO membership increased from 16 to 29 countries and we have seen no armed Russian aggression against any NATO member. Whether NATO enlargement contributed to Russian alienation and the emergence of a Russian threat to Europe makes for an interesting historical inquiry, but it is just that. We are where we are. What is most relevant for our purpose here today is that NATO is now in its third era, one that began in earnest with Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine in 2014. What was a possible Russian threat had become an actual one. At the same time, out of area challenges have not gone away. Democracy has proven difficult to promote in new members and appears to be struggling in some older ones. All of which leads us to the questions of the day: Does NATO still have value? If so, how much? And what can be done to increase that value? The answer to the first question is that yes, NATO continues to have value, and substantial value at that. I expect that European defense spending levels and military preparedness will figure prominently in today's conversation, but it is essential that a legitimate concern over burden-sharing not blind us to the no less important reality of benefit-sharing. The United States stays in and supports NATO as a favor not to Europeans but to itself. NATO membership is an act of strategic self-interest, not philanthropy. NATO members rallied to our side in the aftermath of September 11. The United States has gained in important ways from a Europe that has been largely peaceful, stable, prosperous, and democratic. NATO members have proven to be dependable, capable partners out of area; the troops of NATO members have fought and died alongside American troops in Afghanistan. Out-of-area missions in and around Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa will be required for the foreseeable future given the resilience of terrorists and the need to enhance the capabilities of local states fighting them. Here I would concur with what was agreed on by all NATO members a little over a month ago, that ``the Alliance remains an essential source of stability in an increasingly unpredictable world.'' One piece of good news is that the United States can afford what NATO costs. Total U.S. defense spending, which helps us to meet our global responsibilities and protect U.S. interests worldwide, is less than half the Cold War average as measured by percentage of GDP. What the United States spends on NATO and European defense is but a fraction of that. We can have the guns we need without sacrificing the butter we want. NATO and what this country does in the world more generally cannot be blamed for the sorry state of much of our infrastructure, the poor quality of many of our public schools, or our ballooning public debt. What is more, American society could not insulate itself from the adverse effects of a world characterized by greater disarray, something certain to result if NATO ceased to exist. Central to NATO's continuing relevance is that Russia poses an all- too-real threat to what we used to call the West. It has modernized its conventional and unconventional military capabilities and demonstrated both an ability and a willingness to use them effectively. In Georgia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and Syria, Russia has resorted to both conventional and hybrid warfare to pursue its interests. Russia has also demonstrated the ability and will to employ cyber-related tools to influence and disrupt its neighbors, other European countries, and, as we know, democracy in this country. Russia needs to know that the United States and its NATO partners have both the will and the ability to respond locally to anything it might do. Deterrence is obviously preferable to defense. But deterrence is never far removed from the perception that the Alliance is willing and able to defend its interests. This argues for the stationing of military forces in and around areas that Russia might claim or move against, something that translates into maintaining sizable U.S. ground and air forces in Europe. In light of the current political discord within and among Western democracies, it is entirely conceivable that Moscow could seek to test the readiness of NATO members to stand by the Article 5 common defense clause. The United States needs to be prepared as well for the sort of ``gray zone'' aggression Russia has employed in eastern Ukraine, with its dispatching of irregular forces and arming of locals. Such tactics may not trigger NATO's Article 5, but they threaten stability all the same; what is required is training along with arms and intelligence support so that those NATO members near Russia can cope with such ``Article 4 \1/2\'' challenges should they materialize. Capabilities can be further enhanced through the regular dispatch of visiting forces and frequent military exercises. Such activity also underscores commitment and concern, thereby reassuring friends and allies and signaling actual or would-be foes. It is important that all this be done locally in areas of potential threat and with conventional military forces, as the United States never wants to put itself in a position where the only response to a challenge is to escalate, whether by expanding a crisis in terms of geography or in the type of weaponry, or to acquiesce to the results of successful aggression. All that said, there are other steps to be taken to increase the value of the Alliance. Yes, NATO members, and especially Germany, should spend more on defense, and we should continue to hold NATO members to the commitment they made at the Wales Summit to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense. But it is important to take note that European defense spending levels are rising and that European members of NATO along with Canada spend some $300 billion a year on defense, in the process covering the bulk of the costs of the Alliance. The United States covers only about 20 percent of NATO's common budget and, although U.S. defense spending as a share of GDP is well above the NATO average, a relatively small portion of U.S. expenditure goes to European defense. Even as we press our allies to spend more on defense, we should appreciate that more important than how much is spent is how defense dollars and euros are spent. There is far too much duplication and not nearly enough specialization within and across NATO. If NATO is to be a pool of resources that can meet challenges within and outside the treaty area, European countries must possess a range of capabilities along with the ability to get them there and sustain them once there. The European Union's ongoing efforts to reform its defense and procurement policy hold promise on this front. As it seeks to increase and rationalize allied contributions to common defense, the United States cannot introduce uncertainty as to its commitment to NATO. Alliances are about collective defense, that an attack on any member, even the smallest and weakest, is an attack on all. Any doubt as to U.S. reliability will only encourage aggression and increase the inclination of countries to accommodate themselves to a stronger neighbor. A failure to respond to clear aggression against any NATO member would effectively spell the end of NATO. None of this is inconsistent with the reality that much of what NATO now does lies outside Article 5 and that we have to expect such undertakings will rarely if ever involve all members of the Alliance. That Russia has emerged as a threat is not to argue for a one- dimensional policy toward that country. To be sure, we should push back where necessary, and not only with sanctions, when Russia violates a norm we hold to be central or puts at risk U.S. interests. But we should also be open to diplomacy and cooperation where possible and explore the potential of reviving the arms control dimension of the relationship. NATO membership for either Ukraine or Georgia should be placed on hold. Neither comes close to meeting NATO requirements, and going ahead risks further dividing the alliance and adding military commitments that the United States is not in a position to fulfill. Beyond making good on the pledge to make the Republic of North Macedonia NATO's 30th member, the United States and NATO would be wise to focus on meeting existing obligations before taking on new ones. The time has come to face reality and rethink our approach toward Turkey. What we are witnessing is the gradual but steady demise of a relationship; Turkey may be an ally in the formal sense but it is no partner. Nor is it a democracy. The Trump administration is right to have confronted Turkey over the detention of an American pastor, but its focus is too narrow and with tariffs it chose the wrong response. We should reduce our dependence on access to Turkish military facilities, deny Turkey access to advanced military hardware like F- 35s, and stand by the Kurds in Syria in the fight against ISIS. We may well have to wait out President Erdogan and seek to rebuild relations with Turkey once he no longer wields political power. We would also be wise to rethink Afghanistan. There are situations in which ambition is called for. There are other situations in which even a modest course of action can prove to be ambitious. Afghanistan surely qualifies as an example of the latter given its internal divisions and Pakistan's provision of a sanctuary to the Taliban. We should design a policy around building governmental capacity, holding Kabul and the other major cities, and limiting the ability of terrorists to base themselves in the country. Extending governmental control over the whole of the country or creating conditions for peace are beyond reach. Afghanistan is better understood as a situation to be managed than a problem to be solved. This argues for a continued but sharply limited U.S. and NATO effort there. NATO cannot survive much less thrive in a vacuum. It is part and parcel of the larger U.S.-European relationship. There is no economic or strategic justification for the sort of trade war the United States has launched. The overuse of sanctions and tariffs will set back U.S. economic and strategic interests alike. The EU is a friend, not a foe. European countries offer the best set of partners available to the United States for tackling global challenges ranging from how best to regulate cyberspace to mitigating and adapting to climate change to reforming the global trade system. They also remain an essential partner for containing Iran, a reality that argues for less unilateralism on our part and more coordination across the Atlantic. I said at the outset of my remarks that we should be careful with assumptions. No one should assume European stability is permanent. To the contrary, history plainly shows that the last 70 years are more an exception than the rule. It should be the objective of the United States to extend this exception until it becomes the rule. A strong NATO in the context of a robust U.S.-European relationship is the best way to do just that. Thank you again for this opportunity to meet with you today. I look forward to your comments and questions. The Chairman. Thank you. Thank you very much. Secretary Burns. STATEMENT OF HON. R. NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER U.S. PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO NATO AND UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS Ambassador Burns. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Menendez, members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to be here. I am very pleased to be with Dr. Haass and Dr. Sloan. You have asked three questions this morning. The first is what is NATO's value to the United States? I agree with both of your opening statements. It is our vital alliance, and it is still relevant and the key factor in trying to contain Russian power. And we have seen that emerge in Georgia, in Crimea, and eastern Ukraine over the last 8 years. I also think of NATO allies as indispensable force multipliers for the United States and for American power. And in a way, they represent the power differential between the United States and Russia and with our East Asian allies, the United States, and China. We have allies who will fight with us, and we can depend on them, and the Russians and Chinese do not. The NATO allies also help us project force from a forward deployed position in Europe. Think of Ramstein. A lot of you have visited these bases. And Aviano in Souda Bay and Rota in Spain. That is how we prosecute the war in Afghanistan and go after ISIS and the Taliban and other terrorist groups. And as Richard said, most of the NATO members are also EU members. And if you think of the great transnational threats that we are facing, that our kids are going to face, climate change and terrorism and pandemics and crime and migration, we need these countries on our side, and they largely are on our side. And I think most importantly--I have just come back from visiting five European countries this summer--the key issue in Western and Eastern Europe is will democracy survive. It is under challenge from an anti-democratic populace. The NATO allies are greatest defenders in defending democracy and challenging the autocrats in places like Poland, inside the Polish Government, inside the Italian Government, and in Hungary itself. So we are stronger with them than without them. Your second question, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Menendez, was on President Trump's policy towards NATO. I am concerned. I believe we are witnessing the greatest crisis of American leadership in NATO since 1949. It is one thing to push the allies to meet their security commitments. President Trump has been right to push the NATO allies on defense spending, and he has made some progress. But it is quite another for an American President to call NATO obsolete on the campaign trail in 2016, to then refuse in 2017 to reaffirm the Article 5 commitment on the President's first visit to NATO headquarters, and then 6 weeks ago to be publicly, I would say, shockingly ambivalent about whether or not the United States will defend Montenegro, our NATO ally, if it is threatened by the Russian Government. Words matter in diplomacy. Our ability to deter Russia depends on the Kremlin believing that the United States President--and the United States President is NATO's leader-- that he or she will stand up to Russian aggression and defend our smaller allies. That is now in doubt in Europe after the Helsinki Summit. President Trump is the first American President in NATO's history to equivocate on our security commitment to the NATO allies. And so our reliability and credibility and our commitment to the alliance are being questioned by our best friends and by our closest friends. To make matters worse, the President has been supportive of anti-democratic leaders in Hungary and Poland, while being consistently critical publicly of Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister May and Chancellor Merkel. The result is that President Trump objectively is viewed by the European leadership as weak and unreliable, the opposite of Eisenhower and JFK and Reagan and the Bushes and Obama. It is a crisis of confidence that focuses squarely on your third question, what should Congress do; it is imperative that Congress--and I think all of us hope on a bipartisan basis--to revive and reaffirm the American commitment to NATO. The resolution that you passed in the Senate just before the Helsinki Summit I know was welcomed and positively received in Europe. The proposed McCain-Kaine bill would be a fitting tribute to the late Senator John McCain, as would the Graham- Menendez bill, as would Rubio-Van Hollen. I know you are considering lots of bills to strike back against the Russians, to stand up to them, but also to reaffirm our support for NATO and not for a diminution of our role in NATO. I would say, Mr. Chairman, we need your leadership desperately given the hole that the administration--the President I should say--has dug for the United States with our strongest alliance. A final thought, and let me close on this. I was U.S. Ambassador to NATO on 9/11 for President George W. Bush. When we were attacked, our allies, led by the Canadians, let me know at NATO headquarters that afternoon that they would defend us, that they were ready to invoke Article 5. They did so, as all of us have said, the next morning on September 12th. They all went into Afghanistan with us. Our partners and allies have suffered 1,100 dead, many more wounded. They have pledged to be with us until the day we leave Afghanistan. And that to me is the true meaning of this alliance and its value to the United States. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Ambassador Burns follows:] Prepared Statement of Ambassador Nicholas Burns Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Menendez and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. I served as U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 2001 until 2005 during the Administration of President George W. Bush. NATO remains our most important alliance. It is an irreplaceable asset for the security of the United States. We must do everything possible to work with Canada and the European allies to strengthen it for the many challenges ahead. NATO is facing, however, one of its most difficult crises in seven decades. It is not a crisis of military strength or readiness. The Alliance is preserving the peace in Europe and containing an assertive Russia. It is not a crisis of relevance. NATO troops continue to serve in Afghanistan, in the fight against the Islamic State, in preserving the peace in Kosovo and in providing security in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Balkan regions. It is assisting the EU in managing the migration crisis through its maritime capacity. The allies also remain with us in NATO's most important mission-- the defense of free, democratic countries in North America and Europe. The crisis is one of allied trust and confidence in America's leadership of NATO. During the 18 months of the Trump Administration, the President's personal leadership of NATO has been called into question on several key fronts. President Trump's repeated public doubts about NATO's importance to the U.S. have had a highly negative impact on European leaders and European public opinion. For the first time in NATO's seven-decade history, there is growing concern in Europe and Canada about an American President's commitment to the alliance. The U.S. has been the acknowledged leader of NATO since its founding in Washington D.C. in 1949. As the strongest ally, the U.S. has always played an outsized role within the Alliance. While differences among allies are normal and criticism of each other is warranted on serious issues, our Presidents also need to project confidence in NATO and its member states in order to deter potential aggressors such as Russia and provide the leadership that alliances need to stick together. As a Presidential candidate, Donald Trump called NATO ``obsolete''. As President, he refused to confirm his support for NATO's Article 5 security guarantee at this first NATO Summit meeting in 2017. He has suggested that U.S. support for our allies will be conditioned on the level of their defense spending. While rightly pushing allies to meet their defense budget commitment of 2 percent of GDP, he proposed impulsively at the recent Summit a doubling of that goal to 4 percent-- a level the U.S. had never discussed before with the allies and is itself unprepared to meet. This crisis has been exacerbated by the contrast between the President's negative public comments about allied leaders Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Teresa May with his refusal to utter a word of criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin, NATO's most dangerous adversary, before, during or after their recent Helsinki press conference. The President did not criticize Putin publicly for his annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Eastern Ukraine, Russia's nerve agent attack against the United Kingdom, its support for the Asad regime in Syria and its cyber assault on our 2016 elections. The President's performance in Helsinki was weak and submissive. The President was also ambivalent in a prominent interview following the Helsinki Summit about whether the U.S. would meet our Article 5 security obligations to Montenegro, the smallest and newest member of NATO and a victim of an attempted Russian-inspired coup just 2 years ago. Words matter in diplomacy. NATO's ability to deter Russia and other potential foes has always rested on the strength and clarity of American Presidents starting with Harry Truman. President Trump is the first President to equivocate on the issue of America's commitment to the security of our allies. Such lack of resolve concerns allies who worry the U.S. may not be prepared to defend a NATO member from Russian aggression. As the NATO leader, the U.S. President must remain strong and clear about our resolve in order to reassure allies and to deter political foes. Finally, the President is seen by many Europeans as more committed to authoritarian leaders in Hungary, Poland and Italy than democratic leaders such as Merkel. Based on recent visits to four European countries this summer, I believe allied governments are most concerned by the rise of extreme anti-democratic forces in their countries. They would welcome rhetorical support from the U.S. in their battle to preserve the rule of law and democratic freedoms. They have not received it. The crisis in NATO today is not the first the U.S. has had with the allies and likely will not be the last. The U.S. disavowed the actions of France and the United Kingdom in the Suez Crisis of 1956. The U.S. and some of the allies argued about the deployment of American nuclear missiles to Europe in the early 1980s. We experienced a major division within the Alliance over the Iraq War in 2003 when I was Ambassador to NATO. In none of these crises, however, did the U.S. and the allies question each other's basic commitment to NATO itself. This is what is happening now. It makes this crisis different from those in the past. As a result, a dangerous breach of trust has opened across the Atlantic. The former Polish Defense and Foreign Minister, Radek Sikorski, a friend of America, summed up the fear of many in Europe after the Helsinki Summit when he said publicly, ``We have no idea what President Trump would do in a crisis with Russia.'' Such a situation is a gift to Putin whose strategic aim is to weaken NATO and to divide it from within. It has also caused some Europeans to prepare for a future without a strong U.S. presence in NATO. The debate in Germany has already begun with some outside the government advocating the country consider creating its own nuclear deterrent if it cannot count on the U.S. the role of congress Barring a fundamental change in President Trump's attitude toward NATO as well as Russia, this crisis calls for concerted action by Congress to revive and reinforce American leadership in the Alliance. The Senate's overwhelming vote to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to NATO before the recent Summit was received very positively in Europe. The recent Menendez-Portman Resolution condemning Russia's annexation of Crimea was another important step to assert Congressional authority. The proposed McCain-Kaine bill to give Congress a voice and role in any decision by the Administration to reduce U.S. force strength in Europe or to withdraw from NATO is now a critical next step for Congress to take. The Senate ratified the Washington Treaty with a two- thirds majority in 1949. No President should be able to walk away from that commitment unilaterally without the advice and consent of the Senate. The Graham-Menendez bill would be an effective way to counter Putin by strengthening sanctions against Russia and providing greater support to democracies at risk. These are among the most important measures Congress can take at a time when the President's basic commitment to NATO appears so tenuous. Congress can also help to convince the American public that NATO remains vital for our own security at home. Until President Trump's election, most polls showed strong support for NATO among Americans. We should be concerned that the President's constant belittlement of NATO before American audiences may diminish public support for an alliance that cannot be truly effective without the allegiance of our citizens. nato's value to the united states Mr. Chairman and Mr. Menendez, you have asked for an assessment of NATO's value to the United States. In my judgment, NATO continues to be of vital importance to American security interests in five principal ways. First, NATO is at the core of one of the most significant foreign policy accomplishments in American history--the creation of a long-term peace in Europe following the close of the Second World War. Because of NATO and the emergence of the European Union, Europe is united after centuries of division and war. NATO's military strength has been a major reason for the absence of war with the Soviet Union and Russia since 1949. A recent Atlantic Council study reminds that America spent 14.1 percent of its GDP on defense during the First World War, 37.5 percent during the Second World War and 13.2 percent during the Korean Conflict. We spend nothing close to those levels now in large part due to the great power peace we have enjoyed for over 70 years. NATO has been a major factor in that peace. And due to the expansion of NATO and the European Union eastward after the fall of the Soviet Union, millions of East Europeans now live in free, democratic societies--a significant success for U.S. diplomacy. Second, NATO delivers additional benefits to U.S. military objectives and operations beyond our shores.
NATO is at the heart of our defense of North America and Europe from nuclear and conventional threats. British and French nuclear weapons join ours in deterring aggression in the North Atlantic area. Since the late 1940s, every Administration has believed that the best way to defend our country is through American forces forward deployed in Europe with the NATO allies. This strategy remains right for today given Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008, of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in 2014 and its current pressure on Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. NATO remains our primary vehicle for deterring Putin in Eastern Europe. The NATO allies host a great number of critical bases for U.S. forces--Ramstein in Germany, Aviano in Italy, Rota in Spain, Souda Bay in Greece and Incirlik in Turkey--that serve as a platform for our presence in Europe, as well as for U.S. force projection against terrorist groups in North Africa and the Middle East and for our continued military operations in Afghanistan. Europe is a critical link in the development of our Ballistic Missile Defense network focused on the Middle East with Turkey, Romania, Poland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and other allies all hosting elements of this system. NATO allies continue to participate in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State in the Middle East. Many of the allies play lead roles in other counter terror operations such as French forces in Mali supported by the U.S. In Afghanistan, the NATO allies remain with us in combat operations and in training the Afghan military. Over 1000 soldiers from European and other partner nations have died there during the last 17 years. NATO continues to maintain the hard-earned peace in Kosovo with European troops bearing the large share of the burden. An EU-led force has taken on all of the peacekeeping responsibility in Bosnia, freeing up the U.S. for other activities. Third, the NATO allies are among our closest and most supportive global partners as we confront the great transnational challenges that define this century--the fight against terrorism, the entire complex of cyber threats, climate change, the risk of pandemics, mass migration and others. The NATO allies and our partners in the European Union act together with us on these and other issues. This is of incalculable benefit to the U.S. Neither Russia nor China have treaty allies. NATO is a significant advantage for the United States when it acts as a force multiplier for American interests. Fourth, the great majority of the NATO allies are also members of the European Union. Every U.S. President has seen the EU as a strategic partner. After all, the EU is our largest trade partner and largest investor in the American economy. Our combined economic might has been a major reason for the effectiveness of sanctions against both Russia and Iran in recent years. While we also compete with the EU in trade, previous Presidents have worked hard to prevent those differences from overwhelming our military and political ties to the EU countries. Let us hope that President Trump's recent meeting with the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker might ease the trade battles of the last few months across the Atlantic. Fifth and most importantly, the European countries are our most faithful partners in promoting and preserving democracy in the world today. The strongest link we share with the NATO allies is one of values--our mutual commitment to ``democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law'' as the Washington Treaty states. At a time when democracies are being challenged around the world and when anti- democratic populists are on the rise in several European countries, this link with Europe is vital to the U.S. The sad irony in NATO's current crisis of trust is that the Alliance has made significant progress in many areas. Alliance defense spending has been on an upward trend since Putin's invasion of Crimea in 2014. But there is no doubt that President Trump's persistent campaign to convince allies to raise defense spending has also had an important impact. And allies such as Germany must not only raise their defense spending levels but also reform their militaries to achieve a far greater capacity to be more effective militarily. The recent NATO Summit Declaration noted substantial positive progress starting with 4 years of real growth in allied defense budgets. Two thirds of the allies have plans to reach 2 percent of GDP by the target date of 2024. More than half of the allies currently spend more than 20 percent of their military budgets on defense technology and research and development. NATO expects that 24 of the allies will reach the 20 percent level by 2024. In addition, NATO agreed at the recent summit to expand its readiness to deploy forces and to create two new commands that should add to its operational strength. Together with the deployment of a battalion of troops each to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, much has been done during the Obama and Trump Administrations to beef up NATO's armored presence to deter Russia and other potential foes. Secretaries Jim Mattis and Mike Pompeo and Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutcheson are all respected for their professionalism and dedication to NATO. These positive developments have been obscured, unfortunately, by President Trump's persistent criticism of allied leaders, his lack of criticism of Putin and his publicly expressed doubts about his adherence to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. If the President is unwilling to change course and to be a more positive and effective leader of NATO, Congress will have the responsibility to take the kind of measures I highlighted in the first part of my testimony. conclusion I saw the true value of allies first-hand on 9/11 as a new American Ambassador to NATO. After the U.S. was attacked in New York and at the Pentagon, the Canadian and European Ambassadors to NATO let me know within hours that their governments were willing to come to our defense. On the following morning, NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in history. The allies stood up to defend us. They decided that Osama Bin Laden's attack on the U.S. was an attack on them as well. All of them deployed forces to Afghanistan with us. They remain with us there today 17 years later. This is the true meaning of NATO for America. That experience convinced me that, despite our extraordinary power, the U.S. is far stronger and better able to protect our own country by working in alliance with Canada and the European countries. For this reason and others, the U.S. needs to act quickly and resolutely to revive, repair and restore American leadership at NATO. Congress can help to achieve that worthy aim on behalf of the American people. The Chairman. Thank you. Thank you very much. Mr. Sloan. STATEMENT OF STANLEY R. SLOAN, PROFESSOR AND AUTHOR, MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT Dr. Sloan. Thank you, members of the committee. 20 years ago I was a senior specialist with the Congressional Research Service. I worked closely with this committee and with the Senate NATO Observer Group on the first round of post-Cold War NATO enlargement. It is my pleasure to return today to discuss the alliance that in my opinion remains vitally important to American interests. U.S. leadership of the alliance has been based on joint management of the transatlantic bargain by the Congress and by every presidential administration since 1949. From the beginning, the congressional partner regularly raised questions about the burden sharing issue. In response, both Republican and Democratic administrations defended the alliance, even as they tried to get the Europeans to do more. Until President Trump, all American Presidents have remained committed to the North Atlantic Treaty's Article 5 collective defense provision. The credibility of Article 5 depends not just on military strength, but also on national political will to use it. The recent NATO summit declaration emphasized the importance of cohesion, unity, and shared goals. But our NATO allies now believe that the most powerful and influential among them, the United States, is damaging political trust within the alliance, seriously weakening the credibility of NATO deterrence. I doubt that this is what any member of this committee would wish. The preamble of the treaty makes it clear that NATO's purpose is not just to defend territory but also to defend, quote, ``the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.'' The defense of these values by NATO nations puts political backbone into the liberal international order. Today many countries on both sides of the Atlantic are facing decisions about what kind of democracy they want. Is it liberal democracy based on the North Atlantic Treaty's value statement, or is it what has been called electoral democracy in which elections take place but the rule of law and individual liberties like freedom of speech and freedom of the press are limited? Decisions by NATO member states, including our own, about which path to choose will have at least as much impact on the viability of the alliance as will decisions regarding levels of defense spending. As requested, here is my summary of the benefits of NATO membership for our country. The North Atlantic Treaty includes our key values and therefore reaffirms the legitimacy of the American political system. NATO brings together like-minded nations that share our values and are willing to work with us to defend them. The shared interests and values underlying the alliance provide a strong coalition for dealing with international security issues. The U.S. role in the world is strengthened by the fact that those countries outside the alliance realize that the United States has a coalition in waiting that normally will support us. Members of NATO provided their support after 9/11 and then contributed thousands of troops to the war in Afghanistan, as Ambassador Burns has just pointed out. The NATO consultative framework, the integrated command structure, the day-to-day defense cooperation, and NATO's defense planning process facilitate fighting together if it becomes necessary. The NATO commitments provide a foundation of common trust that can serve as a stable starting point for managing disagreements when they occur. NATO nations provide vitally important base facilities for American forces deployed for operations in the Middle East and Africa. A unified NATO presents a strong front to deter aggression. Transatlantic security will continue to depend on effective U.S., Canadian, and European cooperation in NATO. European political and military unification, as much as we hope for that, as an alternative is not likely in the foreseeable future. The desire for membership in NATO has led many European countries to reform their political and economic systems and meet other conditions for NATO membership. This stabilizes international relations and supports the spread of democracy. NATO's Partnership for Peace expands American influence and strengthens our national security. Finally, in my judgment, there currently is no realistic alternative to NATO that would serve U.S. interests as well. As with previous generations on both sides of the Atlantic, current leaders need to choose. Will we continue to sustain and improve the transatlantic alliance, or will we risk a much darker future? This committee has long played a critical and positive role in sustaining NATO and its benefits for the United States. You now are challenged once again to choose which role you will play in charting the future of America's membership in this vitally important NATO alliance. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. [The prepared statement of Dr. Sloan follows:] Prepared Statement of Stanley R. Sloan Thank you, Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez, and members of the Committee, for calling today's hearing. I am happy to have the opportunity to talk about the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to the United States. Twenty years ago, as a Senior Specialist with the Congressional Research Service, I worked closely with this committee and the Senate NATO Observer Group during consideration of the first round of post- Cold War NATO enlargement. It is my pleasure to return to discuss the alliance that, in my opinion, remains so important to American security. I will take this opportunity today briefly to fill in a little of the historical background to the questions you are addressing, to say a few words about NATO as a ``political'' alliance, and then about the value of U.S. membership in, and leadership of, the alliance. Over the course of seven decades, U.S. leadership of the alliance has been based on joint management of the ``transatlantic bargain'' by the Congress, particularly the Senate, and successive presidential administrations. From the very beginning, the Congressional partner regularly raised questions about the persistent burden-sharing issue. This questioning began with the initial debate in the Senate on whether it should give its advice and consent to the Treaty. The administration of President Harry Truman reassured Senators that the European allies would contribute to their own defense and that the United States would not end up carrying a disproportionate share of the burden. As the European states recovered from the devastation of World War II, some Senators argued that the Europeans had become capable of defending themselves. Montana's Senator Mike Mansfield promoted resolutions from the mid-1960s into the early 1970s that sought to force administrations to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Europe. He was opposed by several administrations which argued that the American NATO commitment was essential to counter the Soviet threat. Since 1949, both Republican and Democratic administrations sought ways to get the Europeans to relieve the United States of some of its NATO burdens. The Congress did most of the complaining while successive presidents of both parties urged allies to do more but largely defended the alliance and its costs as necessary for U.S. national interests. In this area, President Trump has reversed institutional roles with his burden-sharing complaints and his threats to abandon key commitments in the 1949 Treaty. The Congress and the Department of Defense, in response, have largely assumed the roles of NATO-defender, while still lobbying for better European contributions. One thing remains clear to me: NATO is both a political and military alliance. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone erroneously claim that NATO is ``just a military alliance.'' NATO is a civil alliance with a strong military structure and capability that facilitate military cooperation aimed at deterring attacks against member states and defending them if necessary. Until President Trump, all American presidents have remained committed to the North Atlantic Treaty's Article 5 collective defense provision. Article 5 does not say exactly what member states must do when another member is attacked. That is left for the sovereign decision of each state, whose decision-making independence is guaranteed by the treaty. Article 5 does commit each member nation to regard an attack on another member as an attack on itself, and to take ``such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.'' Allied military deployments, training, exercises, plans and weapons acquisitions are designed to endow this commitment with hard military reality, particularly for an adversary. NATO's Defence Planning Process is a historically unique mechanism to share and coordinate plans and acquisitions. Moreover, the credibility of Article 5 depends not just on military strength, but critically on national political will to use it--will that must be communicated effectively to both adversaries and allied citizens. Article 5 does not exist in a vacuum. The overall political relationships among member states affect its credibility. The recent NATO summit communique emphasized the importance of cohesion, unity, and shared goals. But our NATO allies believe today that the most powerful and influential among them--the United States--is damaging political trust within the alliance, seriously weakening NATO credibility in deterrence to adversaries and reassurance to citizens. I doubt this is what any member of this committee wishes to happen. The preamble of the treaty makes it clear that the purpose is not just to defend territory, but also to defend values--this is where the ``political'' part comes in. The treaty enumerates those values as ``the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.'' In recent years, the United States and its allies have added ``human rights'' to the list. The defense of these values by NATO nations puts political backbone into the liberal international order. The alliance has not always succeeded on the value side. Undemocratic governments have, from time to time, gained power in NATO countries. They were tolerated for geostrategic reasons. But they were the rare exceptions. Today, many countries on both sides of the Atlantic are facing decisions about what kind of democracy they want. Is it liberal democracy, based on the North Atlantic Treaty preamble's value statement? Or is it what has been called ``electoral democracy,'' in which governments are elected but power is increasingly centralized? Or are they headed toward ``electoral authoritarianism,'' in which elections take place but the rule of law and individual liberties, like freedom of speech and the press, are strictly controlled by central authority. Decisions by NATO member states, including our own, concerning which path to choose will have at least as much impact on the viability of the alliance as will decisions regarding levels of defense spending. In fact, authoritarian populists like those currently on the rise in the West don't particularly like NATO and tend not to support engaging in collective action to provide public goods. Moreover, elected officials in sovereign, democratic allied states usually seek to get the best security for their populations at the most reasonable price. This means that alliances among sovereign states will always face questions concerning an equitable balance of costs and benefits among the members. This reality caused constant friction between the United States and its allies throughout the Cold War. The burden-sharing issue was built into the transatlantic bargain, emerging in many ways from the foundation provided by contrasting U.S. and European geographic realities, historical experiences, and military capabilities. The original concept of the alliance was that the United States and Europe would be more or less equal partners and would therefore share equitably the costs of alliance programs. The seeds for a perpetual burden-sharing problem were planted when the original transatlantic bargain was reshaped in 1954 following the failure of the European Defense Community. The revision of the original bargain meant that the alliance would become heavily dependent both on U.S. nuclear weapons and on the presence of U.S. military forces in Europe to make those weapons credible in deterrence as well as to fortify non-nuclear defense in Europe. The U.S. burden-sharing complaint took many forms and was translated into a great variety of policy approaches between 1954 and the end of the Cold War. In the early 1950s, the allies arranged common funding of NATO infrastructure costs, such as running NATO civilian and military headquarters and building and maintaining fuel pipelines, communication systems, and so on. Each ally was allocated a share of the infrastructure costs, according to an ``ability to pay'' formula. As European nations recovered from World War II and experienced economic growth, the U.S. share of infrastructure expenses was progressively reduced. However, such expenses were not the main cost of alliance efforts. The large expenses were the monies spent by nations to build, maintain, and operate their military forces. In this category, the United States always outpaced its European allies. The administration of President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s sought a greater European contribution to Western defense. Its policy optimistically advocated an Atlantic partnership with ``twin pillars'' featuring shared responsibilities between the United States and an eventually united Europe. The Kennedy presidency also witnessed the beginning of the financial arrangements between the United States and West Germany designed to ``offset'' the costs of stationing U.S. forces in that country. These agreements were renewed and expanded in the administrations of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon to include German purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds and, in the 1970s, the repair of barracks used by U.S. forces in Germany. The U.S. experience in Vietnam, French withdrawal from NATO's integrated military structure in 1966, and U.S. economic problems all diminished support in the Congress for U.S. overseas troop commitments in general and led the Johnson administration to press the Europeans to increase their defense efforts. This period saw a strong congressional movement, led by Senator Mike Mansfield, to cut U.S. forces in Europe. Senator Mansfield introduced the first of the ``Mansfield Resolutions'' on August 31, 1966. The Senate was asked to resolve that ``a substantial reduction of United States forces permanently stationed in Europe can be made without adversely affecting either our resolve or ability to meet our commitment under the North Atlantic Treaty.'' Senator Mansfield reintroduced the resolution in 1967, 1969, and 1970, when the resolution obtained the signatures of 50 co-sponsors. However, U.S. presidents, Republican and Democrat alike, consistently opposed such efforts, and these resolutions and similar efforts through 1974 failed to win final passage. The Nixon administration, after unsuccessfully attempting to get the Europeans to increase ``offset'' payments, took a new tack. The Europeans objected to the prospect of American troops becoming little more than mercenaries in Europe and argued that the U.S. troop presence was, after all, in America's as well as Europe's interests. Nixon shifted to a focus on getting allies to improve their own military capabilities rather than paying the United States to sustain its own. The so-called Nixon Doctrine, applied globally, suggested that the United States would continue its efforts to support allies militarily if they made reasonable efforts to help themselves. Congress continued to focus on offset requirements, passing legislation such as the 1974 Jackson-Nunn Amendment requiring that the European allies offset the balance-of-payments deficit incurred by the United States from the 1974 costs of stationing U.S. forces in Europe. However, a combination of events in the mid-1970s decreased congressional pressure for unilateral U.S. troop reductions in Europe. The East-West talks on mutual force reductions that opened in Vienna, Austria, in 1973 were intended to produce negotiated troop cuts, and U.S. administrations argued that U.S. unilateral withdrawals would undercut the NATO negotiating position. Congress turned toward efforts to encourage the Europeans to make better use of their defense spending, and President Jimmy Carter, in 1977, proposed a new ``long- term defense program'' for NATO in the spirit of the Nixon Doctrine, setting the goal of increasing defense expenditures in real terms 3 percent above inflation for the life of the program. In 1980, Congress, frustrated by allied failures to meet the 3 percent goal, required preparation of annual ``allied commitments reports'' to keep track of allied contributions to security requirements. Throughout the 1980s, Congress developed several approaches linking the continued U.S. troop presence in Europe to improved allied defense efforts. However, the burden-sharing issue was never ``resolved.'' In fact, the growing U.S. concern with Soviet activities in the Third World put even more focus on the fact that the Europeans did little militarily to help the United States deal with this perceived threat to Western interests. In sum, throughout the Cold War, the United States felt strongly that the Europeans needed to ``do more.'' Although some Europeans agreed that their countries should increase their relative share of the Western defense burden, the prevalent feeling was that many American criticisms of their defense efforts were unwarranted. Perhaps ironically, the biggest burden-sharing issue at the end of the Cold War was how the allies should work together to deal with non- collective defense security threats arising beyond NATO's borders, an issue that had always been a source of division among the allies. That would become one of the biggest challenges for the allies in the 1990s. At least in the first decade after the end of the Cold War, the United States and all its allies looked for a peace ``dividend'' by reducing defense expenditures, taking the opportunity to shift resources to other priorities. Following the 9/11 attacks, the allies, for the first time in NATO's history, invoked Article 5, the North Atlantic Treaty's collective defense provision. The allies followed up the Article 5 actions by contributing thousands of troops to the War in Afghanistan, agreeing to establish a NATO command there, and suffering the loss of more than 1,000 military personnel. In 2014, the Russian annexation of the Crimea and support for separatists in the Donbas region of Ukraine produced a dramatic change in threat perceptions and, consequently, defense spending commitments. The allies agreed at the Wales summit that September to increase defense spending to the level of 2% of Gross Domestic Product by the year 2024. The recent 2018 summit in Brussels added further defense improvement plans to fortify the response to the Russian threat as well as to international terrorism. That's a summary of the history. Now, here is my summary of the benefits our country receives from NATO membership: The alliance reaffirms the legitimacy of the American political system, as the North Atlantic Treaty rests explicitly on our key values: democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. It brings together like-minded nations that, for the most part, share our political values and are willing to work with us to defend them. The shared interests and values underlying the alliance provide a strong coalition for dealing with international security issues. The U.S. role in the world is strengthened by the fact that those countries outside the transatlantic alliance realize that the United States has a coalition in waiting that, under most circumstances, will support us. Members of NATO provided their support when they invoked NATO's collective defense clause in response to the 9/11 attacks. They followed up the Article 5 actions by contributing thousands of troops to the War in Afghanistan. The NATO consultative framework, Integrated Command Structure, day-to-day defense cooperation and NATO's Defence Planning Process facilitate fighting together when necessary. The NATO commitments provide a foundation of common trust that can serve as a stable starting point for managing disagreements when they occur. NATO nations provide vitally important base facilities for American army, navy, marine and air force capabilities for operations beyond Europe in the Middle East and Africa. A unified NATO presents a strong front to deter aggression by adversaries, particularly Russia in today's world. In theory, a unified Europe should be able to defend itself. But in the real world, political/military unification of Europe is not likely in the foreseeable future and transatlantic security therefore will continue to depend heavily on effective U.S. cooperation with Canada and the European allies in NATO. The desire for membership in NATO has led many European countries to reform their political and economic systems, resolve differences with their neighbors, and meet other conditions for NATO membership. This stabilizes international relations and supports the spread of democracy. NATO has provided a framework for active security cooperation with countries that do not meet geographic or other requirements for membership, or do not choose to join. The Partnership for Peace program expands American influence and strengthens our national security. No practical alternative to NATO that would serve U.S. interests as well has so far been developed and defended convincingly In 1984, on sabbatical from the Congressional Research Service, I wrote a book entitled NATO's Future: Toward a New Transatlantic Bargain. The new bargain that I proposed was a more equal alliance in terms of both contributions and influence. It addressed the burden sharing issue quite directly by calling on the Europeans to strengthen the alliance by coordinating more effectively their defense efforts. I cautioned at that time that such improved cooperation would have to take place within, not outside, the broad framework of the transatlantic relationship A lot has changed since then, and I am less optimistic than I was then about what might be possible among the Europeans, and what kind of leadership the United States would provide. I see no chance that the members of the European Union will decide to create a full political union anytime in the foreseeable future. In my judgment, this would be required before anything like a European army or fully unified European militaries could come into being. Our allies are making progress toward improving their cooperation. The European Security and Defense Policy, the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the new European Defense Fund (EDF) are already helping promote better military cooperation among the allies. Our president's questioning of American commitments to the alliance has led Europeans reasonably to wonder if they can rely on the United States in the future. If they decide that they can't, their cooperation could move toward greater autonomy from the United States, outside of NATO and ineffectively coordinated with the alliance. Such a development would amount to a total failure of U.S. policy that has supported a strong Western alliance for seven decades. The Europeans may do more, but the questions about the U.S. commitment may lead them to assumptions that would damage what NATO calls ``the transatlantic link.'' As with previous generations on both sides of the Atlantic, current generations of leaders need to choose whether we will continue to sustain and improve the transatlantic alliance of democracies, of which NATO is the most important pillar. Will we choose to defend democracy, individual liberty and rule of law, or will we risk a much darker future? This committee, and the Senate as a whole, have long played critical and positive parts in sustaining NATO and its benefits for the United States. You now are challenged once again to choose which role you will play in charting the future of America's membership in this vitally important North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to appear before the committee today. The Chairman. Thank you. We thank all three of you again for being here with us, and we look forward to the questions now. And I will turn to Senator Menendez. I will reserve my time for interjections. Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for your testimony. It is not common that we get almost a unified view here before the committee. So it is, I think, pretty powerful about the subject matter. And the one thing I glean from all of your testimony: it is time for Article 1 oversight in a big way. So, Ambassador Burns, in your written testimony you remarked that the President Trump's repeated public doubts about NATO have a highly negative impact on Europe. We have had members of the administration here who basically have said do not listen to what the President says. Listen to what we do. When it comes to NATO, what is the tangible impact of this dissonant situation where the President's words belie maybe the policy actions of the administration? Ambassador Burns. Mr. Menendez, two points. One is I think one thing that did not come out in our three presentations is that, fortunately, we have had a lot of bipartisan consensus between the Obama administration and I would say Secretary Mattis, Secretary Pompeo, and Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison that we should stay in NATO, strengthen it, strengthen our true presence in Eastern Europe. I think it is good that the Trump administration is now sending arms to Ukraine. So there have been some positive things done, all of them completely now diminished and outweighed by the words of the President. And the words matter because ultimately Article 5, as well as Article 4, the imminence of an attack on a NATO ally, rest on the credibility of the United States. We have always been the backbone of NATO since President Truman's time. And when President Trump has consistently thrown into doubt whether or not he is President at that 3:00 a.m. call would back up a NATO ally, it has really undermined the confidence that all the Europeans have. And I have been struck by it and I have served both parties as a career Foreign Service officer. This is not a political statement. I have been struck and really saddened by the lack of faith in the United States in Western and Eastern Europe on this question. And it is about words because words, of course, convey whether or not we have the policy in place to deter Russian aggression. Senator Menendez. Let me follow up on that. I was disturbed but not surprised to read in your testimony that the President is seen by many European leaders as more committed to authoritarian leaders than democratic ones. And you wrote that some would welcome rhetorical support from the United States but it is not getting it. In the DASKAA bill that I wrote with Senator Graham and others who have joined us, we increased funding for programs that build democratic resilience across the continent. But I would welcome any additional thoughts on how you believe the Senate can help to fill the rhetorical void left by the President's leadership, particularly as it relates to democracy and the rule of law. Ambassador Burns. I was really struck. As I mentioned, I visited five different NATO ally countries this past summer. The degree to which the allied leaders are now focused on the battle for democracy inside their own societies. Three of the NATO allies survived the 2017 elections, the assault by the anti-democratic populace, but they know they will be back. And they see President Trump--and Steve Bannon has been all over Europe this summer supporting the anti-democratic populace in Poland, Hungary, and the Italian Government and now trying to organize--this is Bannon--the anti-democratic populace in Western Europe. They feel there is zero rhetorical support from President Trump for the democrats, small D democrats, whether they are Christian democrats or socialists inside these NATO ally governments. We are a political alliance--and Dr. Sloan pointed this out in his written testimony--as well as a military alliance. The second sentence of the NATO treaty of 1949 signed in this city talks about the rule of law, liberty, and democratic freedoms. And so we have a responsibility to back these countries up. The President will not do it, and so it is up to the Congress. And I very much support the Graham-Menendez bill and the other bills that would allow at least our government representatives who believe in this to try to strengthen democracy. Senator Menendez. Dr. Haass, you said in your testimony something I think is very valuable, that there should be a conversation about benefit sharing in addition to burden sharing. How do we assess the value that membership in the NATO alliance has for U.S. national security interests? What are the most tangible benefits the U.S. derives from NATO in that regard? Ambassador Haass. Well, the tangible benefits are, one, we got partners in going out of area, places like Afghanistan, Libya. Again, whatever you think of the specifics, we are not on our own. So we have partners and we have facilitators in those areas. Secondly, if you think about every global challenge that is coming down the pike from how to regulate cyberspace, which is the wild west of the modern era, to how to improve the WTO so it is a better global trading regime to how to make sure the next pandemic does not happen, or if it does happen, its effects are not ruinous, who are we going to turn to? You know, when I worked at the White House for President Bush, the father, every time a crisis happened, national security aides would walk into Brent Scowcroft's office with telephone numbers. And it would be who he could get on the phone with because these are the people who are going to be like-minded and able to partner with us. All the telephone prefixes--just about--were European because that is where we are going to go when the chips are down. Or the question you just asked Ambassador Burns. If you believe that democracy and markets are valuable to the United States--and I believe they are--well, then we should partner with the Europeans, the EU, not just promoting them in Europe but promoting them globally. There are things we can do in energy security. We can down the list. And the most obvious one is history shows that an imbalance of power in Europe is the greatest direct threat to the welfare of the United States. Two world wars were fought over that. The Cold War was waged on precisely that as well. That is the most fundamental lesson of 20th century history. Senator Menendez. Thank you. The Chairman. Senator Johnson. Senator Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen, for coming here, for your service. Dr. Burns, I was certainly appreciative of the fact that you did mention the sacrifice of our NATO partners in terms of over 1,000 lives lost. I think we need to point that out to our fellow countrymen as often as possible. It is a priceless type of sacrifice. I would be interested in your thoughts. You take a look at NATO. You take a look at the U.S. You combine our economies. It is well north of $30 trillion in terms of size and strength. Russia, depending on the calculation, probably less than $2 trillion. Looking back in history, you know, the frozen conflict in Transnistria, their invasion of Georgia. We stopped their invasion, sent over a couple of cargo planes, a pretty powerful signal, was unable to prevent their annexation or their takeover of Crimea, their invasion into eastern Ukraine, their pervasive propaganda that we do not really counter. What have we done wrong? Why does such a large economic group allow--I am sorry--such a puny one--I know they got 7,000 nuclear weapons. But I would just like to have your evaluation of what have we done wrong to allow Putin to have so much power? Ambassador Burns. Senator, thank you. And to maintain my academic integrity, I have to tell you I am not Dr. Burns. Harvard University---- Senator Johnson. Oh, I am sorry. I mean Ambassador Burns. Ambassador Burns. That is okay, but I have to say it. Senator Johnson. You are surrounded by two doctors. Ambassador Burns. I do not have a Ph.D. unlike my two colleagues. I think you have asked an important question. Every President since President Clinton has been dealing with Vladimir Putin. And we know his true colors. We know what his strategic ambitions are. He is in relatively good health in his mid-60s. We are going to have to contain him as long as he is president of Russia. It is the last Soviet-trained generation of KGB officers, diplomats and military officers. They are still in power, and they have that Soviet mentality. So my first answer to you would say moving our battalions into Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland--President Obama did that, and President Trump has reaffirmed it--is the right move. The European Reassurance Initiative--Congress voted the money to strengthen American and NATO forces in the east--is the right move. But you are also right. We are engaged in a war of ideas with authoritarian powers because Putin and definitely Xi Jinping, if you read his party speech from last October--they believe that their model is superior to ours. And so we engage them militarily to deter but we have got to engage them on what we know we can win on, that the democratic model is better and it is more true to the human spirit. And I do not think in any administration we have taken that on as aggressively as we should. And I feel compelled to say this. I see Secretary Mattis doing it, Secretary Pompeo doing it. The President is absent in this. The battle right now in Paris and Berlin, in the Netherlands, in Belgium is can democracy survive, and the President is not involved. So I hope he will engage on that. He really should as the NATO leader. Senator Johnson. As chairman of the European Subcommittee of this committee, I meet with European delegations all the time and find myself in the position trying to reassure our allies that we do--you know, this branch of government is completely supportive. One of the examples I use, which I think was quite extraordinary, is we unanimously approved $300 million of lethal defensive weaponry for Ukraine. It was not used in the last administration. A small group of us had dinner with President Poroshenko on Friday night. He came in to honor Senator McCain. To me, Ukraine has to be a top priority. We need to stop and push back Putin's aggression there. We need support for President Poroshenko. I would just like to have--Dr. Haass, maybe you can give us some thoughts on that. Ambassador Haass. Well, I agree. We need to push back against it. And I think this transfer of defense articles to Ukraine was a step in the right direction. Ukraine has to be a better partner. I will be blunt. And I have had this conversation with President Poroshenko. The anti-corruption movement has got to gain traction. There needs to be a dedicated institution to deal with those issues. I also think being realistic--to get Russia out of eastern Ukraine--and that ought to be our goal, the short-term goal. Crimea I think unfortunately is a long-term goal to get that back. But to get Russia out of eastern Ukraine ought to be a short- to medium-term goal. We have to think hard about what kind of conditions to be created so Putin believes he could leave and there would not be reprisals. Senator Johnson. Do we not also have to take a look at what right now is the alternative to Poroshenko? Listen, stamping out corruption is a difficult process. Again, my concern is what the alternative is. Ambassador Haass. Alternative---- Senator Johnson. To Poroshenko. Ambassador Haass. To him? Senator Johnson. Yes. We are going to have the election. Right now the polls are not looking real good. Ambassador Haass. The last few years in this country have taught me to be wary of making political predictions about elections. Look, Ukraine--I will just be blunt. It is a frustrating political culture. The difficulty the elite has in working together--let us put aside personalities, but just collectively. The whole is clearly less than the sum of its parts. And the last decade has been repeatedly frustrating. To me it is almost less important over the individual, whether it is Poroshenko or somebody else. It is can you get a relationship within the government and between the government and the opposition so you have a degree of commonality and consistency. That has been consistently frustrating in Ukraine. Disappointing but true. Senator Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Senator Cardin. Senator Cardin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank all of our witnesses. You have all mentioned the service of Senator McCain. So let me just start by quoting from Senator McCain. It expresses my view. ``For the last seven decades, the United States and our NATO allies have served together, fought together, and sacrificed together for a vision of the world based on freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law. Put simply, the transatlantic alliance has made the United States safer and more prosperous and remains critical to our national security interests.'' And I think we are all saying the same thing. The challenges today, this hearing, Russia, Russia's attack on our democratic institutions and on our national security. But as all of you have pointed out, we have problems from within. We have problems of countries that are NATO allies that are moving away from democratic institutions. We see that clearly in Hungary, the signs in Poland, and very notably, as has already been pointed out in your testimony, in Turkey. And then we have the problems from within with the leader of the United States of America and the statements that have been made. So let me first start as it relates to Russia. A summit between the two leaders is a clear opportunity for us to advance our national security interests, and the Helsinki meeting between President Putin and President Trump--Ambassador Burns, you have already commented as it relates to the Montenegro statement. But how was that summit perceived by our NATO allies in regards to our common defense against Russia? Ambassador Burns. Well, Senator, you will remember in the lead-up to the Helsinki meeting, President Trump was in Brussels and was very critical publicly of both Chancellor Merkel at a time of real challenge to her government in Germany and Prime Minister May at a time when her coalition in the conservative party was splintering over the Brexit issue. So that was unprecedented in my experience working for both Republican and Democratic Presidents. We disagree all the time in private but never try to go after another leader politically. And I think that sets a stage for--to answer your question, the allies were dismayed by those attacks on the two leaders, as well as on Prime Minister Trudeau a month before. And then to see, at least in the press conference, that the President did not raise and had opportunities to the nerve agent attack on the UK, the invasion of Crimea, the invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine, the pressure on the Baltic countries, and the assault on our elections, the German elections, the Czech elections, the Dutch elections, the French elections. The allies look to the United States for leadership. They looked to President Reagan for leadership, President Clinton for leadership, and they do not feel they are getting it on these issues concerning democracy and the survival of democracy. And I think that is the weakest point of the administration's policy, and it has produced what I said in my testimony, I think a crisis of leadership. The allies are openly questioning whether we are leading effectively. Senator Cardin. Dr. Haass, I want to follow up on one point that you made in your statement in regards to Turkey. But first let me make a comment where you say there is far too much duplication and not enough specialization in regards to the capacity in NATO. I could not agree with you more, but it starts with the United States of America. We would not give up any of our capacity. So for us to complain about the lack of specialization where the United States has been, I think, duplicating in defense puts us in a tough position. But let me get to my question on Turkey. You raise, rightly so, the reliability of Turkey and the fact that their government is anything but democratic today. And then you point out a couple specifics about not making certain weaponry available to Turkey, et cetera. Should we be looking at the reality that Turkey really--if today we are looking at expansion of NATO and looking at Turkey as a potential member, I think there would be very little question as to whether we would allow Turkey as a member of NATO. Should we be looking at the ultimate decision as to whether they still should be a partner within NATO? Ambassador Haass. Well, there is no mechanism as I---- Senator Cardin. I understand there is no mechanism. I understand the challenges of a formal---- Ambassador Haass. My view is we should accept the reality that Erdogan's Turkey will not be a partner. So whether they are formally a member of NATO, I would simply say put that on the back burner. Some day we will have a post-Erdogan period in Turkey, and I think the goal of the United States and the European members of NATO ought to be to try to revive the relationship with Turkey at that point. In the meantime, I think we have to take specific measures to protect our interests, and that involves everything--and this Congress is already involved in it, not transferring the F-35's. I also think the Pentagon ought to be directed to look very closely at alternatives to the dependence on Incirlik. Anyone who thinks that we can assume the availability of those facilities in most crises where we would want to use it, I would say that is simply unwise. I also think it would send a useful signal to Turkey in the meantime that we were not entirely dependent on access to that facility. So I would like to see--essentially come up with a substitution plan. It will not be perfect. Turkey has real estate and geography that you cannot substitute for entirely. But I believe both as a way of protecting our options and to send a signal we ought to find ways to be less dependent. Senator Cardin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Barrasso. Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Haass, you had mentioned that there are things we can do on energy security as part of your earlier statement. At the NATO summit, President Trump I believe was absolutely right to raise the issue of energy security in NATO. He specifically talked about Nordstream 2, the natural gas pipeline that the Russians are building between their country and Germany. The United States opposes the Nordstream 2 pipeline because of the detrimental impact and the national security vulnerabilities that it creates for our allies, for our partners. I believe it threatens the security of Europe and NATO. It makes Europe more reliant on Russian gas by undermining the diversification of Europe's energy sources, its supplies, its routes. I think it is a serious concern because Russia does use energy resources as a geopolitical weapon. Nordstream 2 makes Europe, our NATO allies more dependent and even more susceptible I believe to Russian coercion. It also means a lot more money from our NATO allies straight into the Kremlin pockets. So Russia can use that money to fund their aggressive actions against Europe and other parts of the world. So a number of us introduced a piece of legislation in July of this year called the ESCAPE Act, Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe. It enhances our allies' energy security. It helps end the political coercion and the manipulations by Russia. And this is what the bill does. It directs the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to encourage NATO member states to work together to achieve energy security. It creates a transatlantic energy strategy focused on increasing the energy security of our NATO allies and partners, increasing American energy exports to those countries. It requires the Secretary of Energy to expedite approvals of natural gas exports to NATO allies, and it authorizes mandatory U.S. sanctions on the development of Russian energy pipeline projects such as Nordstream 2. So it is in America's national security interest to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. Our NATO alliance is strong. I think ending dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger. So following up on what you had said that there are things we can do on energy security, talk about things and your thoughts in terms of what additional actions we can take to stop Russia from using its energy source to coerce and manipulate our allies and what steps should we and NATO and the EU take to end the Nordstream 2 pipeline. Ambassador Haass. Thank you, sir. Look, Russia has three forms of power at its disposal. One is energy, one is military, and one is active measures and cyber. And they use all three. As was pointed out, their economic weight is negligible. But they punch above their weight because of--in terms of energy, I think we have to decide what is the best approach. And I would defer to my colleagues. They may know about this. But I think it is useful intellectually to distinguish between things we do to stop Russia and things we do to incentivize the Europeans to go elsewhere. One is a negative policy and one is a positive policy. One of the most important things we have done is the decision in this country several years back to allow crude oil exports. That to me is one of the best energy security decisions we made. Expanding our willingness and capacity to export natural gas again would be a major step in the right direction. I think having this conversation with the Europeans is a useful one, about what you call your energy strategy framework. It cannot be done on a dime. It cannot be done overnight, but the idea of coming up with a long-term goal of moving in that direction--that is something I think we ought to be doing. I have not read your legislation, the ESCAPE legislation, but the thrust of it seems to me to be pointing in the right direction. Senator Barrasso. Well, thank you. One other thing with NATO and the emerging threats across the world. I think it is important that we ensure that NATO has the tools and the resources needed to maintain a strong defense and military alliance. It is clearly important to our own national security. So I am committed to strengthening NATO, advancing our shared strategic objectives. And I support what the President is doing to encourage our allies to fairly share the military and the financial burdens within NATO. It is certainly something that Senator McCain brought up every time we had visited a number of these countries prior to even President Trump's election. So the number of allies spending the 2 percent of GDP on defense has increased since 2017 since President Trump was elected. The administration has worked with NATO allies to bring about the largest European defense spending increase since the Cold War. We can go through all the statistics. Are there additional actions that Congress can take to build on these successes and strengthen our alliance within NATO? Ambassador Haass. Let me just push back a little bit. I understand all the emphasis on burden sharing on getting the Europeans to do more. It is not new. I remember when, among others, Senator Mansfield was pushing that nearly 50 years ago. Senator Barrasso. Eisenhower. I mean, you go way back. Ambassador Haass. I think it is also important, though, to recognize what the Europeans are doing. It is not as though they are free riders. They are doing quite a lot. And as we were talking before, I would focus much more on how they are spending it. There is way too much duplication in European armies, not enough with interventionary forces, the ability to project and sustain power far afield. So the emphasis simply on how much they spend seems to me to be too narrow. And I think this is something Ambassador Burns was saying also. It is one thing to kind of use this as a hammer on them. It is something very different to encourage it in the context of an overall relationship where we are not using national security provisions and trade authorizations as a way of going after the Europeans or first you would agree on what our common policy is towards European security dealing with Russia. Then it might be less difficult to get some of the European efforts in the area of defense spending that we want. Senator Barrasso. My time has expired. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Thank you. I will have my first interjection. I really appreciate the efforts that Senator Barrasso has had relative to us exporting LNG and other energy resources we have here. They have been outstanding. The Europeans, on the other hand, have been here especially about Nordstream and Nordstream 2. They look at it as a private deal. They look at our LNG cost there as a much higher cost than getting Russian gas. And they say they are diversifying. So yes, no. We have three people with three different sensibilities. Should we do everything that we could, which some of these bills that you are talking about do? Should we do everything that we can sanctions-wise and otherwise to stop Nordstream 2 or not? What should be the U.S. Government policy as it relates to Nordstream? Ambassador Burns. Mr. Chairman, I would say first I think President Trump was right to raise this, introduce into the NATO discussions. Every administration going back 20 years has opposed this excessive European dependence on Russian gas, specifically in Eastern Europe but also Germany. I would not support sanctions against the European allies. We have got to work with them on lots of other issues, and we are already in a hole with them over climate change, over Iran, and over NATO. But certainly for the President to use his moral power to lean on the Europeans and to try to encourage American natural gas exports--I would be in favor of that. The Chairman. And the other two of you specifically? No comment? Ambassador Haass. Again, we have weaponized too much of foreign policy with tariffs and sanctions. I just think we are overloading the circuits of U.S.-European relations. We will cause new problems. We will not solve the differences over energy independence or dependence. I think what the Senator is doing in terms of making the United States and others alternative reliable suppliers--I would much rather do it through positives and also be a little bit patient. We are going to get the immediate results we want. But I think having sanctions against European countries or firms that are doing this--my own view is it is overloading the circuits of this relationship at a time it is already pretty stressed. The Chairman. So you would rather use rhetoric than doing something in that regard. I mean, I am not criticizing. Ambassador Haass. Well, it is not just rhetoric, but let us come up with alternative supply arrangements and let us work with the Europeans on diversification of energy and supply. The Chairman. Well, let us carry it a step further. So there are bills here. And I strongly support the NATO alliance. That is why we are having the hearing. I vehemently oppose the President purposely trying to mislead the American people saying that Europeans owe us money, that they are in arrears. I mean, that to me was the height of the worst as it relates to us demagoguing the issue of our country, the leader of our country. However, there are some bills here now, and you all say you support these bills. But there are bills here that punish Russia in advance for election interference, and then there are bills that punish them if they do, they lay out what they do. So you are telling me you support those? I mean, that is in essence what you all have said. So that means putting sanctions in place now in one case or telling people the sanctions you are going to put in place, which by the way have implications. They affect things because people believe that there is a likelihood of those going in place. Do you all support that? I mean, you all are very important people that people listen to. So yes, no. I mean, I heard you say you supported it. Ambassador Burns. Mr. Chairman, I do not support further sanctions against the European allies for the reasons that we both suggested. But as I have read some of the draft bills that members of this committee are involved in, I would support current sanctions and the promise of future sanctions against Russia if Russia continues to engineer and assault against our midterm elections this year or the 2020 elections because we have not yet sent a powerful message to them. Congress can do that if the executive branch is not willing to do that. Ambassador Haass. Let me just say I have read some of the legislation on sanctioning Russia for interference in our political systems or those of others. No problem again with the thrust. I think there were some questions about who would make the determination, what was the degree of effort they did, whether it had effect or not. So I think there was some wording or specific questions. But I do not think either Ambassador Burns or I are pushing back against the basic idea that Russia ought to be penalized for what it did. And there ought to be clear sanctions threatened against them as a deterrent, and if the deterrent fails, then we ought to follow though. This is a form of war they are carrying out, and we would not stand by if they carried out other forms of warfare. So we ought to be prepared to try to deter and then respond to this form of warfare. Dr. Sloan. Could I just add one footnote to that? Historically it has been demonstrated that sanctions are not effective unless you can get almost universal application. And this means that the United States needs its European allies on its side when it seeks to employ sanctions against Russia. And therefore, I would chime in and agree with my two colleagues here that sanctions against our European allies work directly against getting their cooperation and imposing the kind of sanctions on Russia that might have an effect. That is just a little bit of perspective from the woods of Vermont. The Chairman. Thank you all. Senator Merkley. Senator Merkley. Dr. Haass, you referred to the consideration of not transferring the F-35's. And that has come up here in the context of the S-400, but you referred to it more broadly than that. Turkey is the regional maintenance and operation hub for the other folks we sell the F-35 to, and we co-produce parts in Turkey that go not into their F-35's but ones we use more broadly. Apart from the S-400, are you advocating that we send a strong message even given those complexities? Ambassador Haass. Well, you asked the right question, but I lean in that direction. I do not have confidence about the availability of facilities. I do not have confidence about Turkey, whether they enter into the S-400 deal or not, whether they would protect sensitive technologies. So to use a phrase that Mr. Eisenhower used in a different context, I think it is time for an agonizing reappraisal of our relationship with Turkey, and I would hold off transferring the F-35's until we had essentially a relationship that took into account or policy that took into account the new realities of what is going on in Turkey and in terms of its foreign policy, including what is playing out in the Middle East as we sit here today. Senator Merkley. Ambassador Burns, do you share that view? Ambassador Burns. We cannot rely on Turkey, the point that Richard made, in a crisis. We cannot know whether Erdogan would make Incirlik available to the United States military. So we have to have alternative plans. I think, however, we are going to have to be a little bit patient here. Erdogan has made a big power play over the last 2 years, since the attempted coup of July 2016. But he is by no means secure forever. We have seen Turkey go from two military dictatorships in the 1980s to democratic governments, now back to authoritarianism. It is too important a country for us I think to begin to seek sanctions against. We are going to have to be patient, not rely on them, but I do not think it is inevitable that Turkey will be where it is 5 or 6 or 7 years from now. So you need institutional relationships, and particularly what we have found, I think, in past decades is that the relationship between our Joint Chiefs and our European Command, our military command, and the Turkish military as a power center is very important to maintain. If you begin to sanction and you cut off those ties, then I think it probably hurts us. Senator Merkley. I could imagine a sequence of events, outside of the S-400, if we ban the transfer of the F-35's, it could lead to an unraveling of some of the things that are slightly holding things together and providing that foundation for the future. Dr. Haass, you mentioned that Russia might test Article 5. What do you think are kind of the top two or three concerns about where they might test it? Ambassador Haass. Some of their small, weak neighbors, whether it is Montenegro or whether it is the Estonias and some of the smaller countries there. It gets back to a question Senator Menendez asked. Foreign policy is about capabilities, but it is also about intentions and it is the combination of the two. So people who say watch what this administration does not what it says, they only get that half right. The capabilities are going up but the intentions are heading in the wrong direction. So Putin is a calculated risk-taker. He did it in Georgia. He is doing it in Ukraine, and he obviously took a big risk and it paid off, a fairly low investment, high return operation in Syria. So why do we assume that he is done taking risks? And Article 5 would be a big risk, but what I call Article 4 and a half, whether he would do something akin to what he is doing in eastern Ukraine and a NATO member, so it would not quite get to the threshold of an Article 5 response but it would still have significant implications for the security of a neighbor. I think the odds of that happening are real. Senator Merkley. Can I interject there because we are almost out of time? What he is doing in eastern Ukraine is a territorial occupation if not directly by Russian troops, certainly a lot of Russian support. Would that not be an Article 5 violation? I cannot imagine for a NATO member that that would not be. Ambassador Haass. You could have something that again was blurrier than that where you had ethnic Russians in some of these countries and arms could reach them. You are not going to have Russian divisions going across the border, but there could be, quote/unquote, civilians or others being there in a personal capacity advising them. Senator Merkley. Well, that is helpful. This all goes to the point you are all making, which is why it is so important for us to be adamant about Article 5 and about the importance of NATO. I never anticipated I would be alive to hear an American President attacking NATO as a problem rather than an asset or the western economies, the G-7, and so forth. But here we are. Unusual times. I am out of time, so I will just mention that if I had more time, I wanted to ask about Macedonia and I know, Ambassador, you were in Greece. And they have reached a deal but the deal has not been ratified yet. And then it would take a year and a half or more. So we are seeing that I think probably at least 2 years or more down the line? Yes, thank you. The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Paul. Senator Paul. I think we got very close to making an important point, and I am going to try to get to where we actually get to the point. The new Graham bill on sanctions does have sanctions on European interests who have a deal with Russia on the gas pipeline. So if you think it is a bad idea to sanction them, you are really opposed to the new Graham sanctions bill because the Graham sanctions bill in section 236 says any entity that does business or invests in any Russian energy project outside of Russia. It is a bad idea. It gets to a larger question. Is trade a good or a bad idea? And I hear from Dr. Haass that generally trade is a good idea. I hear from others that trade is a good idea even with our adversaries, maybe even more particularly with our adversaries. If we are going to wait until China has a perfect human rights record and is a democracy and looks like America, we will never trade with China. All right? If we are going to do the same with Russia, we will never trade with Russia. None of this is an excuse to Russian behavior. But, my goodness, you have to at least in diplomacy think about what your opponent is saying. What is Russia saying? They are saying the new Graham bill would be the equivalent of economic warfare. We are talking about cutting off pipelines. I see the pipeline as a good thing. Interconnectedness between Europe and Russia is a good thing. It makes them less likely to fight. Why would you want to fight somebody who buys your oil? It is a good thing for us to be interconnected. Trade is a good thing. And so I think we need to rethink where we are on this. We need to think do we have enough sanctions. We have lots and lots of sanctions. We need now to ask the question Dr. Haass asked. Are we at a point where the overuse of sanctions and tariffs will set back U.S. economic and strategic interests? So I could not disagree more. But it is important to know what is in these bills before we say we are for them because to say you are for them but then you are against any sanctions that would affect our European allies, that is specifically what the Graham will do and it is specifically why the Graham bill is a terrible bill that we should not entertain. I would like to go to another point, though, and this is for Dr. Haass. You mentioned that NATO is in our strategic self-interest. And that is a conclusion, and a lot of people would agree with you. I think that is a conclusion, though, that is so general that maybe could be examined more specifically. So, for example, if we make the argument is the alliance with France and England in our strategic national interest, our self-interest, I think you would have a pretty impressive case and not a whole lot of pushback. But really Montenegro is not France. Macedonia is not England. And I think the question really becomes--and I think if it were honestly asked, I think we would say they are different and we would say that, well, does Montenegro actually increase our national security by putting them in NATO, or do they possibly increase our strategic risks? And I think there are times in our history when we have seen alliances that actually cause action and reaction in such a way that leads to war. I mean, most historians that look at World War I say that alliances were part of the problem and that these tripwires and blind allegiance to alliance was actually part of the problem of World War I. We have been passing resolutions around here like crazy. If it is a sanctions bill, it will pass. If it is a bill in support of NATO, it passes. So, I mean, there is not really a problem with the will of people saying they are behind NATO. What I object to, though, is that people say, well, any willing aspirant that qualifies should be admitted into NATO. I think that dilutes the effect of NATO to a certain degree, but I think it also is ignoring basically what the response is from our adversaries to this. And I thought George Kennan put it very well in 1998 when he said if you expand NATO into Eastern Europe, what you will see is a rise of militarism and nationalism and aggressive leaders. And, Dr. Haass, even though you have been a supporter of expanding NATO, you said in 1997, speaking of opponents, that opponents of a larger NATO predict that NATO's easterly expansion will provoke a hostile Russian reaction, weakening the position of responsible forces and strengthening the hand of Western nationalists. But you went on to really not agree with the opposition. You agreed with expansion. But I think there is some point at which it is too much. You have admitted that Georgia and Ukraine may be a bridge too far at this point. And so really, I think there has to be some discussion. Do we want everybody in NATO? Is there no limitations to who we will put in NATO? Does it dilute the value of NATO? Is it provocative? And people say, oh, you are giving credence to Russia's arguments. No, but we have to know what our adversaries think. If we want to change their behavior, you have to know what they think. They have been saying since Boris Yeltsin, who we did like and got along with better. Gorbachev, Yeltsin, every one of the Russian leaders have said it is provocative to expand NATO. So I guess my question to Dr. Haass, is there a difference between which countries? Does every country that we admit into NATO increase our national security or our strategic self- interest? Ambassador Haass. Thank you, Senator. The Chairman. I do not think we have ever had anybody perfectly time a 5-minute monologue to end with a question with 1 second left. Ambassador Haass. I am impressed with that. It is always dangerous to have someone quoting you against yourself. One quick point. Interconnectedness is not necessarily stabilizing. A lot depends on the balance of it. There is a whole theory that trade and interconnectedness--it turned out to be before World War I--was going to prevent the world war. It clearly did not work. One dimensional or one directional dependence is not necessarily--because I think the question with Europe and Russia is, is Europe's dependence on Russia as a gas supplier--is that per se good, or might Russia exploit that dependence for its own geopolitical--essentially take geo- economics and turn it into geopolitics? That is my area of concern. Look, I think you raise a serious point about NATO enlargement, that it is not just an idea, it is a reality. If you do it, you undertake not just risks, but obligations. So NATO enlargement again is something we have got to undertake seriously, and then we have always got to match capabilities and willingness to act if we do it. So, no, every country that wants to become a member should not become a member. For the record, I did not always favor NATO enlargement. Indeed, I had questions and I thought there were alternatives, whether it was Partnership for Peace. At one point I even wrote a memo in the State Department suggesting that we should look at the possibility of Russian membership in NATO, and that was about as successful as many of my other memos when I ran the policy planning staff. But we are where we are where we are. And I just think now I would not do further NATO enlargement. I would say one other point. Russian aggression in Europe, whether it is against NATO or not, has consequences. What they have done against Ukraine has consequences. So if Montenegro were not in Europe and Russia committed an act of aggression against it, it is not as though it would not have implications. The fact is now Montenegro is in there. Montenegro's ability to contribute to NATO is obviously modest, but our willingness and ability to defend Montenegro now has, I think, European-wide benefits because it shows that the United States takes Article 5 seriously. The Chairman. I appreciate the efforts that are underway to push back against what Russia may or may not do--they are already doing but may do more of. I will say that there is a point here and that is that it is very difficult in some of the bills that have been laid out to only punish Russia without punishing our European friends. And I think that is a well taken point that we have got to figure out if we are going to do this in the right way. Secondly on the NATO issue with Turkey that came up earlier, I mean, I think to say that they are not really a NATO ally and we should just move them aside--I could not agree more. There is no way we would let them into NATO. No way. But we still have the Article 5 commitment. We still have the Article 5 commitment. Now, unfortunately for us, they are playing footsy with all of our enemies. So the likelihood of them having issues is low. But I think that is an issue that somehow or another we have got to resolve. It is more than just saying they are not really going to be with us because we also have the reciprocal agreement. Senator Kaine. Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thanks to the witnesses. And I just want to pick up on Senator Paul's question because I think it does get to some really fundamental issue. Is NATO just about purely what is in the U.S.'s interest? Montenegro is a great example. President Trump uses Montenegro to kind of denigrate the relevance of NATO. He asked why his kids should have to go defend Montenegro in the invocation of a collective defense. I got a kid in the military. So I think about these issues too. If it is just about what does it matter to the U.S. and our immediate interests, that is a really good question. But the question is, does the promotion of democracy matter to the United States? Because at the same time as Russia was attacking the U.S. elections in November 2016, they had an assassination plot to try to tackle and wipe out the leadership of Montenegro if they felt that that leadership would support joining in with other democracies of NATO. Now, if promotion of democracy means nothing to us, if we could care less about whether other nations embrace the democratic model or not, if we have given up on the belief that that is in fact the best model to help humans achieve their aspirations, then you are right. Who cares about Montenegro? But if we think that that matters to us--and it should-- then the fact that an authoritarian nation would want to wipe out and assassinate their leadership--I do not think we can turn a blind eye to that. So fundamentally the question about NATO is about U.S. interests, but it is also a question about whether the U.S. has an interest in democracy as a form of government. And that is what we have to grapple with, the immediate interest, but also whether we care anymore about democracy as a model that will help people achieve their aspirations. One of the false dichotomies that I think has been set up in some hearings earlier is an administration--and I will pick up on Senator Menendez's point--that says do not worry about our words, worry about our actions. Now, those words, as you point out, are pretty painful. When the President was asked who was the biggest foe in the world, as he is over interacting with the EU and NATO countries, and he says the EU is our biggest foe, those words can be very painful. But I would not like to allow a false dichotomy as if it is just words because when you use a national security waiver in a trade matter against allies, that is more than words. When you use a national security waiver against allies whose folks have been killed fighting side by side with American troops, when you use a national security waiver against Canada when we have the largest undefended border in the world with them and their troops fight side by side with our troops in every war since the War of 1812, we are not talking about an administration where it is just some intemperate language but actions that are purely supportive. There are supportive actions. At NATO there was a commitment to set up a new NATO command for maritime security in the Atlantic in Norfolk. There is the reconstitution of the Second Fleet. Those are some positive actions. But there are also many actions that are very, very harmful, and labeling allies as national security threats to me is insulting. It denigrates the contributions that they have made, and it is very significant. I want to ask you about the bill that Senator Gardner and I and Senator McCain introduced a few weeks ago. And I think, Senator Menendez, the Menendez-Graham bill and this Gardner- Kaine bill I think were the last two bills that Senator McCain signed on to cosponsor. He was not cosponsoring a lot of legislation in his last few months. But this sets aside the question of sanctions and it is just about this question of whether Congress should have to weigh in to get out of NATO. Now, the treaty powers of the Senate are such that we have to offer advice and consent for entering into treaties. There is a constitutional silence about getting out of treaties. In some instances, congressional approval has been either required or sought for exiting treaties. In other instances, Presidents have gotten out of treaties without Congress. Our bill is just about this question about removal. Do any of you have problems with the notion that getting out of the NATO treaty should require either advice or consent of the Senate or an act of Congress? Ambassador Burns. Senator, I think that the Washington treaty was passed by a two-thirds majority of the Senate in 1949. The Senate was critical in putting that treaty together with Dean Acheson, President Truman. It is the Central American alliance in the world. It speaks to our most important interests. So hypothetically if there was an attempt to remove the United States from NATO or to alter our position in NATO in a fundamental way, the Congress should be involved in that decision. They should speak for the American people, especially in an extraordinary time when you have an American President acting unlike any previous President of both parties. So I have looked at the draft, and I think it makes sense for Congress to inject itself into this question. Dr. Sloan. If I may, Senator. In my introductory comments, I made the point that the Congress has always been a joint manager of the transatlantic bargain, along with every President since the treaty was signed. And I think it is important because there is a role for Congress to play even though the Constitution is silent about getting out of treaties. But I think the Senate in particular does have an important responsibility here. The Senate did agree to the North Atlantic Treaty by more than a two-thirds majority vote, and for any executive to threaten or create the possibility of the United States leaving this alliance, I think it is something that the Senate is justified in looking at its responsibilities under the Constitution and taking action. And so I do not have a problem with your proposal. I think it is something that makes a lot of sense. Whether constitutional lawyers would have problems with it, I do not know. I am not one of those. But from a practical point of view, I do think the Senate continues to have a responsibility for our commitment to this alliance and needs to act on it if it is necessary. Senator Kaine. Mr. Chair, might I ask Mr. Haass also to respond? He was about to join in. Ambassador Haass. Very quickly. The mere fact of the legislation being passed would send a useful signal that I think would be well received in Europe. Second of all, I am not a constitutional scholar. I took one course in constitutional law in graduate school. But I do not understand why exiting a treaty would be any less consequential than entering a treaty. In this case, it would be every bit as consequential. I think the precedent ought to be that however we got into something, we ought not to get out of it differently. So it is one thing if a President got into some arrangement by executive authority, but if we get into it with the full participation of Congress, I believe we should only consider getting out it with the full participation of Congress. Senator Kaine. Thank you. The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Gardner. Senator Gardner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thanks to the witnesses for being here today. Obviously, NATO is one of the most, if not the most, important security alliance, architecture of our time. Following up on Senator Barrasso's questions on Nordstream, here is the Nordstream 2 website. The Nordstream 2 pipeline will transport natural gas into the European Union to enhance security of supply, support climate goals, and strengthen the internal energy market. The EU's domestic gas production is in rapid decline. To meet demand, the EU needs reliable, affordable, and sustainable new gas supplies. Is working with Nordstream a reliable, sustainable, affordable pipeline? Ambassador Burns? Ambassador Burns. It is Russian leverage over Western Europe. That is how President Reagan saw it. We had this debate now for 35 years with the Europeans. How every American President has seen it, you cannot trust the Russians not to use it. Just look at what they have done to Ukraine and to Belarus and to other neighbors with their gas and oil supplies. Senator Gardner. Ambassador Burns, Dr. Haass, I think this is the challenge we have with the American people when we talk about expending the scarce resources of taxpayer dollars in NATO trying to explain to them this is an important architecture. This is a key architecture of our security, global security, and what we are doing to counter malign Russian activities in Europe and beyond, but to explain to them why we are doing this and to watch this pipeline come through, it is almost as if we have to go back and justify to the U.S. taxpayer, hey, you know, I know they are doing something that is not good. They are doing something that is going allow Russian leverage into their economy, into their energy sector, but we got to keep spending this money there. That is a difficult message to be sending to the American people. Dr. Haass. Ambassador Haass. Sure it is a difficult message, and that is true of any relationship where you have got to essentially argue on balance whether the relationship serves you, you are better off with it than not. With every alliance relationship, every even informal relationship, there are parts of the other country's behavior that gives us heartburn for good reason that we cannot defend or agree to. So you think you have to look at the totality of U.S.-European relations and you have got to look at the best approach for trying to reduce or ultimately wean the Europeans on dependence with Russia. And I think what you are hearing from Ambassador Burns and myself is questioning the efficacy of sanctions at a time when we are already overusing that instrument and instead let us sit down and figure out a long-term approach with alternative energy resources, whether it is gas, oil---- Senator Gardner. Is the totality of security in Europe enhanced by the Nordstream 2 pipeline? Ambassador Haass. No. Nordstream detracts from it because it gives the Russians leverage. Senator Gardner. And that is why I think you see this effort by Senator Barrasso, myself, and others to use this leverage. I understand concern with sanctions, but at some point, we have to get somebody's attention as we are explaining to the American people why billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars go to this very important security alliance, that we make this point as strongly as possible. So thank you for that. We have seen obviously March 2018 Russian Government attempts to assassinate two Russian nationals in Salisbury. We have seen the Russian Federation use of chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law. Senator Menendez and I have introduced legislation that would require the State Department to consider whether or not Russia should be named a state sponsor of terror. Do you believe or agree that Russia is a malign actor? Do you believe their actions have undermined U.S. national security, global peace and stability? I think all three of you would say yes. Is that correct? Ambassador Haass. Yes. Selectively the answer is yes. I think the question for you and your colleagues is to say, okay, given that and given the full range of interests and issues we have with Russia, what is the smartest overall response? Okay, there are sanctions, but what else forms the U.S.-Russian relation? Where does diplomacy fit in? We want to avoid a situation, I would think, Senator, where it is all or nothing. So we still want to be able to deal with some issues where there is some overlap in U.S.-Russia relations, say, areas of arms control. We do not want Russia to do certain things that help North Korea. We do not want Russia to do certain things that could help Iran. So the issue is how do we respond to the particulars given the totality of this relationship. Ambassador Burns. Could I just add, Senator, very quickly? Senator Gardner. Sure. Ambassador Burns. The reason why our sanctions against Iran, which Congress voted in 2010 and 2011, were so effective, we joined them with the EU. The reason why the Russia sanctions after Crimea were so effective in 2014, 2015, 2016, we joined them with the EU. So I am for sanctions against Russia. I am very reluctant to think that we should sanction Europe because we hurt ourselves in this balance, this equation that we have always got to keep in mind. Senator Gardner. Going back to the question of the legislation Senator Menendez and I have introduced, do you think it is legislation that would ask the State Department to designate or consider the designation of Russia as a state sponsor of terror is something we should pursue or not? Dr. Haass? Ambassador Haass. Without knowing the full consequences-- but look, Russia is carrying out state-sponsored terrorism when it is killing these individuals. This is not foreign policy. These are acts of aggression against individuals. What is terrorism? Traditionally it is the use of military force or violence by non-state actors against innocents for political purposes. The one exception here is Russia is obviously a state actor. So whether it is technically called terrorism or not, this is an act of violence committed by a state. Put aside the definition of whether it is terrorism or not, we ought to think about how we respond to it. And this I think very much we ought to do with Europe because they have been the principal targets. Senator Gardner. Ambassador Burns, do you think we should pass legislation to require the State Department to go through a consideration of whether Russia should be named a state sponsor of terror? Ambassador Burns. And I believe there is a statute, and we have been working on it for decades. And Congress and State should look into Russian actions that would be defined as terrorism, yes. Senator Gardner. Mr. Chairman, thank you. The Chairman. Senator Shaheen. Senator Shaheen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for being here. I want to go back to the issue that Senator Johnson raised about given the size of Russia versus the EU and the United States and NATO, how they have been able to be so successful. And as we are looking at the future, are we looking at or should we be prioritizing conflict against a nation state like Russia, or should we be prioritizing conflict that is more in the gray zone that includes hybrid warfare? And can you assess to what extent NATO is prepared for those two efforts? Ambassador Burns. Senator, I think where NATO's comparative advantage is strongest is to use our military power to contain. Very important that President Obama, Secretary Ash Carter, and now the Trump administration have both agreed to move forces east. That is the language that Putin understands. I think we had a conversation with Senator Paul earlier. The probability of a Russian conventional attack on a NATO ally is quite small. The probability of an asymmetric intelligence operation is much higher. So you guard against the conventional one. We are not as good, frankly, at recognizing and then responding under Article 4 or Article 5 of the NATO treaty to that asymmetric attack. The denial of service attack against Estonia way back in March 2007--it took us months to figure out what it was. So I think that is where NATO needs to do more work. President Obama and the Trump administration have been pushing NATO on the cyber end to have a greater appreciation to recognize threats and then to respond to them on a cyber- intelligence basis. And I think that is where the soft underbelly is right now of the NATO alliance. Dr. Sloan. And one of the positive things that came out of the Brussels NATO summit is that NATO is moving ahead in this area, much more concentration on it. Senator Shaheen. Right. We saw that, which I agree is a very positive step. So take that into Syria where we have a quagmire that it is not clear what U.S. policy is on Syria right now I think, where we are seeing Russia and Iran and the Assad regime partnering to essentially take over Syria and throw us out of even the limited presence that we have. What should we be thinking about in terms of Syria? Ambassador Burns. Here I would say that we have not had a clear strategy since---- Senator Shaheen. Ever. Ambassador Burns. --since 2013. President Obama did not and President Trump does not. We are in an unfortunate position. The Russians hold most of the cards through their alliance with Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria. We have some leverage. It is the several thousand U.S. Special Forces east of the Euphrates. It is our coalition with the Syrian Kurds. We ought to use that leverage. If I am reading the papers correctly, the administration has decided to leave the troops there. I think that is wise. But certainly now in a country of 22.4 million people, to have 12 million people displaced as refugees or displaced internally, we have got to turn our attention to that problem. And that gets to immigration and refugee admittance into the United States. It gets to forward deployed assistance in the field to the NGOs and the U.N. that run the camps that are so essential. And I think last--and here there is maybe a glimmer of hope--one of our very best diplomats has just been appointed the Syria Coordinator, Ambassador Jim Jeffrey. We need to get involved diplomatically with the Turks, with the Iranians, with the Russians and the Syrians to try to end the war. It is not going to end in terms favorable to us. But if there is an offensive in Idlib province, the bloodletting, the civilian casualties could be even higher than we saw in 2015 and 2016. So I think it is the diplomatic play, maintaining our military leverage that gives us at least a chance to play a role here. Ambassador Haass. I was going to say I think the most difficult question, though, if it seems likely we see an intensified offensive, Iran, Russia, and Syria against Idlib, the question is do we do anything. Are we prepared in any way to intervene directly or indirectly through the forces that we have been associated with? If we do not, we know what will happen. The Syrian Government will reassert authority over its entire territory and there will be massive human casualties. If we do, it is less clear. If we were to help, it is not exactly clear what we would do and it is not exactly clear what the consequence is. But time is running out to answer that question because this is going to play out rather quickly. But we are at that point. This is now the last hurrah of this phase of the Syrian civil regional war. Senator Shaheen. I agree, and I would argue that we have a presence in the northern section of Syria. That gives us some negotiating ability that we should continue to support. I know I am out of time, but I want to get to the Afghanistan question, Dr. Haass, because General Nicholson retired this week, and when he did, he said it is time for the Afghan war to end. So how does that end in any way at all that provides for some reassurance to all of those lives that were lost in Afghanistan that provides us reassurance that it is not going to again become a hotbed for terrorist activity? Ambassador Haass. I do not think I can give you an answer that you are going to like. I do not think the war is going to end. I do not believe peace is at hand, and I cannot imagine the scenario by which peace would be at hand. I simply do not see the unity amongst the Afghan Government and the various tribes. I do not see Pakistan fundamentally changing its policy. I do not see the Taliban changing their stripes. So my guess is if your definition of victory is how does this war end, I do not think we are ever going to get there. I think a more realistic policy is what are the minimal interests we need to try to defend in Afghanistan. And it might be keeping Kabul under the government, not seeing terrorists set up shop again as was done before 9/11. If we have a more modest approach, that will be plenty ambitious. But I think if our idea is to somehow have a formal peace or have the government win militarily and take over the entire country, I think neither one of those is realistic. If I can say one other thing and it slightly gets at what you said, Senator. We have to decide if we are going to look at Afghanistan as a place we have now invested for all these years, for nearly 2 decades, and we are going to act in certain ways because of that, or are we going to treat Afghanistan like any other piece of real estate because we have dozens of countries where we do not want terrorists to take up shop and where we are helping governments through training, arming, intelligence. We have a degree of Special Forces presence, some direct action against them. And I would say the time has probably come to treat Afghanistan the same way we treat several dozen other countries as simply one of the venues in the world where we have to worry about terrorism and that we need to dial it down. We cannot have Afghanistan be a place of ambitious American foreign policy. So this does not end the war, but I think it does reduce the ambition and the cost of it. Senator Shaheen. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Senator Young. Senator Young. Well, thank you, Chairman, for holding this important hearing. I want to thank all our distinguished panelists for your thoughtful testimony. Mr. Burns, you made a really good point that I think needs to be underscored, which is that NATO is a political alliance as much as it is a military alliance. And that suggests that we can build off of those relationships since we share common values and have a foundation for common trust, I think as Mr. Sloan put it, and perhaps solve other issues. So with that in mind, I would like to explore with you whether we might harness the power of the NATO relationship historically, even in light of some recent anxiety about the strength of that alliance, to deal with predatory international economic practices, particularly those by China but also to a lesser extent by other countries. Dr. Haass, you write, quote, ``the EU is a friend not a foe. European countries offer the best set of partners available to the United States for tackling global challenges.'' Mr. Sloan, you characterized NATO as a coalition in waiting, presumably to solve all manner of different challenges. Mr. Haass, you indicated that one potential area that NATO could be helpful moving forward is our effort to optimize and reform WTO and its efficacy. So with all these thoughts having been laid before this committee by our panelists, I am just going to ask each of you to build out on some of your prior thoughts and imagine how we might work with our NATO allies or, more broadly, our EU partners to deal with predatory economic practices. And that could be by establishing a collective economic security framework that emphasizes reciprocity, as well as following the established norms of a liberal trading order, or through some other mechanism. But is it possible for us to operationalize this collective effort to deal with a threat shared by all, which is these predatory economic practices, and if so, how? Mr. Haass, we will begin with you, sir. Ambassador Haass. It is sure worth an effort because we are now on a trajectory that will be bad for American national security and for our economy alike. Look, there are all sorts of practices that we and the Europeans ought to be working on to try to reduce or eliminate, from currency manipulation, government subsidies, which are a major trade distorter, obviously intellectual property protection. Now, some progress was made in the area of improving trade called TPP. And I believe we made a major economic and strategic error by pulling back from TPP. We ought to have a race to the top, not a race to the bottom. We want to have it on our terms, not China's. So one thing would be for Congress to push in that direction. With Europe, let us begin to design the architecture of a transatlantic trade and investment area. We have been talking about it for years. Let us not talk to Britain about it narrowly as in a post-Brexit scenario. Let us talk to the EU writ large about that, and then we can also talk--the last round of global trade talks ended in failure, the Doha Round. But we ought to be looking at what has to happen at the WTO. WTO provides some very useful functions, dispute adjudication and so forth. It has been very good at tariff reductions. It still has to work on things like non-tariff barriers and some of the other issues I mentioned. This ought to be the agenda. But unilateralism and tariffs and sanctions I do not think is the way to go here. Senator Young. Mr. Burns. Ambassador Burns. Two quick points, Senator. Number one is in my experience, just thinking globally for the United States, NATO and the EU are our best partners in upholding what you were talking about, this international system, economic, political, military, that we have constructed since the Second World War. That is fair value. And if I had had a chance to respond to the very good question from Senator Paul, I would have said that. That is the value to the United States. NATO--it is security of Europe and it is that political value system that you referred to where we can work with the NATO allies, and we have to right now in Europe to preserve democracies. The EU I think is the instrument on the trade issue, the largest trade partner and largest investor. They are our competitors--the Europeans--as well as our partners. They would have been with us in a big trade action against China if we had not hit the Europeans first. And that was I think the problem-- -- Senator Young. Has the water gone under the bridge? I mean, do you think we might revisit that if in fact the President's approach does not work? And that is an open question at this point. We see that the Chinese economy is somewhat brittle. I have my own anxiety, which I have been very clear about, with respect to the lack of clarity on the strategic front. But do you think it is still a possibility? Ambassador Burns. I do. I do not think this option has disappeared because long-term what the Europeans have to worry about is the same thing we have to worry about: China ripping off our intellectual property, China not playing by the rules in a way that benefits them and hurts us. They want to be on our side. So tactically it makes sense for us to bring them to our side and use that combined power of 800 million people, the two largest global economies, against China. Senator Young. Well, I agree. Mr. Sloan. Dr. Sloan. I guess my bottom line is that it would be a big mistake to try to operationalize NATO in this area. Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty, what is called the Canadian article, does promote economic cooperation in resolving economic conflicts among member states in the alliance. But NATO has never been used for that purpose, and I think trying to operationalize the alliance in that way at this point would be more disruptive than helpful because it would not respond to the security mandate, which is the primary--political and security mandate of the alliance, which is the primary role of the alliance. Senator Young. Do you think this effort would drain energy from the NATO alliance if in fact we focused on predatory economic practices that injure not just Americans but Europeans? I am confused. Dr. Sloan. I think the problem, Senator, would be that the United States and European allies would all look at those practices somewhat differently because they are affected differently by those practices. And that could be disruptive inside the alliance. I do not have any problem with saying the political and military unity of the alliance could be helpful in terms of making us recognize that these are issues that we need to deal with, but in terms of using NATO to deal with them I think would be a mistake. It is always bad for an organization to take on a task or set an objective that it probably cannot accomplish, and I think that would be bad for the alliance. Senator Young. I am grateful for your thoughts. Thank you, sir. The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Murphy. Senator Murphy. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. This has been very, very helpful. Thank you to all three of you. So we have spent most of our time here questioning you about asymmetric threats presented by Russia and other competitors to the alliance. We have not spent a lot of time talking about the threat of Russia marching across a border. And yet, we are still all stuck in this world in which we assess the contributions of both the United States and our partners through their spending on conventional military means. We have talked around this a bunch, and I maybe am just going to try to rephrase the question that has been asked to you in pieces. Either NATO is a comprehensive mutual defense treaty or it is not. And most of what we are doing with our European partners to stand up capacities against all these other threats we are doing outside of the technical confines of NATO. Much of what Europe does on counterterrorism initiatives, on energy independence initiatives it does through the European Union, for instance, or it does through bilateral relationships and conversations between member states and the United States. And so I guess the tough question is it seems like this is a moment in which we have to either fundamentally rethink all of the things that need to be inside the NATO umbrella and then come up with an assessment as to whether a country is measuring up, or we need to just say, you know what, listen is going to be a conventional military alliance that is going to make sure that nobody marches an army across a border and we are going to work on all this other stuff in a variety of other ad hoc manners. For instance, the propaganda war is something that Senator Portman and I spend a lot of time thinking about, and so do lots of countries in Europe. In fact, many countries in Europe spend a lot of money, spend a lot of resources to try to fight back against Russian propaganda. But nowhere do we assess those contributions when deciding whether they are adequately doing their duty as a member of the transatlantic alliance, which makes me think that we are really not serious about this alliance actually meeting the multiplicity of threats that are presented to us. I mean, are we not at a moment where you have to really fundamentally rethink what is inside NATO, what counts as a contribution, or just admit that NATO is going to address a fairly narrow and lingering conventional military threat? Ambassador Burns. I think what you are saying, Senator--and I agree with it--is that we have to have a strategic relationship with Europe. And part of that relationship, as it has been since 1949, providing for the security of the European countries and us, is going to be primarily through NATO. Part of that is going to be primarily through the European Union because, as you know, a lot of the capacity on the cyber side, on trade and sanctions side is going to be in the EU, and the Europeans will insist that we work through the EU on those issues. Not every member of NATO is a member of the European Union. And so we have to have a combined strategic alliance with both. We have a formal treaty with NATO, but we have a very close interlocking relationship with the EU. That is why in my judgment the problem that we have right now is that the President has talked down NATO and diminished NATO. He has also described the EU, as everyone has said, as the foe of the United States. It is the reverse. And so you need two senior American ambassadors in Brussels working together on both of those institutions to do everything that you have just suggested, which is everything under the sun to protect the United States, working with Europe and to advance our interests. It is institution-based. Ambassador Haass. I agree it is institution-based, but let me make one other point. I would not offer offsets, if that is what you are getting at, Senator. I would say the military dimension of European security and common U.S.-European effort is necessary but not sufficient. So I think it is important for the purpose of a NATO alliance, which has a political but, above all, a military dimension, that there is sufficient effort there. I think we have also got to work with Europeans on the full range of other threats to our common welfare, be it economic, cyber, counterterrorism, health, what have you, but I would not say it is okay to only spend 1 percent on defense because you are doing all this other work on other things. I would say you ought to be spending more on defense and doing all these other things not as a favor to us but as a favor to yourselves. It is the same argument, the mirror side of it. And I would not put it in NATO if you do not have the right personnel. NATO has got more than enough on its hands or on its plate doing what it is meant to do. But you need to have some people who take a step back and look at the totality of these relationships. Senator Murphy. I understand, but when we have a measurable means of assessing conventional military threats and an unmeasurable means of assessing non-military threats, then we tend to have our conversations only in the place that we can measure. And so we do $4 billion of European Reassurance Initiatives, and none of that money goes to energy independence. And yet, we harangue the Europeans for not being more serious about breaking their dependence on Russian oil and gas. So I just think this is a moment in which we need to talk about the way in which we measure contributions to NATO and the way in which that incentivizes us to continue to have this overly militaristic view of the capacities of the alliance. Dr. Sloan. If I could just add to that perspective. Back in the 1980s when the Congress insisted on an allied commitments report from the Defense Department every year, at one point the Defense Department decided to include in what the European allies were asking to have put in that report, and that is development assistance. And the Congress came back and said no, no, no, that is not what we want. We want to know only about military efforts. So there has been some resistance to counting things that actually do contribute to security. And I think what you have raised is a very important point and that is that other contributions other than military ones need to be included. And the United States makes important contributions to security that are not military contributions. So I think it is wise to try to broaden our perspective. One of the wild cards in this equation is the relationship between NATO and the European Union. It has never been institutionally easy. It has gotten better, and the Ambassador certainly experienced that in his time in Brussels. But it is something that needs to get better, and I think it is headed in the right direction now. Senator Murphy. Thank you. The Chairman. Senator Risch. Senator Risch. Thank you very much. Gentlemen, thank you. We heard Mr. Haass' view of where we ought to be in thinking about where we are going in Afghanistan. Mr. Burns, Mr. Sloan, I would like to hear your thoughts on that same issue hopefully in a little more of an executive summary because I have got a couple of other issues I would like to explore. Mr. Burns? Ambassador Burns. Thank you, Senator. First, I think the President's appointment of Ambassador Khalilzad is very positive. He knows the country. We appear to be heading to a situation where we have to promote some kind of diplomatic discussions between the Taliban and the Ashraf Ghani government. That makes sense for us. I did not believe in this for a long time when I served in the Bush administration. I believe in it now, 17 years in, a lot of Americans dead, 2,400 Americans dead, a lot of wounded, allied losses. We cannot win the war conventionally. So we have got to have a combined military presence, which we have, and the allies are going to stay with us until we leave and they have got the money to do it. But we have to have a diplomatic side to this, and I think Ambassador Khalilzad is going to be very important in developing that for President Trump. Senator Risch. Thank you. Mr. Sloan. Dr. Sloan. I think I agree with the general assessment. It is very difficult for our country to admit that we have not won when we have dedicated so much effort, lost so many lives for something like Afghanistan. But it is something that we need to consider, and that is how as a nation we bring ourselves to the point to acknowledge that this war is not winnable in traditional terms. And so it is a huge political problem as much as a technical issue of exactly what kind of presence and efforts we maintain in Afghanistan. But until we get that national consensus, I think that it will be very difficult for any President and any Congress to decide exactly what to do. I think building some kind of national consensus behind the idea of exactly how we do shape the future of our policy toward Afghanistan is an important first step. Senator Risch. I appreciate that. Let us turn to Syria for a minute, starting with you, Mr. Haass. Again, hopefully in an executive fashion, if you would give me your same assessment. I think all of us are very troubled with what we see coming in the future in Syria. There is a bloody conflict coming there that is going to be painful for everyone to watch, let alone experience. And there is not really any discussion in Washington going on about what we are going to do about this. Are we just going to stand by and watch it, or are we going to send a letter of protest? What are we going to do? So, Mr. Haass, briefly can you tell me where we ought to go and what your thoughts are on that? Ambassador Haass. Senator, if there ever were good options in Syria, they are no longer around. The moment I think that there was a chance for ouster of Bashir al-Assad has long since passed. I think a lot of this area is going to be taken by the combined Russian, Iranian, Syrian effort. So I think our focus ought to be on how do we protect as many lives as possible, how do we create whether it is a safe area or some area where people can be protected. But I do not think at the moment I can sit here and make the case that if we were to intervene militarily directly, we could have results that would be commensurate with the risks and costs. I think that day has passed. Senator Risch. Mr. Burns. Ambassador Burns. Three quick points. One, maintain the U.S. troop presence. It is the only leverage we have. Number two, a diplomatic initiative. And I just lauded the appointment of Ambassador Jim Jeffrey. He is as good as it gets. He knows the region. We have to get in the game diplomatically almost to cut our losses but to retain American influence. And number three, continue the very generous assistance of the Congress and the American people to refugees. I would respectfully say that the administration should now determine that we need to take in more Syrian refugees, do our share as the Canadians and Europeans are doing, because it is a crisis with 12 million Syrians homeless out of a population of 22.4 million. Senator Risch. Mr. Sloan. Dr. Sloan. I basically endorse the Ambassador's three points. I think that that kind of an approach is critically important. Dealing with the refugee issue is obviously something that is in the interests of the United States and also in terms of the interests of our European allies and stability in Europe because it has been the flow of refugees, because of Syria and ISIS, into Europe that has led to the strengthening of the radical right populist parties that have taken advantage of the fear of this process of migration and created instability for a number of our European allies. Senator Risch. Thank you very much. My time is almost up. I wish I had more time to explore this. But I say this with all due respect, and I mean it. I think that all of you have underestimated the difficulty that this Turkey situation is causing us and going to cause us with NATO. And I hope I am wrong on that, but so long as Mr. Erdogan is there and hopefully not after he is gone, this is a serious, serious problem. Particularly when you look at the Turks and their long, long adverse history with Russia and they are playing footsy under the table with Russia, this is a very difficult problem. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Sloan. Could I just very briefly since I have not had the opportunity to say anything about Turkey? I think what you are saying is incredibly important, Senator. And I think we have to recognize in the United States and the Europeans have to recognize that we bear some responsibility for what has happened in Turkey. The European Community and the European Union maintain the fantasy tale that Turkey could become a member of the European Union while at the same time most Europeans did not believe this would ever happen. And the United States continued to support that objective when we perhaps should have been looking at ways to create or to encourage Turkey to take a different role that would be more autonomous with the relationship with the European Union, but not to put all of our eggs in the basket of Turkey joining the European Union. I think we should look back at the history here, and as both of my colleagues have said, we need to be patient with Turkey in terms of not moving away from her any further than is necessary and holding out the hope for the future and working toward a future in which a different government will be in place in Turkey. Senator Risch. My view is they are moving away from us as opposed to us moving away from them. So thank you very much. The Chairman. Senator Udall. Senator Udall. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you all very much, the panelists here today. I think it has been very enlightening--your comments on where we should head and where we should really rethink some of the policies we have had in the past. The chairman and several other members traveled to countries over the Fourth of July right on the border of Russia, and this was just before the Helsinki Summit took place. And the countries, specifically Finland that was not a part--these countries and all their leaders were very worried about the approach of this administration and what President Trump was going to do. And one of the things that was worried about was President Trump going to announce no expansion of NATO. And I know, Mr. Haass, I think you said earlier--and I wanted to explore this. You said you did not think we should expand NATO now. But if you announce that publicly, does that not play into Putin's threat and the feelings that these countries have? What are you thinking on that? Ambassador Haass. I do not feel there is any need to make an announcement. That would be inconsistent with the enlargement process. I simply do not see that Georgia or Ukraine now or any time soon are going to meet the requirements. So I think it is basically a moot point for now and for the foreseeable future. Senator Udall. Ambassador Burns and Mr. Sloan, please. Ambassador Burns. We are a European power. We have been since the late 1940s. So we are the key country. We need to signal that NATO's door remains open to further enlargement. It is well understood that Ukraine and Georgia do not meet the requirements right now. It will be a long time. If you close the door, then you give Putin an opportunity to take the kind of measures that he has taken against both of those countries. Senator Udall. Mr. Sloan, you wanted to say something. Dr. Sloan. Yes, I would. It is very important to keep that door open even though I agree that Ukraine and Georgia are not at this point ready for membership in terms of what NATO has insisted on, the requirements for membership in the past. But I would comment on Finland and Sweden, and that is if both Finland and Sweden decided that they wanted to apply for membership, they would be in in a day. That is an exaggeration, but we would welcome them in with open arms I am quite sure. They already are cooperating, as you know, so intensely with NATO, and it is because of their enhanced fears of what Putin is up to, what he might do against them. And so in terms of that enlargement, if they decided politically internally that they wanted to join, I am sure that NATO countries would welcome them in. Senator Udall. And those countries, by the way, are expending I think above the target that we have talked about in terms of military spending, which is very impressive. Mr. Haass, I think you made a very important statement when you talked about this not being an all or nothing response to Russia. I was at a dinner last night with Ambassador Pickering, and he said something very similar. And he talked about the kinds of things that we have worked on over the years with the Russians. You mentioned one in terms of arms control. We were able to work with the Russians in terms of Iran on the JCPOA and all of those kinds of activities. I mean, how do we proceed on these issues where you have these election threats and all of the other things that are going on? What additional role do you think Congress should play in this, and is there an opening for us to get involved in this? Ambassador Haass. I would say two things. One, when I was last in Russia, which was maybe 6 months ago, it had been several years since there had been a congressional delegation in Russia. Since then, there has been one but I think it was simply one party. I think the resumption of, if it can be worked out, a bipartisan CODEL so the Russians hear that it is across the American political spectrum, here are our concerns with what Russia is doing in its various aspects of its foreign and domestic policy, I think that would be good. I think they need to hear these things. We are not against the relationship with Russia, but we are against these Russian behaviors. And to the extent they got a sense that was broadly and deeply shared in the American political spectrum, it would be good. Second of all, I would just say we need to be mindful of sanctions in the following way. If we introduce sanctions for all sorts of behaviors, we have got to make sure we retain some flexibility to keep the relationship open. We cannot preclude areas of limited cooperation. This almost is an anti-linkage policy. I do not think we want to get in a situation with Russia that because of what you are doing on A, B, and C, we preclude potential cooperation on D, E, and F. So I think we have got to be very narrow and targeted in our sanctions. I think the best we can hope for, as we look toward the future with countries like China and Russia, is we are going to have relationships. We are going to have big areas of disagreement or even worse, but we are still going to have some areas of selective interaction, even conceivably cooperation. So we have got to be mindful, and when we introduce penalties, we do not preclude the selective areas of cooperation. Senator Udall. Would you both respond to that? Ambassador Burns. I would agree that both President Trump and the Congress need to keep the lines open to Moscow. We need to be talking to them. What is the agenda? North Korea, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, the future of arms control. New START that President Bush negotiated expires in 2021, and so we are going to have to deal with the Russians. At the same time, we are in containment mode through our sanctions and troop presence in Eastern Europe and we have got to contain Putin and his generation until they pass from power. Dr. Sloan. Senator, ironically from the Cold War era, there is a formula that I think is still relevant today. It was called the Harmel Formula. In those days, it was called the formula for defense and detente. You manage your defense to be able to deter the Soviet Union in those days and you try to promote detente between the east and west. Today it is more of a defense, deterrence, and dialogue. And I think the United States and its NATO allies pursue that kind of a formula wisely and making sure that we do not let Russia get away with its activities that are contrary to our interests. I think that is a good formula to work with in the future, as well as it was during the Cold War. Senator Udall. Thank you. And thank you for your courtesies, Mr. Chairman. The Chairman. Yes, sir. Senator Rubio. Senator Rubio. Thank you. I want to address head on sort of this strain of thinking among some that our challenges with Russia are the result of something we did, that we offended them in some way and if we were just nicer to them, Putin would be more cooperative. Perhaps you disagree. That is why I want to ask all three of you. You spend a lot of time on this. It is my view that by and large that Putin wants to be a great global figure on top of sort of deep, historical rationale for both Russian nationalism and sort of the trauma of losing its great power status at the end of the collapse of the Soviet Union. And domestically too, by the way, being able to argue that he is an indispensable global leader and that Russia matters again allows him to paper over some of the other difficulties in Russian society and the like. And so the truth of the matter is that in Vladimir Putin's view of the world, he is in a direct geopolitical competition with the United States, and the only way he wins is if we lose. In essence, the only way he has more influence and power and is bigger and greater is if America has less. Is that an accurate assessment of what we are dealing with? Ambassador Haass. I think we can have an argument about whether NATO enlargement, what we did with Libya and all that contributed to Russia's alienation. But I am not going to fight your basic point. We are where we are where we are. And it clear to me that Mr. Putin has rejected as a goal Russia's integration in what we would call the liberal world order. Indeed, I believe he has rejected what we would call the liberal world order. He seeks a very different place for Russia. He seeks a very different world. And I think we have to see him in most situations now not as a partner, but as someone who has a very different agenda which is inconsistent with ours. Ambassador Burns. Well, I am going to be in violent agreement with you. Putin caused this strategic mess that he is in and that we are in with him. We gave Russia every chance-- President George H.W. Bush, President Clinton in the 1990s with a lot of aid from the United States and a lot of friendship to see if democracy would work. We were right to expand NATO. The Russians did not like it, but they did not end the relationship over that. They ended it over the perception that the United States was supporting the Rose Revolution in Georgia and the Orange Revolution in Kiev back during the George W. Bush administration, in which I served. I think that was the issue that turned Putin against us, but I do not blame us. I am glad we supported those democratic efforts in Georgia and Ukraine. So now we are stuck in Putin's zero sum world, as you say, Senator, and we have to compete. And we are a lot stronger and we will emerge if we defend our allies in Eastern Europe, defend NATO enlargement. We will win this without a war because he is not going to attack NATO. At some point he passes from the scene in the next decade or so. We have just got to have the courage to stay with our policy of containment until that happens. Dr. Sloan. Can I respond briefly as well? There are those who say that what NATO and what the United States did in enlarging the alliance was provocative and is responsible for a lot of Putin's behavior. I really reject that completely because even though I think what NATO did was provocative in one respect, and that was it offered an alternative political approach for countries that wanted to become members of the alliance and wanted to move away from being controlled by the Soviet Union. For Putin, this was, I think, threatening. I think he understood, has always understood that NATO is not the kind of alliance that will attack Russia. I do not think that he has any fear of NATO militarily, but he does fear that countries on Russia's border becoming liberal democracies, Western democracies will present a model of governance that will threaten his power and his ability to sustain his control in Russia. Senator Rubio. A quick point I want to make. There is a lot of concern about adding countries could get us into a war. We have no obligation under the NATO treaty to come to the defense of an aggressor. The NATO treaty is and our obligations are almost exclusively defensive in nature. Is that not correct? Ambassador Burns. That is how Article 5 is written. First of all, there is no obligation to do anything under Article 5. You have to assess what you want to do. But it is a defensive article. It is not an offensive article. Senator Rubio. In that context about Putin in general, as we talked about the zero sum game, he is, though, a cost- benefit analyzer. He makes decisions on the basis of--that is the reason why these influence campaigns have provided a benefit that exceeds the cost. Is there not then wisdom, for example, in putting in place, for example, a cost ahead of future interference to say this is the price you will pay? Sanctions are one thing. You have already paid that price. It is another thing is to say this is what will happen, sanctions and otherwise, in the future if you do X, Y, or Z so that he knows ahead of time what the price will be and theoretically he would want--or in reality, you would want that price to be higher than the benefit he thinks he derives. Is there not wisdom in deterring a future influence campaign by putting in place predetermined penalties he knows he will pay so he knows exactly what the price point is? Ambassador Haass. I think the answer to that is yes in part because let us be honest about the context he is making his decisions. He made a heavy investment in Ukraine. His cost- benefit paid off. He made a heavy investment in Syria. His return on investment--if we did that on Wall Street, we would be extraordinarily happy. And his active measures in various elections again have paid off. So he has taken three fairly big geopolitical risks. In all three, I would say, his benefits have outweighed his costs. So in order to change that thinking, we have to persuade him that if he were to take another big risk again, this time there would be a different outcome. So it cannot leave a lot of discretion. And quite possibly Congress will have to take the lead here given the statements of this President, given his views of Russia. Plus I do not know--maybe you do--what he communicated in the one-on-one in Helsinki. So I think the more that we can be explicit about the cost, the more likely we are to deter. Ambassador Burns. Can I just say, Senator, the problem we have had since 2016 is we have not been clear about what the penalty is or shall be? And so if part of the bill that you may be referring to or the draft bill that I have read would set out very clearly what the penalty is--Putin is a rational person. He is opportunistic but rational. He will understand that those are going to be the penalties. We have got to make sure that he perceives that we are serious about it. So I do favor that kind of approach. The Chairman. And if those penalties affect Europe adversely? I mean, we are talking around something. You understand there is no way to hit Russia without hitting Europe. So you are saying hit Europe too. Ambassador Burns. I am not saying that. I think there are ways to hit Russia with further sanctions against Russian oligarchs, against Russian economic interests, if they interfere in the midterms or in 2020, that are separate from the kinds of sanctions that were being talked about on the Nordstream 2 issue. Ambassador Haass. We also want to look at Russia's participation in the global financial system. Again, we want to narrow them rather than have Europe to the extent possible--we do not want Europe to be collateral damage. The Chairman. We are probably going to settle this issue over the next 3 weeks. Otherwise, there is no reason to settle it. I think everybody would agree. So just again, as we move down the road, I am all for the kinds of things that are being discussed unless we are hurting our friends also. I think it is easy to throw things around here until you get into the specifics. Specifics matter because we are going to be passing laws. Especially when you start talking about a financial system, you are not just talking Russia. So we have to actually pass things that have words in them not just tilts towards things. And I hope that you will be helpful to us over the next 3 weeks also. Senator Markey. Senator Markey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much. I would like to turn to an issue which I think we should be talking about, which is nuclear arms control, so that we reflect the fact that even at the height of the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were talking about these issues. And I would like to, if I could, just turn to the New START treaty and its central limits and the desirability of trying to have that conversation so that we have an extension of the New START agreement beyond 2021 so that we do not wind up with no replacement in place and an unnecessary set of expenditures that are made on both sides that could be put to better use. So, Ambassador Burns, Ambassador Haass, I would love to get your reflections on that. Ambassador Burns. Senator, thank you. You can see in the press there is an ongoing debate, as there should be, in the Trump administration about what we do, several different options being discussed publicly. No question. This is one of the reasons why we have to have an open channel to the Russians. As we compete with them and sanction them in some places, we have got to have a discussion about stability on the nuclear arms front. The easiest solution that I think is available to us for President Trump would just be to extend the current treaty and to give us some time to stabilize that part of the relationship because we have a very disruptive agenda with the Russians in other places. But that would be my recommendation at this point. Senator Markey. Ambassador Haass, could you add in any comments you might have on the potential deployment of hypersonic weapons that we should be talking about with the Russians, the INF Treaty, the Russian violation of that treaty and what our actions should be in response? There is some discussion on this side that perhaps we should pull out of the INF Treaty. What would you recommend for New START, for these hypersonic weapons, for INF in terms of the United States and Russia engaging in constructive dialogue apart from all of our other disagreements? Ambassador Haass. I do not want to represent myself as more of an expert than I am on this. But, one, I agree. The simple extension of New START is the least complicated, least--it would be positive. It is the most doable or realistic option at this point. I do not think this is a moment where you want to get ambitious given the overall state of the relationship. With INF, given Russian deployments, again I would rather not toss the treaty out. My instincts are if we have issues with compliance, let us press the issues of compliance. It is one thing to modernize the American strategic or nuclear arsenal. It is something else to go ahead with deployments that would not be part of a normal modernization program simply in response to what we see as Russian noncompliance or violations of existing agreements. That is an area of defense spending I would not necessarily encourage. So my going-in position dramatically would be to look whether we could bring about what we consider to be compliance. If not, then I think it is a fair question to look at what our options are and whether our response is new deployments or we want to respond asymmetrically. Senator Markey. Again, if I can come back to you, Ambassador Burns, just to get your reflections upon how important it is to get ahead of these hypersonic weapons before we get into an additional race on those issues and the INF Treaty from your perspective, how important is it, what would you recommend that we do in order to make sure that we do not go backwards on the already existing nuclear arms control agreements. Ambassador Burns. Thank you, Senator. On INF, it gets back to Senator Corker's very good question. Where do you put the balance? Again, we need the Europeans to be with us on this. I think that treaty--President Reagan signed it--still makes sense for us. The Russians are exceeding it. We need to call them on that. We are going to have to have European support. So that gets back to your question, Mr. Chairman, if you sanction the Europeans, you are reducing the probability of success. Senator Markey. Which NATO countries would we put at most immediate risk if we did pull out of the INF Treaty? Ambassador Burns. Well, Poland certainly, the Baltic States, Germany, the states in the east. They are being greatly affected. I also just wanted to add this one point, Senator. Your question is going to have to be expanded to artificial intelligence, quantum computing---- Senator Markey. Could you just move to hypersonic weapons, please, and how you view that as a potential threat moving forward? Ambassador Burns. I am not an expert on hypersonic weapons. I cannot give you a decent answer to that question. But I just wanted to say with China and Russia, we have to have an expanded arms dialogue in these new technologies that if they get out of control will also be competitive spaces. Senator Markey. Mr. Sloan, hypersonic weapons? Dr. Sloan. No. Senator Markey. Okay, great. Thank you all so much. Thank you for your service. The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Menendez. Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity. I just want to wrap up some things. I have heard some interesting comments here today, and so I just want to get the expertise of the panel. So what happens when a nation is attacked and does not respond? What is the likelihood of the aggressor? What are they likely to do? Ambassador Haass. Senator, is that a rhetorical question? Senator Menendez. No. It is a question. Ambassador Haass. I mean, obviously, it will simply encourage greater adventurism. Senator Menendez. Anybody disagree with that? Ambassador Burns. I very much agree. Dr. Sloan. I do too. Senator Menendez. So I listened to my colleague from Kentucky, and I find it interesting. Who is going to fight someone who buys your oil? Obviously, the Russians have done it to the Ukraine and others. So energy can be weaponized if you choose to do so. And I think one of you mentioned that Russia has three different tranches, you know, its military might, its cyber, and its energy. So if you want to weaponize it, you can weaponize it. And we have seen that Russia is willing to weaponize it. We have seen that Russia has created a series of cyber- attacks not only against the United States but other Western democracies. And from my perspective, very little, relatively speaking, has been done in response to that in a way that sends a clear and unequivocal message that there is a consequence for doing that. And so it will continue to happen. So the sanctions legislation--I appreciate some of these insights here, and of course, an opening salvo on a legislation is never its final version. We are more than willing to tailor it in terms of some of the comments the chairman has made. But we have not been responsive enough to the attacks that we have received as a country, and in any other iteration, we would clearly consider it an act of war. Let me ask you something. NATO enlargement--it is not any willing aspirant. It is any willing aspirant who is capable and meets the goals of NATO. Is that a fair statement? Ambassador Burns. And that we would all agree by consensus to admit them. It is our decision. Senator Menendez. Absolutely. Ambassador Burns. It is not just that they are capable. Senator Menendez. And on this question of Russia and Putin that we basically stroked the tiger, at the end of the day in the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of those former Soviet bloc countries--we had a choice. We had a choice to say those who are willing and want to move to a liberal democracy, respect for human rights, and rule of law, you are welcome to join us. And if not, we would have isolated them actually and pushed them back into the possibility of a reconstitution of the greater Russia that Putin seeks. Is that not a fair statement? Ambassador Burns. That is exactly the situation we faced. I was President Clinton's special assistant on Russia at the time, and that is how he saw it. That is how President Bush saw it. That is how President Obama saw it. But 120 million East Europeans living between Russia and the West and we had to bring them into NATO and the EU simultaneously to cement them in the West. Wilson talked about this. FDR struggled with it and failed at Yalta. We succeeded, Republican and Democratic administrations together in a unified policy over about 20 years. I have no regrets about this. I think this was a very positive thing to do. Dr. Sloan. Could I add to that? In the early 1990s when I was working for Congress at CRS, I wrote a report for the Congress in which I asked the question without being an advocated because CRS people are not supposed to be advocates, but without being an advocate, I said how can the NATO allies say no to countries that they have been trying to convince all this time, these decades that they need to move toward democracy and become Western countries, and how can we say no to them now? It was a difficult question for the United States and the European allies. I think they made the right answer, the right choice. We did. Senator Menendez. Let me ask you one last set of questions. If someone commits or some entity commits a chemical attack upon another citizen in another country, would we not consider that an act of terrorism? Ambassador Haass. The question came up before, and I think it is state sponsorship or however you want to--state conduct. You can get into definitions, but the bottom line is we ought to take it for what it is, which is an unacceptable violent act and we ought to think about how we respond. Senator Menendez. And if someone supports or a government supports another entity that ultimately uses chemical weapons against its citizens, is that not an act of terrorism? Ambassador Haass. Absolutely. U.S. policy has been to hold terrorists responsible or those who in any way aid, abet, or facilitate. We do not draw distinctions between terrorists or the government. Senator Menendez. Reading the definition of the law, international terrorism means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country. And the term ``terrorism'' means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets. So it seems to me that the designation that we gave North Korea in this regard was appropriate, and it seems to me that based upon the actions that Russia has taken in both Syria, as well in chemical attacks against citizens on foreign soils, that it falls squarely within the ambit. Whether or not it is the right policy is another question, but certainly the law seems to be rather clear to me. Ambassador Burns. And I would say if you look at the UK nerve agent attack, it fits that description. It also fits the use of chemical weapons elsewhere. Senator Menendez. Thank you all for your answer. Ambassador Haass. Can I just quickly say I think, though, you asked the right question whether it is the right policy, and we would want to look at the implications or consequences of it and whether it would serve the totality of our aims, given what we are trying to accomplish with Russia, also what we are already doing. What would be additive about this, and would we welcome what was additive about it, again, given everything else---- Senator Menendez. I would just like to see us be far more forward leaning in response to the attacks that we have received. And Putin, as you have said so aptly, Dr. Haass, is someone who calculates. You know, at the end of the day, his calculations have payoff. He gives speeches. He tells you his road map and he pretty much follows his road map. It seems to me that we need to have him understand that the calculation is wrong. Ambassador Haass. And the most important aspect of his calculation is what he does and how we will react. What will it mean for his own political position at home? Putin, above all, is about Putinism and his domestic political base. And what we have to think about are what would be the things we would say or do that would raise questions in his mind about his domestic endurance. That I think gives us as much leverage as anything. The Chairman. Well, this has been a great hearing and I thank you for being here. I mean, let us face it. This dilemma that the ranking member is raising and that we have to deal with is--you know, the Russians and Putin are willing to do things that we are not. I mean, we are not for logical reasons, for rational reasons, but they do assassinate people in other countries. They use the military to invade people, and they use their military to intervene in places like Syria. Let us face it. We intervened to a degree but not to a degree to have an effect. So we try to solve this problem with sanctions. They are able to do things surgically. They interfere with our elections directly. They create a frozen conflict in Georgia directly. They take Crimea directly. They create instability in eastern Ukraine directly. They are intervening in Syria directly. We are not willing to do those things, at least not to the degree that they are for good reasons. And so the tool we use here is sanctions, and sanctions are not surgical. They end up affecting lots of other people, including ourselves I might add. Including ourselves. So I agree with the sentiment here, strongly agree. And let us face it. The exacerbating problem is we have an administration that will not even use rhetoric in an appropriate way to push back. So it frustrates us. We end up in some cases I think doing things that even go beyond what we would normally do because we have an administration that we know otherwise is not going to do some of these things, not even rhetorically. And so here we are in this situation where we are trying to react in a manner that supports democratic freedoms and human rights. And I do agree 100 percent with everyone here other than maybe one Senator, that NATO is about promoting democracy also and good governance, and there are other things that come with NATO membership. So we are in a challenging place here, exacerbated by the role that the administration is not playing or that they are playing in helping destabilize Europe. And we have got to figure out how we react in a manner that does not cut our own nose off to spite our face and does not blow back on our friends which, by the way--let us think about this. I mean, blowing back on our friends--even though it may be painful to a degree to Russia, blowing back on our friends actually inures to Putin's benefit. Right? It inures to Putin's benefit. So again, I just want us to be thoughtful as we move down this road. We do things that have words and have impact, and we did a pretty good job on CAATSA. We made some mistakes there. We did a pretty good job, though. But let us face it. That was also in reaction to the fact that we have an administration that we did not feel would take appropriate steps against Russia. So we find ourselves in a very unusual place. I do want to say that as it relates to having this group of people throughout our democracy that have knowledge that have served, that in some cases have access to intelligence, I hope that by virtue of you being here today and testifying, that the American people can see the importance of having people that are not just serving in the Senate, that are not just serving in an administration, that have knowledge that is helpful to all of us and will serve in future administrations to make our country even stronger. We thank you for being here. And with that, the meeting is adjourned. [Whereupon, at 12:30 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.] [all]