WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today applauded House passage of his amendment to assess the impact of reducing American military readiness in Europe on the core mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Rep. Engel’s legislation was included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

“I view Vladimir Putin's aggression as the greatest threat to European security since the Second World War. We need to demonstrate that NATO's Article 5 remains an ironclad deterrent to further aggression,” said Rep. Engel. “My measure would take a hard look at the way changes to our military posture in Europe could affect NATO’s mission. It would also send a clear message to our NATO allies that we take the Russian threat seriously.”

Representative Engel’s measure would require a report to Congress on the impact of any significant reduction in U.S. military readiness in Europe on NATO’s core mission of collective defense before any reduction takes place. The amendment also clarifies that the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act poses no obstacle to any additional permanent stationing of combat forces anywhere on the territory of any NATO member State. It also expresses the clear sense of Congress that U.S. forces in Europe should be increased as a deterrent to new threats on the Eastern Flank of the NATO alliance.