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Derek Chollet: NATO at ‘Turning Point’ in Changing Defense Budget Picture

Derek Chollet
Derek Chollet

Derek Chollet, Defense Department’s assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, has outlined what he sees as challenges to NATO amid the ongoing drawdown of forces in Afghanistan and declining defense budgets, the American Forces Press Service reported Monday.

Chollet told an audience at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. in Washington that reduced defense spending will “remain a challenge” and that topic “will be front and center” at NATO’s summit in September, Nick Simeone reports.

He said the alliance is “at a turning point” as questions about its relevance to the public arise, according to the report.

“For NATO to continue to be seen as relevant to our publics, it needs to be seen as addressing the security issues that are relevant to our publics, so that’s why as an alliance we need to work harder,” Chollet said.

Chollet also said the timing of NATO’s summit is critical to the current security crisis in Eastern Europe and the impending end of NATO operations in Afghanistan in December, according to the report.

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