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US Senate approves NATO expansion — Analysis

An amendment to clarify the fact that NATO is not an overriding power of Congress was rejected by Senators

The US Senate has voted overwhelmingly to ratify Sweden and Finland’s membership in the NATO alliance, another step toward expanding the US-led military bloc after its 30 members formally committed to the move. 

The measure was passed 95-1 by lawmakers on Wednesday. President Joe Biden called it a “reform.” “historic vote”This “sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan US commitment to NATO.” 

“The United States remains committed to the security of Sweden and Finland. We will continue working to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security,” the president added, vowing to sign the accession protocols to formally approve the two countries’ membership.

Missouri Republican Josh Hawley was a senator who voted against ratification. He argued that “sending more forces and resources to Europe to defend new allies”It would be a waste of time “strengthen our deterrent posture in the Pacific,”He and his fellow Republicans repeatedly warned about the Chinese threat. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, meanwhile, voted ‘present,’ the only other lawmaker who did not approve the resolution. 




A libertarian-leaning Republican, Paul also introduced an amendment which would have reasserted Congress’ authorities to declare war, stressing that the collective defense provisions of the NATO bloc do not supersede the US Constitution. With only a handful supporting it, the amendment was defeated 10-87. Senator Mitt Romney (R. Utah) suggested that the amendment could show. “cracks” in Washington’s commitments to “mutual defense” and NATO’s support to Ukraine in its war with Russia.

With Wednesday’s vote and President Biden’s signature, 20 of NATO’s 30 states will have ratified membership for Stockholm and Helsinki, according to the Hill. They require unanimous consent from the alliance in order to join, and though both initially faced staunch resistance from Turkey, they appear to have reached tentative deals to satisfy Ankara’s conditions. 

The two Nordic states applied for membership in May, breaking with decades of neutrality while citing Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Though Moscow has long aired concerns about the eastward expansion of NATO – Finland shares an 800-mile border with Russia – President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia “has no problems”Does not associate with any country and doesn’t see their membership as an integral part of it “immediate threat.”

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