Kay Bailey Hutchison, the former U.S. Senator from Texas, is stepping into a new role on the international stage as tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and North Korea.
Hutchison was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, on August 15, and has spent much of her first month in Brussels, Belgium addressing the military alliance’s response to North Korea’s missile tests.
The ambassador, 74, enters the role with a wealth of understanding of NATO and military matters, having previously served as a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee during her two decades in Congress.
She’s already echoing President Trump’s call for an increased financial commitment from the nations that make up the alliance. While attending a dedication ceremony at NATO’s headquarters in May, Trump criticized world leaders for failing to uphold funding obligations. The latest figures show only 6 of the 29 member countries met the requirement that defense expenditures make up 2 percent of their GDP.
In August, Ambassador Hutchison highlighted the disparity in an op-ed published by the New York Times, where she also outlined a plan for the revitalization of NATO through increased spending among alliance members and investment in major equipment and modernization.
The article also reassured allies of the United States’ commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, assuring mutual defense in the event of an attack.
Hutchison said Republicans and Democrats in Washington are united behind America’s role in the security alliance.
“There is a strong consensus that a renaissance of NATO offers the best hope to unite our Western allies against threats including intolerable Russian aggression in Ukraine, international terrorism, nuclear and missile capacities of rogue nations, and efforts to wipe out religious and individual freedoms around the globe.”
Lane Luckie, a news anchor and reporter for KLTV in Tyler, Texas, is traveling in Germany and Belgium as part of a fellowship with the RIAS Berlin Commission. The bi-national journalist exchange, which is a partnership with the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, was established in 1992 to promote understanding between the United States and Germany in the field of broadcasting. Click here to learn more.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KLTV/KTRE-TV or Raycom Media. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2017 Lane Luckie