Blinken: U.S. Must Lead in Defining Post-Cold War Era

Blinken: U.S. Must Lead in Defining Post-Cold War Era

Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the critical role of U.S. leadership in shaping global developments during a speech at the Brookings Institution on Monday.

"We are at a pivotal moment," Blinken stated, highlighting the end of the post-Cold War era and the onset of a new period marked by great power rivalry and interconnected global challenges. "The diversity and complexity of these challenges and their interconnectedness are now higher than ever in the past 30 years of my involvement in foreign policy."

Blinken argued that U.S. involvement and leadership in addressing global issues are essential. "When our country is not involved in solving problems, when we do not lead, one of two things happens: either someone else steps in, likely in a way that does not promote our interests and values, or a vacuum forms, typically filled by negative elements," he said.

He stressed the need for new methods of cooperation and communication. "Despite the national power of the United States, we cannot effectively overcome these challenges alone. We are working very hard to reinvigorate these alliances and partnerships, to revitalize and, in many ways, rethink them," Blinken explained.

Turning to Ukraine, Blinken praised the resilience of the Ukrainians and the international coalition supporting their defense against Russian aggression. "This did not happen and will not happen, for two reasons: the extraordinary bravery and resilience of the Ukrainians, and the support of more than 50 countries, led by the United States," he noted.

Blinken outlined the U.S. policy goals for Ukraine, emphasizing the need for military, economic, and democratic strength. "Militarily, Ukraine is dealing with ongoing aggression, and we are ensuring it has everything it needs to repel Russian aggression," he said. He highlighted long-term security arrangements and the development of Ukraine's defense industrial base.

Economically, Blinken pointed to efforts to attract private sector investment and support Ukraine's economic growth. "Ukraine is exporting as much product through the Black Sea as it did before February 2022," he remarked, adding that air defense systems are essential to protect investments.

Democratically, Blinken emphasized the importance of Ukraine's continued development and integration with the European Union. "The ultimate result is a successful country that stands firmly in these three areas – and this is the most convincing answer to Vladimir Putin," he stated.

Looking ahead to NATO's 75th anniversary, Blinken underscored the importance of the Alliance. "The strength of Article 5, which states that an attack on one is an attack on all, is the strongest possible deterrent to aggression," he said. He praised the increased defense investments by NATO members, noting that 23 countries have reached the 2% of GDP defense spending target set in 2014, compared to nine in 2021.

Blinken also highlighted the expansion of NATO with Finland and Sweden joining, and the efforts to ensure the Alliance is effectively oriented to address current threats. "The North Atlantic alliance is taking steps to ensure the proper defense capability of all Alliance members where it is needed, where it matters," he concluded.

Blinken expressed confidence in the future trajectory of U.S. and European partnerships, citing unwavering commitments to NATO and the clear benefits to citizens. "We have very close allies, very close partners... It clearly serves the interests of the citizens we all must represent," Blinken affirmed.

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