Only NATO can deter Russian threat: UK Defence Secy tells US
London [UK], Dec. 4 (ANI): British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has warned the incoming Donald Trump administration that Russia presented a real threat which only NATO could deter.
Speaking at a major defence forum in California that brought together senior members of the United States defence establishment, Fallon urged the Trump administration not to retreat into isolationism, reports the Guardian.
"First, it is important that America remains an outward-looking nation," he said.
He told the conference that NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries are in a "strategic competition" with Russia.
"Dialogue with Russia is useful. But deterrence is essential. Our unity sends a powerful signal of collective strength to potential adversaries," he added.
"NATO is the world's most successful military alliance and it is as good for the US as it is for Europe. It was the alliance's collective commitment that invoked Article V after America was attacked on 9/11, said Fallon.
He, however, added: "I firmly agree with your president and your president-elect that many NATO nations still need to do more to pay their way. Nineteen NATO members spend less than 1.5 percent of GDP on defence. The US taxpayer can't be expected to shoulder a disproportionate burden."
Trump on the election campaign trail repeatedly spoke warmly about a need for increased dialogue with Russia while questioning the basic tenets of the NATO alliance in particular that an attack on one constitutes an attack on all.
Such comments created alarm among NATO members who fear Russia might seek to destabilise them. (ANI)