A Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting became tense Tuesday as committee members discussed the future of NATO and an amendment proposed by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
A Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting became tense Tuesday as committee members discussed the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and an amendment proposed by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, according to a GOP staffer with firsthand knowledge of what transpired in the meeting.
Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney was joined by other members of the committee, namely Democratic New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, in opposing Paul’s amendment.
“Romney argued, and Shaheen agreed, that now was not the time to be wobbly on Article 5’s mandate for the U.S. to defend all 30 NATO countries,” the GOP staffer with firsthand knowledge of the exchange told The American Conservative. “Paul responded that Gold Star parents are likely more concerned with Congress going wobbly on the Constitution.”
Paul’s amendment, which he discussed in a recent piece for TAC, would simply make clear that upholding NATO’s Article 5 commitments does not mean that President Joe Biden gets to circumvent Congress, which has the sole Constitutional authority to declare war, if the ongoing hostilities with Russia were to spill over into other NATO aligned countries in the region.
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What’s more, in a May 21 essay for the New York Times, Romney argues that Russia’s campaign in Ukraine has gone so disastrously, that the U.S. should start considering what an appropriate response would be if Russia decides to use a nuclear weapon, “whether via a tactical strike or by weaponizing one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.”
“There are some who would argue for a nuclear response,” Romney continued. “But there is a wide range of options, and they need not be mutually exclusive. For example, NATO could engage in Ukraine, potentially obliterating Russia’s struggling military.”
Romney also thinks the U.S. should add even more security dependents to the NATO alliance in Finland and Sweden—allies that senators like Romney believe the U.S. should be willing to defend with nuclear bombs from above and American boots below. If ‘wobbly’ is neocons and liberal internationalists’ chosen pejorative for those seeking to avoid World War III, then call me a wobbler.