An Inside Look at the NATO Summit in Washington

By Brendan Scanland

WASHINGTON, D.C. — 75 years ago, 12 countries established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in our nation’s capital. 

The multinational security and political alliance promotes democracy and peaceful resolutions to disputes. It was formed to deter Soviet expansionism, fight nationalist militarism in Europe and encourage European political integration. 

International dignitaries from 32 member countries, known as NATO allies, are in Washington to discuss pressing political and global security issues.  

Safety and security in and around the summit are being taken especially seriously. City blocks are shut down to traffic, several roads and metro stops are closed, and high fencing surrounds several buildings near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 

“It is massive in scale. And it isn’t just law enforcement, we work with all of our public safety partners to put something like this into motion,” said Matt Stohler, the U.S. Secret Service Agent in charge. “We are constantly monitoring any threat in intelligence that comes across. At this time, there’s no credible threats to the NATO Summit that we’re tracking,” he added.  

Inside the convention center, hundreds of attendees, leaders and journalists from across the world have gathered to participate in and cover a full list of events throughout the week. 

There is no shortage of urgent matters being discussed. Atop the list: Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine. 

“It’s good that we’re stronger than ever because this moment in history calls for our collective strength,” said President Joe Biden during his Tuesday evening NATO address to kick off the summit. 

However, overshadowing this year’s summit are concerns regarding the 81-year-old President’s reelection chances and what the future of NATO would look like if former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, returns to the White House. 

“I expect that regardless of the outcome of the US elections, the US will remain a strong and staunch NATO ally,” said NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. 

Stoltenberg believes NATO will stand strong regardless of the Presidential Election outcome for several reasons. 

“One is that it is in the US security interest to have a strong NATO. NATO is good for Europe, but it is also good for the United States,” said Stoltenberg. “The United States has something, no other ally, no other major power has, and that is more than 30 friends and allies. Russia doesn’t have that, China doesn’t have that. The United States has NATO.”