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Secretary General of NATO on the Dual Threats

Pro-Russia rebels in Krasnodon in eastern Ukraine, Aug. 17. Associated Press

The Islamic State and Vladimir Putin’s Russia are enemies of liberty, democracy and the rule of law

Anders Fogh Rasmussen writes: The abhorrent beheading of two American journalists and a British aid worker shocked the world. So did the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. The deaths of these innocents show the global consequences of two major crises on Europe’s doorstep: the advance of the so-called Islamic State terrorist group across Iraq and Syria, and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The peace and security we enjoy in Europe and North America are under threat like never before.

These challenges will last for years, and we need to face that reality.

Anders-quote

With Russia, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has tried long and hard to build a partnership that respects Russia’s security concerns and is based on international rules and norms. Regrettably, Russia has rejected our efforts to engage. Russia has trampled on all the rules and commitments that have kept peace in Europe and beyond since the end of the Cold War. It is now clear that Russia regards the West as an adversary, not a partner.

The terrorist threat is now growing in Syria and Iraq. The Islamic State terrorists are fueling the fire of sectarianism already burning across the Middle East and North Africa, with the risk rising that terror will be exported back to our shores.

We are confronted by forces of oppression that reject our liberal democracy and our liberal, rules-based international order. While their agendas and ideologies are different, they are virulently against the West and what we represent. They will grasp every opportunity to undermine our values of individual liberty, freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

In this age of unrest and revisionism, free societies must stand strong and united as a force for freedom. We must be prepared to act when we have to. We must work with like-minded nations. And we must show confidence in our own values…(read more)

WSJ

Mr. Rasmussen is the secretary general of NATO.

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