Sound Stories. Sound Voices.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
You are on the KUOW archive site. Click here to go to our current site.

Congressman Larsen on why the U.S. needs the NATO alliance

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington state's 2nd District.
U.S. government

Bill Radke talks to Congressman Rick Larsen, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, about why the NATO alliance is still relevant. He says the Baltic states need the alliance as protection from Russia and they need the U.S. to lead NATO.

"The way the president talks about the alliance he makes it sound like it's more of a protection racket than anything else," said Larsen. "There's no such thing as a dues payment in the NATO alliance."

Congressman Larsen said President Trump can't take credit for NATO members increasing their defense spending. He cited President Obama's agreement in 2014 between the countries: "It's like the rooster waking up in the morning and taking credit for the sun rise."

Larsen added, "to attack alliance members more aggressively than you attack, say, North Korea or attack Russia ... making it sound like our alliance partners are the enemy rather than Russia being the problem the alliance is trying to face -- the president's just really off-base on that."

Year started with KUOW: 1985 – 1986, 1991 – 2004, 2012
Year started with KUOW: 2018