Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

Representing the 9th District of Ohio

KAPTUR TO JOIN DEFENSE/FOREIGN AFFAIRS DELEGATION TO AFFIRM U.S. COMMITMENT TO NATO ALLIANCE

April 18, 2017
Press Release

TOLEDO, OH - U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) will travel to Poland, Germany and Italy this week with a bipartisan defense and foreign policy Congressional delegation led by Representative Paul Cook (R-CA), Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, who also serves on the House Foreign Affairs, and Natural Resources Committees.  The delegation will meet with European officials to discuss European Union cohesion, European security, territorial integrity, and financial and economic stability.  While in Europe, Kaptur and delegation members will stress the importance of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Alliance and bilateral relationships with Poland, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, seeking ways to strengthen those relationships. 

Kaptur explained, “Particularly now with the Executive Branch making contradictory statements about U.S. resolve toward NATO, it is incumbent the U.S. not leave any doubt in the minds of our friends, or foes, as to our nation’s firm commitment to defending liberty and upholding our historic alliance with Europe.”

Further, the delegation will visit U.S. Department of Defense equities, engaging with military leaders and meet the men and women serving our nation to discuss challenges they face and how Congress can better support service members and families.  Kaptur noted, “As a Member of the Defense and Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittees, my work involves making decisions about funding all of the Departments of Defense and Energy activities and engagements at home and abroad.  Europe’s energy dependence on Russia presents a significant challenge to that continent’s stability.” 

Kaptur, the author of legislation that authorized construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. said that while in Poland the delegation will “witness firsthand the U.S. role in leading NATO’s Poland battlegroup as part of the Alliance’s enhanced Forward Presence initiative.” The group will be present even as the first rotation of U.S. military personnel begins their NATO deployment.  In addition to ongoing troop rotation and basing in Poland, energy infrastructure development and national security issues are on the agenda. Kaptur, who is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water and also co-chairs the Congressional Ukraine, Poland and Hungary Caucuses, explained that the bipartisan delegation seeks to “reassure our closest Allies in liberty and defense that America will keep its NATO commitments.  Our mutual commitment to the defense of liberty is enduring, and our nation recognizes the sacrifices they, too, have been making in the war on terrorism.”  

The focus in Germany will be the U.S. military relationship with NATO, including engagements with leadership and soldiers at the U.S. 7th Army Training Command Joint Multinational Simulation Center in Grafenwoehr.  In Italy, the delegation will meet with defense, economic, and foreign ministry officials as well as representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Said Kaptur, “Through daily delegation notes and updates through social media, we hope our journey will help enlighten a new generation as to why these alliances are critical to the preservation of liberty, and what it took to achieve them.”  The Congresswoman will return home to Ohio on Saturday, April 22.

Delegation leader Congressman Paul Cook, whose military career spanned twenty-six years, was an infantry officer who served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Vietnam War.  His actions in combat earned him a number of honors, including two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star Medal with a “V” for valor.  He retired from the Marine Corps in 1992 as a Colonel.  Other members of the delegation include Ranking Members and Vice Chairmen on U.S. House Subcommittees on the Western Hemisphere and National Security, Members and Staff serving on the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, as well as officials in the U.S. Army.

To continue explaining the critical issues facing Europe and America’s role at home and abroad, Kaptur announced, “In May, I have invited award winning author and extraordinary historian, Dr. Timothy Snyder of Yale University, to visit both Toledo and Cleveland to discuss his award winning new Book:  On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.  Dr. Snyder will be in Cleveland on May 11th and in Toledo on May 12th and will discuss what is at stake with our historic Allies and alliances.  Dr. Snyder’s prior books Bloodlands and Black Earth were also best selling ‎works revealing the scope and horror of World War II and how the US adapted its world relationships to meet the realities of modern threats to liberty.”  Kaptur concluded, “Our 21st Century global challenges require thoughtful discourse and strong alliances.  Our discussions in the coming week will demonstrate America’s resolve as a leader in worldwide efforts to ensure liberty.”

###

Contact: Nicole Dailey Jones: 216-767-5933