Rep. Mike Turner is the newest president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. . . .
Turner, R-Dayton, was elected president of the assembly last week, a one-year term that can be renewed another year. He has headed the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly since 2011, but has served in the Parliamentary Assembly since the 111th Congress, which began in 2009.
The Parliamentary Assembly is an organization affiliated with NATO comprised of representatives of all the parliaments and legislatures of the 28 member states. The assembly takes up and debates issues of policy and disseminates those debates to their home parliaments. . . .
“This is an exciting time to hold this position,” he said. “Because people had begun to question NATO’s relevance, and today you can’t turn on the TV or open the newspaper and not see the threats that the U.S. and NATO are addressing that go right to the heart of our national security.”
One of the main goals he has as president is to urge European countries to better fund defense. Europe has fallen short of their spending goals and the United States, already battling its own defense cuts, is “feeling the pressure,” he said.
“Europe has underfunded defense and sent the United States the bill for a number of years,” he said, saying that the Parliamentary Assembly must determine how NATO can function and survive during an era when there is so much pressure to cut spending on security.