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Press Release - VP Harris Rejects Isolationism and Recent Attacks on NATO During Munich Security Conference

February 16, 2024

"Dangerous, destabilizing, and indeed short-sighted:" Vice President Harris Rejects Isolationism, Authoritarianism, and Recent Attacks on NATO While Making Forceful Case for America's Continued Global Leadership During Munich Security Conference

"If we only look inward, we cannot defeat threats from outside; isolation is not insulation. In fact, when America has isolated herself, threats have only grown," said the Vice President during her 16th foreign trip and third time at the Munich Security Conference

MUNICH – Today, Vice President Kamala Harris made a forceful case for America's continued global leadership and the Biden-Harris Administration's worldview while strongly rejecting the failed ideologies of isolationism, authoritarianism, and unilateralism. During her third time representing the nation at the Munich Security Conference, the Vice President condemned recent attacks on NATO, reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine, outlined how America's global leadership benefits people across the country, and highlighted Biden-Harris accomplishments at home and abroad.

"We are committed to pursue global engagement, to uphold international rules and norms, to defend democratic values at home and abroad, and to work with our allies and partners in pursuit of shared goals," said Vice President Harris. "However, there are some in the United States who disagree. They suggest it is the best interest of the American people to isolate ourselves from the world, to flout common understandings among nations, to embrace dictators and adopt their repressive tactics, and abandon commitments to our allies in favor of unilateral action. Let me be clear: That worldview is dangerous, destabilizing, and indeed short-sighted. That view would weaken America and would undermine global stability and undermine global prosperity."

During her 16th foreign trip, Vice President Harris reaffirmed that her and President Biden's "sacred commitment to NATO remains ironclad" and that "NATO is central to our approach to global security." She outlined how, thanks to the leadership of the U.S., NATO is stronger, larger, more united, and more effective than ever before. The Vice President went on to unequivocally condemn recent attacks on NATO and offer a direct warning about what would happen if America abandoned its allies and cozied up to a dictator like Vladimir Putin by encouraging him.

"If we stand by while an aggressor invades its neighbor with impunity, they will keep going – and in the case of Putin, that means all of Europe would be threatened. If we fail to impose severe consequences on Russia, other authoritarians across the globe would be emboldened because you see, they will be watching – they are watching – and drawing lessons," said Vice President Harris. "History has also shown us: if we only look inward, we cannot defeat threats from outside; isolation is not insulation. In fact, when America has isolated herself, threats have only grown."

The Vice President also recounted how the world has come together under U.S. leadership to help Ukraine defend itself, achieve what many thought was impossible, and ensure that "Putin's war has already been an utter failure for Russia." She once again reiterated that America will continue to stand with Ukraine and our allies and partners around the world.

"I will make clear; President Joe Biden and I stand with Ukraine," said Vice President Harris. "In partnership with supportive bipartisan majorities in both Houses of the United States Congress, we will work to secure critical weapons and resources that Ukraine so badly needs. And let me be clear, the failure to do so would be a gift to Vladimir Putin."

Additionally, the Vice President made a clear case for how the U.S.' role of global leadership "makes America strong and it keeps Americans safe." She identified how being globally engaged is not only in the nation's strategic interest, but also a direct benefit to the American people.

"I strongly believe America's role of global leadership is to the direct benefit of the American people," said Vice President Harris. "Our leadership keeps our homeland safe, supports American jobs, secures supply chains, and opens new markets for American goods. And I firmly believe our commitment to build and sustain alliances has helped America become the most powerful and prosperous country in the world…To put all of that at risk would be foolish."

Finally, the Vice President highlighted a range of Biden-Harris accomplishments – from historic investments in infrastructure and domestic semiconductor manufacturing, to unprecedented investments in taking on the climate crisis, record small business creation, and the fact that America's economy is the strongest in the world. She also spoke about what the Administration has been doing in the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, and elsewhere throughout the world.

Later today, the Vice President will meet with foreign leaders to advance the Biden-Harris Administration's priorities, including on Ukraine and the Middle East. Her leadership at the Munich Security Conference will also continue tomorrow as she meets with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. The two leaders will deliver remarks to press at 7:30 a.m. ET. These remarks will be livestreamed at WhiteHouse.gov/Live

Kamala Harris, Press Release - VP Harris Rejects Isolationism and Recent Attacks on NATO During Munich Security Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/369591

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