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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks Wednesday at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. Screenshot photo.

​Trans-Atlantic cooperation is needed more than ever to face today’s dangerous global challenges, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday, making the case for continued US involvement in the alliance. Stoltenberg, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., cited a “more assertive Russia” and ISIS as challenges the alliance faces. He noted the only time NATO has responded to an attack as a body under Article 5 of the alliance treaty was after Sept. 11, 2001. The response, he said, led to NATO’s biggest ever operation, in Afghanistan — where European, Canadian, and other NATO forces served and died alongside US troops. “A safer and stronger Europe means a safer and stronger United States. That was the rationale behind the decision to create the alliance,” he said. “And it is just as valid today because NATO is as much an American organization as it is a European one.” Even though Stoltenberg pressed for continued US membership, he said he knows he can count on continued US leadership. “I also know that the mutual interests of Europe and [the] United States are best served by a strong North-Atlantic alliance because the security of Europe and North America is indivisible,” he said. “And it is only by standing together we will remain safe and secure.” (See also: NATO Falling Short of Spending Goals, Allies Slow the Fiscal Bleed)