The United States Senate Votes to Approve Finland and Sweden Joining NATO

On August 3, 2022, the United States Senate voted to accept the application of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO. 

This move, coming against the backdrop of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, was resoundingly approved by a 95-1 vote.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley was the sole “no” vote.

Hawley’s opposition to this vote was based on his fear that the US government would be committing far too many resources to containing Russia, while China is allowed to grow its influence in the Pacific with very little resistance. 

“America’s greatest foreign adversary doesn’t loom over Europe. It looms in Asia. I am talking of course about the People’s Republic of China. And when it comes to Chinese imperialism, the American people should know the truth: the United States is not ready to resist it,” he declared in an op-ed prior to this vote. “Expanding American security commitments in Europe now would only make that problem worse—and America, less safe.”

The two Nordic nations applied for NATO membership in the aftermath of Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine. Now, the two countries need unanimous support from NATO member states in order to join the military alliance.

Initially, Turkey announced its opposition to Finland and and Sweden’s ascension into NATO, but now is less hostile towards this proposal after it received promises from the two Nordic nations that it would address Turkey’s security concerns with regards to terrorist organizations that are allegedly operating on Finnish and Swedish soil.

The fact that purported non-interventionist champion Rand Paul did not cast a vote against this NATO expansion legislation is troubling. Now onto Hawley’s reasoning for voting against this proposal. While it’s true that Russia does not pose much of a threat to the US, China is not a conventional threat to the US either. 

To be sure, China poses challenges to the US in terms of trade and immigration. But those problems can be fixed through statecraft — trade decoupling and immigration restriction. However, the desire to commit the US to war runs deep in DC. 

In the current Congress, there are very few voices of non-intervention present. It’s up to the America First movement to build robust political networks and associations to build future candidates that will oust the previous generations of hawks who want to keep the US in a perpetual state of war. 

America is reaching a breaking point when it comes to its foreign policy excursions. If there is no course reversal, the country could fall into a devastating conflict that will forever impact its standing on the world stage and initiate a process of irreversible decline. 

The America First approach of realism and restraint is the only way to avoid such a fate. 

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