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Interview

Standing Up for NATO

A Conversation with Jens Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg

  • Country: Norway
  • Title: NATO Secretary General

Jens Stoltenberg became secretary general of NATO in 2014. Earlier, he served as prime minister of Norway, from 2005 until 2013. Earlier this week, Stoltenberg met at the White House with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss, among other things, NATO’s role in the fight against ISIS and the alliance’s ongoing response to increased Russian assertiveness. For Stoltenberg, the timing of the meeting was propitious: intentionally or not, it served as a very public rebuke to Donald Trump, the front-runner in the Republican presidential campaign, who has recently begun to harshly criticize NATO, even suggesting that it might be best for the United States if the alliance were to break up. A few hours after meeting with Obama, Stoltenberg spoke with Foreign Affairs deputy managing editor Justin Vogt.

It's been a long time since NATO was a contentious issue in American politics—or in a U.S. presidential campaign, at

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