"Together, we represent 1 billion people," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said of the 29 nations that make up the Western military alliance. "We are half of the world's economic might and half of the world's military might. When we stand together, we are stronger than any potential challenger economically, politically and militarily." That line drew a standing ovation, one of many that lawmakers gave Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway and the first NATO chief to address a joint session of Congress. President Donald Trump has long been critical of the bloc, publicly chastising NATO members such as Germany for what he considers inadequate defense spending.
A U.S. peace envoy brought a warning to the Taliban on Tuesday that any government that comes to power through force in Afghanistan won’t be recognized internationally after a series of cities fell to the insurgent group in stunningly quick succession. Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy, traveled to Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, to tell the group that there was no point in pursuing victory on the battlefield because a military takeover of the capital of Kabul would guarantee they would be global pariahs.