Earlier this month President Trump launched U.S. air strikes against Syria following the atrocities they committed with the use of chemical weapons against civilians, including children. I stand with our President and fully support his bold and necessary decision to take action. The United States of America should always be willing and able to take decisive military action, and the President has shown we can and will do so when necessary.
In light of the growing aggression of our enemies abroad, last week I traveled with a small group of House Armed Services Committee colleagues to meet with senior military and diplomatic officials amongst our closest allies in Eastern Europe. We were welcomed by officials in each of the five countries we met and had open discussions centered around the vital role of the United States as a presence in the region and an active partner in global security efforts. As the United States reclaims our role as the leader on the world stage, it’s extremely important that we continue to sustain and strengthen our relations with our NATO allies.
In Poland we met with Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of National Defense Mr. Tomasz Szatkowski. We discussed matters of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence and Mr. Szatkowski also expressed his full support for US operations in Syria
In Powidz, Poland we also visited US troops and the construction site of the future U.S. Navy operated Ballistic Missile Defense.
Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Estonian parliament's foreign affairs committee expressed how crucial the relationship with the U.S. was during these times. We also discussed the role of the U.S. Military presence and the contingency of expanding our presence there.
I was honored to shake the hand of 1st Sgt. Joshua King from our great state of Mississippi who is currently stationed at the Tapa Army Base in Estonia.
We met with Defense Minister Gabriel Les in Romania and discussed the importance of military cooperation and strategic partnership. I was also pleased to hear Defense Minister Les reaffirm the Romanian’s commitment to the efforts against ISIL and fight against terrorism.
In Lviv, Ukraine we visited the International Peacekeeping and Security Center of the National Academy of the U.S. Army. We were met by the head of the National Academy of the Army, Lieutenant General Pavel Tkachuk, and head of the Joint Multinational group training -Ukraine, U.S. Armed Forces Colonel David Jordan.
In Brussels we had a meeting with General Scaparrotti, Commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
The world is not becoming a safer place, but in fact much more dangerous. It is more important than ever that our allies trust us and our enemies fear us. As a superpower and leader on the world stage, we have the responsibility of sustaining and safeguarding global order.
As always, if we can be of any assistance please call or visit my office. For more updates, I encourage you to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or by visiting my website.
In your service,
Steven M. Palazzo