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July 8, 2024. Ambassador Michael Carpenter, Senior Director for Europe at the NSC, provides a high-level overview of what to expect at next week’s NATO Summit.

Picture by: State Dept./FPC/Sherry L Brukbacher | Flickr

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What you need to know about NATO: the upcoming Summit in Washington DC

17 year-old Alia Saphier outlines the expectations and consequences of the NATO Summit

This week, the 34th North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit will be held from July 9 to July 11 in Washington, DC on its 75th anniversary.

The summit marks the formation of the alliance, which provides mutual military support in the case one member being attacked at the beginning of the Cold War.

NATO summits are not held regularly but instead take place at critical times for the member countries, in this case the Summit is set to address ‘the most dangerous security environment since the Cold War’ with Russia’s recent gains in the Russia-Ukraine War.


In the beginning, the organisation consisted of 12 member states but has since grown to 32 members, with the recent memberships of Finland and Sweden.

This summit will mark the first time that Finland and Sweden will attend as official members. Finland joined in April 2023, while Sweden became a member state in March 2023, after both of them applied for membership in 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The new alliances are particularly important as it represents a break in these countries’ long traditions of military nonalignment.

In a moment where Russia is gaining critical advantages in Ukraine, the NATO summit will meet to discuss ways to reaffirm NATO’s allegiance with Ukraine as well as to give Ukrainians hope in the now long war.

NATO members generally want to avoid a full-scale war with Russia as they have both a strong military and nuclear weapons, but while they are limited in its ability to aid Ukraine with military measures, the member states still seek to aid Ukraine in non-lethal ways, such as providing rations, medical equipment, and body armour.

Individual nations, however, are permitted to provide Ukraine with weapons. There is also a new NATO-based plan to speed security aid and training that will be discussed.

This summit also represents a critical moment for the United States. While President Joe Biden has clearly stated that he will continue his candidacy, increasing numbers of important Democrats are calling for his resignation, whether that be publicly or privately.

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On June 27, Biden and his Republican opponent Donald Trump participated in the first official debate of the 2024 election cycle.

The debate was held unusually early,having occurred prior to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions when each candidate will be officially nominated that is to be held in the following weeks.

While Trump was outspoken during the debate, Biden’s performance only enhanced concerns about his communication issues due to his age currently at eighty-one. Since the debate, many Democratic party members, including most recently four Democratic congressmen, have called for Biden’s stepping down.

The upcoming NATO summit in Washington, D.C. is already particularly important due to the uncertain future of the US’s membership to NATO. If Trump were to win the upcoming election, he may pull the US out of it, as he has threatened to do many times. If Trump does not fully leave NATO, he will at least require a “radical reorientation” of the alliance, as stated by Politico.

Biden, on the other hand, would most likely remain in NATO as he has previously tried to safeguard the US’s position within the alliance. Following the recent debate, a good performance from Biden at the Summit will need to assure both member nations of the US’s alliance as well as the American people of Biden’s ability to lead with strength despite his age.

Written by:


Alia Saphier


New Jersey, United States

Alia Lael Brühl Saphier was born in 2006 and currently studies in Englewood, New Jersey.  She joined Harbingers’ Magazine in 2023 as a contributor and social media manager. In 2024, she became the publisher.

Alia attends the Manhattan School of Music precollege for classical voice and is an editor for her school’s foreign language magazine. In her free time, she plays the violin, guitar, and ukulele. Her wider interests also include songwriting, reading, traveling, acting, and creative writing.

Alia speaks English, German, and Spanish.

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