As Slovakia approaches the 25th anniversary of its independence, it can count its decision to join NATO as an essential element of its impressive success, both until now and well into the future. Slovakia chose a future with NATO not long after gaining its independence primarily to secure the sovereignty and freedom that it had struggled so long to achieve. The unprecedented economic growth and prosperity that Slovakia has enjoyed would be unimaginable without the confidence that NATO membership inspires in its long-term stability.
But NATO membership brings solemn responsibilities as well as benefits, especially today. Security challenges both within Europe’s borders and beyond require NATO Allies to be fully capable of working together and ready to respond to any threat.