U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) listens during a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Foreign Ministers at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) listens during a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Foreign Ministers at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NATO foreign ministers Thursday the 29 nation alliance must alter its approach to developing threats throughout the world.

NATO flag flutters during the celebration of the 15th anniversary of Lithuania's membership in NATO in Vilnius, Lithuania, March 30, 2019.
Factbox: A Look at NATO
NATO foreign ministers are gathering in Washington, D.C. this week to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. U.S. President Donald Trump has been critical of other alliance members for under-investing on defense and relying too heavily on the United States.  We take a look at the alliance.  What is NATO? The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an alliance of 29 countries bordering the North Atlantic Ocean. It was created in 1949 as a bulwark against the Soviet…

"We must adapt our alliance to confront emerging threats ... whether that's Russian aggression, uncontrolled migration, cyber attacks, threats to energy security, Chinese strategic competition ... and many other issues," Pompeo said.

Pompeo delivered opening remarks to the foreign ministers as they met in Washington for a second day to commemorate the 70th anniversary of NATO.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Polish President Andrzej Duda as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross listen during the Three Seas Initiative Summit in
Eastern EU Initiative Possible Salve for Strained US-NATO Ties
This story originated in VOA’s Serbian service.WASHINGTON — Despite its “America First” policies and general drift toward disengagement from foreign commitments, the Trump administration appears to have found an international enterprise it likes.Known as the Three Seas Initiative, the four-year-old effort aims to enhance energy and digital connectivity among a dozen Eastern European countries clustered among the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas.For the participants, who are just now beginning to put…

The two-day gathering has been marred by differences over security and other issues. A disagreement with Turkey has intensified over its plans to buy a Russian air-defense system, and the U.S. has repeated demands for allies to increase their defense spending.

Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Atlantic Council's "NATO Engages The Alliance at 70" conference, in Washington, April 3, 2019.
Pence Tears Into Germany, Turkey on NATO Anniversary
Tensions soared Wednesday between the United States and two of its NATO partners, Germany and Turkey, as the alliance opened a 70th birthday celebration aimed at showing a united front against a resurgent Russia.Hours before foreign ministers from the 29-member Western alliance opened talks in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a stinging rebuke both to Germany over its level of defense spending and to Turkey for buying a major arms system from Russia. …

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned the U.S. Congress Wednesday of the threat of a "more assertive Russia," saying the West's key military alliance is not looking to start a new Cold War with Moscow but needs to deter its military aggression.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, accompani
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, left and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, addresses Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 3, 2019,

In an unprecedented address to a joint session of Congress on the 70th anniversary of NATO's creation at the end of World War II, Stoltenbergalso said NATO "has no intention of deploying land-based nuclear missiles in Europe."

He accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the U.S. says it is leaving because of Russian violations — a claim Russian has denied.

"We do not want to isolate Russia. We strive for a better relationship with Russia," Stoltenberg said. "But even with a better relationship, we still need to manage a difficult one."

He said "NATO will always take the necessary steps to provide credible and effective deterrence."

Stoltenberg also called on NATO allies to spend more on defense, to meet the Western alliance's goal of each country spending at least 2 percent of the size of its national economy on defense by 2024, a standard only eight NATO countries currently meet.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, April 2, 2019.
Trump Takes Credit for Turning Around NATO
Cindy Saine at the State Department and Valeria Jegisman of VOA's Russian Service contributed to this report.U.S.

He credited U.S. President Donald Trump, who once called NATO "obsolete," with pushing NATO countries to increase their defense spending and said, "It has had a real impact."

A two-time Norwegian prime minister, Stoltenberg acknowledged differences among the NATO countries on trade, energy, climate change and other issues, but said, "This is democracy. It's not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invited the NATO leader to speak to members of the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate to show bipartisan support from lawmakers in spite of Trump's ongoing criticism of NATO.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a me
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Foreign Ministers at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019.

As foreign ministers of NATO gather in Washington, foreign policy analysts -- and Stoltenberg in his address to Congress — are emphasizing it is one of the most successful military alliances in history and still relevant.

"NATO is adapting and allies are spending more on defense," Mark Simakovsky of the Atlantic Council told VOA. "And I think this [Trump] administration is understanding more and more how critical NATO is to some of the challenges that it faces, including China. So, in many ways, NATO is far from obsolete."

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci addresses the crowd gathered during the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing in the village of Glogjan, Kosovo on March 24, 2019.
NATO Celebrates 70th Anniversary, But Demands Rise For European Burden-Sharing
On April 4th, 2019, NATO members will mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty — part of a successful effort to contain Soviet expansionism and to cajole the war-torn nations of Western Europe to forsake ancient enmities and to forge solidarity. But for the transatlantic alliance to continue, Europe will have to make a greater contribution and share more of the burden, warn analysts.After the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO appeared uncertain about what part to play,…

Trump's criticism that NATO members aren't spending the required 2 percent target, as well as political upheaval in Europe — including the impending British exit from the European Union — and calls by some to kick Turkey out of NATO, can leave the impression, however, that the defense alliance is fracturing.

"I don't think that's the case. The alliance is strong," Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik told VOA, pointing to increased political dialogues and military exercises among NATO's members, as well as more U.S. military equipment and troops being brought to Europe.

Trump took credit Tuesday for pushing other NATO countries to spend more on defense, but criticized Germany, Europe's biggest economic power, for not doing more. Berlin now plans to spend 1.5 percent by 2024, missing the 2 percent NATO target.