Transatlantic Security After 75 Years of NATO: A Conversation with U.S. European Command

Transatlantic Security After 75 Years of NATO: A Conversation with U.S. European Command

May 10, 2024
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Video

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This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), arguably one of the most successful alliances in history. Yet, after the fall of the Soviet Union, some questioned whether NATO was still needed and relevant. Putin’s 2022 unprovoked re-invasion of Ukraine, which instigated the largest war in Europe since World War II, put those questions to rest. Even as the United States attempts to address serious threats in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific, Washington now confronts “a combination of challenges and threats in the Euro-Atlantic area that we have not seen in more than thirty years,” according to congressional testimony last month by the commander of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM).

So why should Americans care about security in Europe? What are Russia and China up to on the continent? How is the war in Ukraine going? What’s the status of the alliance and what investments are needed to strengthen readiness and deterrence?

To discuss these questions and more, FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power (CMPP) hosts Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command, and Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes, the command’s Civilian Deputy and Foreign Policy Advisor. CMPP Senior Director Bradley Bowman moderates the conversation and Ambassador Eric Edelman, who sits on CMPP’s board, delivers introductory remarks.

Event Audio



Steven L. Basham

Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham is the Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command, Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. As the deputy commander for U.S. European Command, Lt. Gen. Basham is responsible for establishing and overseeing a warfighting headquarters that conducts a full range of multi-domain operations in coordination with allies and partners to support NATO, deter Russia, enable global operations, and counter trans-national threats in order to defend the U.S. homeland forward and fortify Euro-Atlantic security. U.S. European Command spans Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, and the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Lt. Gen. Basham was commissioned in 1989 through Officer Training School. He has completed numerous flying, staff and command assignments and is a command pilot with more than more than 3,400 flying hours in the B-1, B-2 and B-52. Prior to his current assignment, the general was the Deputy Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Kate Byrnes

Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes arrived as the Civilian Deputy and Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. European Command in November 2022. A 30-year veteran of the U.S. diplomatic corps and a member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, she most recently served as the U.S. Ambassador to North Macedonia. Her previous positions include Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, 2017-2019, and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna, Austria. From 2010-2011, she was a Senior Civilian Representative supervising governance and development in eastern Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. She served as Public Affairs Advisor at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, and has also held positions at the Department of State Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs; the office of the Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy; and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and represented U.S. interests overseas in Spain, Bolivia, Hungary and Turkey.

Bradley Bowman

Bradley Bowman serves as senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he focuses on U.S. defense strategy and policy. He has served as a national security advisor to members of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, as well as an active duty U.S. Army officer, Black Hawk pilot, and assistant professor at West Point. Bradley spent nearly nine years in the U.S. Senate, including six years as the top defense advisor to Senator Kelly Ayotte, then-senior Republican on the Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee. Bradley also served as national security advisor to Senator Todd Young and worked as a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He earned an M.A. in international relations from Yale University and a B.S. in American politics from the United States Military Academy at West Point.