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US is committed to NATO, says acting Pentagon chief Shanahan

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Thursday that he backed a strong NATO. The move is likely to calm allies nervous about Washington’s commitment to the alliance after his predecessor resigned over differences with President Donald Trump, Reuters said. “The United States is committed to NATO, our Article 5 obligations remain ironclad and America will continue to lead and support transatlantic unity [and] security,” Shanahan said at the end of his first NATO meeting. Shanahan also sought to reassure NATO allies that any potential US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will be done in a coordinated fashion, which could calm European concern about a precipitous drawdown.