Bipartisan senators warn ‘winds of authoritarianism are blowing in every direction’

A bipartisan duo of senators is warning the United States and its allies that they need to address the authoritarianism that they argue is rising on a global scale.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) wrote an opinion piece for MSNBC that sounded the alarm bells on authoritarian regimes. The two lawmakers also emphasized their confidence in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), saying that more improvements and investments still need to be made.

“The winds of authoritarianism are blowing in every direction — leaving no nation, not even our own, untouched. The warning sirens are blaring that our adversaries are intent on dismantling the international world order and remaking it in their image,” the lawmakers wrote.

They cited Russian President Vladimir Putin as one of the reasons for the increase in authoritarianism, saying his country has “ignored international law to advance Putin’s imperial agenda, including the partial annexation of Georgia in 2008 and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.”

They also noted that Putin is backed by the People’s Republic of China and is “enabled by a resurgence of authoritarian pariahs, North Korea and Iran.”

Their opinion piece was published Thursday, the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. The lawmakers discussed how NATO was formed following the end of World War II, noting that the U.S. has allies to help address authoritarianism.

“But just as we braced the beaches of Normandy with Allied partners, the United States is not alone in confronting these daunting challenges. Born from the bravery of Normandy and the eventual victory of World War II was an agreement to form a military alliance that would ensure that Europe and its allies would never again be devastated by or engulfed in a world war,” they said.

President Biden, world leaders and a number of lawmakers traveled to Normandy, France, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Biden on Thursday told veterans who served in the invasion that they “saved the world.”

The lawmakers concluded their piece by reiterating the need to strengthen the U.S.’s alliances.

“With so much at stake in an ever-shifting landscape, learning lessons from history and recommitting to preserving and strengthening our alliances is the only means for victory. Just as it was in 1944 when the strength of our alliances ensured victory, that’s how democracy will continue to prevail,” they wrote.

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