PM Orbán: NATO's mission should focus on peace, not war

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán emphasized in an article published in Newsweek today that NATO's primary mission should be to maintain peace rather than pursue endless warfare. He reflected on NATO’s founding principles and Hungary's unique historical perspective on military alliances.

Prime Minister Orbán noted that Hungary's accession to NATO marked the first voluntary membership in a military alliance in centuries. This decision was rooted in Hungary's tumultuous 20th-century history, characterized by forced participation in alliances leading to devastating wars. Reflecting on this, he wrote, "For Hungary, joining NATO also means peace. To fight a war—even successfully—all you need are enemies; but to create lasting peace in this corner of the world is impossible without allies."

PM Orbán recalled that NATO was initially founded as a peace project. He quoted U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who said, "In this pact, we hope to create a shield against aggression and the fear of aggression—a bulwark which will permit us to get on with the real business of government and society, the business of achieving a fuller and happier life for all our citizens." For Hungary, joining NATO 25 years ago represented a commitment to these principles of mutual defense and peace. PM Orbán wrote that NATO's promise of peace was a significant factor in Hungary's decision to join the alliance.

The prime minister detailed Hungary’s contributions to NATO over the years, including participation in missions such as the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. Hungary also provides air defense for Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Baltic states on a rotational basis. He emphasized that Hungary’s defense spending meets NATO's target of 2 percent of GDP and highlighted the country's comprehensive force modernization program. "We have been a member of KFOR, the Kosovo peacekeeping mission, since day one in 1999, and Hungary is the fourth-largest contributor to that mission in terms of forces on the ground," he wrote.

Prime Minister Orbán also discussed the importance of rebuilding Hungary's defense industry, focusing on six priority sectors including military vehicles, munitions, communications systems, radar systems, small arms, and drone development. This initiative is crucial not only for Hungary but also for strengthening NATO's overall military capacity. "We are purchasing the most modern equipment for the Hungarian Defense Forces. Our soldiers are already using Leopard tanks, new Airbus helicopters, and Lynx and Gidrán armored vehicles, and we have acquired NASAMS air defense system units," he noted.

Prime Minister Orbán reiterated the Hungarian government's firm stance against unchecked migration. He emphasized that once migration starts, it becomes unstoppable, highlighting the need to maintain cultural identity and national sovereignty. "We fight against the elite's detachment from the people's needs, particularly on migration. Once it starts, it's unstoppable. How do you send back second and third generations? There is no way," he wrote.

PM Orbán additionally highlighted Hungary as a safe haven for Jews, boasting a thriving Jewish community. Unlike many Western European cities, Budapest has not experienced significant anti-Semitic violence, and Jewish people freely express their identity and support for Israel. This reflects Hungary's commitment to maintaining a safe and cohesive society.

Prime Minister Orbán concluded by reaffirming Hungary's dedication to being a loyal and active NATO member, committed to preserving peace and ensuring stability.