NATO at a Crossroads: How the 2024 US Vote Shapes US-Europe Dynamics



by SEDEDIN DEDOVIC

NATO at a Crossroads: How the 2024 US Vote Shapes US-Europe Dynamics
© Win McNamee / Getty Images

As the United States enters a new year, it is not only a new beginning but also the official start of an election year, which will be crucial. The odds currently point to a potential rematch between President Joseph Biden and former President Donald Trump.

While this may not be a new confrontation, the implications for Washington's European allies are crucial, with issues such as NATO support and military aid to Ukraine taking center stage.

NATO support

The United States of America has long been an indispensable member of NATO, and its position within the alliance was the subject of debate in the upcoming elections in 2024.

President Biden has been a staunch supporter of NATO, stressing the need to "re-invigorate" key alliances. This commitment was evident in American leadership within NATO during Russia's war in Ukraine. President Biden's potential second term is expected to maintain consistency in his commitment to NATO.

However, European allies can foresee increased pressure to meet military spending targets. On the contrary, former President Trump has a history of expressing disdain for NATO and has even floated the idea of a US withdrawal.

Although legislative measures have been taken to prevent such a withdrawal, Trump is likely to undermine the alliance, favoring bilateral cooperation and pushing for a reduction in US involvement. The outcome of the election carries significant weight, determining the United States' commitment to NATO and, consequently, affecting global security.

Military support to Ukraine

Recent events have underscored the importance of the president's role in ensuring continued military support for Ukraine. Levels of financial support in 2025 are expected to be affected by the election outcome, and the potential change in support is rated a significant 10/10.

President Biden's administration has shown an unwavering commitment to support Ukraine, both military and humanitarian. The president's pledge to support Ukraine "as long as necessary" and recent battles with Congress over the aid package have proven his commitment to the issue.

A second Biden administration is likely to continue strong military support, but approval will depend on the makeup of Congress.

Joe Biden, Vladimir Zelensky© Handout / Getty Images

Conversely, a Trump victory could mean the end of White House support for Ukraine.

Trump's past claims of being able to resolve the conflict quickly and criticism of Biden for putting "Ukraine first" suggest a different approach. Trump's history with Russian President Vladimir Putin adds complexity to the situation, he is likely to push for a quick solution with little concern for Ukrainian territorial losses.

The 2024 US presidential election has significant implications for key issues affecting Washington's European allies. The future of NATO and the level of military support for Ukraine hangs in the balance. While President Biden's second term suggests continuity in current policy, Trump's victory could bring significant shifts in American foreign relations.

As the year progresses, the whole world will follow what happens in the American elections, which they are already announcing could be historic due to the complexity of the situation in the world, but also in the USA itself, which has problems with the migrant crisis, with a focus on the state of Texas.

Kurds in Syria and Turkey

The tangled web of diplomatic relations between the United States and Turkey has seen plenty of turbulence, with tensions often reaching a boiling point since Turkey's attempted coup in 2016. One persistent flashpoint has been Washington's support for Kurdish militias in Syria, a factor that continues to upset the balance in bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Biden administration initially approached Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government with caution, particularly because of Ankara's positive relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the pragmatism of securing Ankara's support for Sweden's NATO bid led to a change in approach, marked by public courtship and high-profile deals.

Despite this, warm relations with Biden's team remain elusive. The main dispute revolves around support for Kurdish armed factions in Syria. An uneasy truce has emerged, with Turkey targeting Kurdish forces near its border in Syria.

However, both sides appear to be sticking to the delicate balance outlined in the 2019 agreement, demarcating territorial zones for Kurds and Turks. The Biden administration, while understanding Turkey's concerns, continues to support and cooperate with the Syrian Kurds, albeit with certain operational blind spots.

Washington's support for the Syrian Kurds, who Turkey accuses of being linked to the designated terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), is a major reason for the disagreement. The Biden administration, recognizing Ankara's displeasure, is unlikely to abandon the Syrian Kurds without a comprehensive solution for the region.

Arms deals, a recurring point of contention, may survive, although recent exceptions like the F-16 fighter jet deal hint at possible compromises. The Trump-Erdogan relationship saw the sudden withdrawal of US special forces supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces under pressure from Turkey.

The move drew bipartisan condemnation from Congress, prompting the Trump administration to negotiate limits on Turkish military operations in northern Syria. Trump's potential return to the White House and a potentially less resistant Congress could give Erdogan more room to maneuver against the Syrian Kurds.

The 2024 US election has significant ramifications for NATO allies, and relations between the US and Turkey are at an all-time high.

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