Trump is destroying the essence of NATO: Europe is starting to wake up

Germany is investing 100 billion Euros in the army, the most since the end of the Cold War

by Sededin Dedovic
Trump is destroying the essence of NATO: Europe is starting to wake up
© Lukas Schulze / Getty Images

The reconsideration of NATO's fundamental essence in the light of Donald Trump's statements surprised America's allies in Europe. On the old continent, alternative plans have already begun to be developed in the event of Trump's return to the White House.

Trump's recent disturbing statements have caused strong reactions across Europe, and almost all the most important European officials agreed that NATO has already suffered serious damage. "It cannot be an 'a la carte' military alliance, it cannot be a military alliance that operates depending on the mood of the US president," Josep Borell, the European Union's high representative for foreign policy and security, told reporters in Brussels, responding to recent comments Donald Trump on NATO.

Borell is one of the most influential European politicians and his statements carry great weight, which Donald Trump is aware of. But knowing the arrogant and arrogant behavior of the former president of the USA, it is unlikely that these statements will influence him and that he will retract his words.

Josep Borell© Denis Doyle / Getty Images

At a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump told the crowd that, as president, he warned NATO allies that he would "encourage" Russia to "do whatever it wants" to countries that did not "pay their bills." That statement caused consternation across Europe among NATO members, who are already worried about the possibility of Donald Trump being re-elected as president of the United States of America.

"Any suggestion that allies won't defend each other undermines our security, including U.S. security, and increases the risk to American and European soldiers," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement on Sunday.

As president, Trump repeatedly threatened to withdraw the US from NATO. He warned that he would make the Europeans pay for American protection and repeatedly questioned the U.S. commitment to the very core of the alliance - the promise contained in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty that provides that "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America be considered an attack on all".

Trump said that NATO relies on the USA and that he would not help any European country there and cause a war conflict with Russia. Diplomats described it as "oppressive" because he is attacking "the heart of the alliance," as some in NATO see it, this time in an election campaign.

The very essence of a military alliance is to support each other in order to deter and defend against the enemy. Finally, many allies fear that Trump's second term could bring an even more decisive and courageous Trump than his first term.

Trump is probably aware that these could be his last four Mr "Last time Trump was in office, it was the biggest shift in Europe-U.S. relations since the EU existed, It was a really dramatic change. That's why I think leaders are preparing for what might happen if Donald Trump is re-elected," said Alison Woodward, a senior fellow at the Institute for European Studies in Brussels, told DW.

In this handout photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), US President Donald Trump sits opposite Russian Pres© Handout / Getty Images

During Trump's first term, the US imposed punitive tariffs on trade with EU members, which noticeably froze transatlantic relations.

Critical time for NATO
Trump's recent statements come at an extremely critical time for the alliance, with some allies openly warning of a potential escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, a new US aid package to Kiev stalled in Congress, and Europe struggling to increase arms production.

"Trump's comments increase the likelihood that Russia will test NATO, especially if Donald Trump wins the election, but maybe not only then," said Michal Baranovski, director general of the German Marshall Fund for the East, an American think tank.

"Those comments made Europe less safe," he told DW, adding that Trump "raised the question in the minds of many leaders, including those on NATO's eastern flank, whether the U.S. would stand by all allies in the event of an attack on one of them." The same fears are expressed among diplomats in Brussels, who privately say that Trump's comments have already damaged the Alliance.

The biggest problem seems to be that his claims are hard to dispute. Trump's statement to NATO allies that they are "not paying their bills" is wrong because, technically speaking, there is no such thing as a bill that has not been paid.

Trump's statement referred to the fact that a significant number of NATO member states still spend less than two percent of their GDP on defense, even though that level of spending was agreed at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014.

Germany is expected to meet the target for the first time since the end of the Cold War this year, largely thanks to a special fund of 100 billion euros, created in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. However, further funding is far from guaranteed.

Diplomats and experts in Brussels agree that Trump is indeed right when it comes to the urgent need for Europeans to invest more in their collective defense, which will surely reduce the influence of the USA in Europe. Source: Deutsche Welle

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