News ID: 124568
Publish Date : 12 February 2024 - 21:49

NATO in Disarray After Trump’s Disparaging Remarks

BRUSSELS (Dispatches) -- NATO “cannot be an alliance a la carte,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday after Donald Trump downplayed his commitment to NATO’s security umbrella in Europe if he becomes U.S. president again.
Trump ignited a political firestorm and sent a chill through the United States’ European allies on Saturday when he said he would “encourage” Russia to attack any NATO country that does not meet financial obligations.
“Let’s be serious. NATO cannot be an a la carte military alliance, it cannot be a military alliance that works depending on the humor of the president of the U.S.” day to day, Borrell said.
“It exists or it not exists,” he said, adding that he was not going to keep commenting on “any silly idea” emerging from the U.S. presidential election campaign.
The words from Trump -- who, when in power, pulled America out of an international nuclear pact with Iran, and the Paris climate accord -- prompted a broadside from current U.S. President Joe Biden.
Biden called Trump’s comments “appalling and dangerous”.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Sunday that “any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S.”
Trump, 77, is all but assured the Republican nomination for the White House in the November vote against Biden, 81.
The failure of many of NATO’s 31 members to meet a military spending target of at least 2% of gross domestic product has long been a source of tension with the United States, whose armed forces form the core the alliance’s military power. NATO estimates have shown that only 11 members are spending at the target level.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is Trump’s lone remaining challenger for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said: “The last thing we ever want to do is side with Russia.”
As chances rise of a Biden-Trump rematch in the U.S. presidential election, America’s allies are bracing for a bumpy ride.
Many worry that a second term for Trump would be an earthquake, but tremors already abound — and concerns are rising that the U.S. could grow less dependable regardless of who wins. With a divided electorate and gridlock in Congress, the next American president could easily become consumed by manifold challenges at home — before even beginning to address flashpoints around the world, from Ukraine to the Middle East.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent verdict was blunt: America’s “first priority is itself.”