Thursday, May 25, 2017
When mutual defense is the idea
It does not make any friends when a nation's leader fudges on the mutual defense part of the deal. And when he spews previously disproven junk instead it does seem like he is pursuing his BFF Putin's agenda for NATO.
President Trump on Thursday once again refused to explicitly endorse NATO’s mutual defense pledge, instead lecturing European leaders on what he called their “chronic underpayments” to the military alliance.Lord knows what stupidity is going through his mind. And is this the result of his civilian advisors? It is hard to imagine any Pentagon types dissing NATO. One thing is sure, any cracks in the solidarity of NATO can only serve Cheeto Mussolini's boss, Vladimir Putin.
Speaking at the opening of a new NATO headquarters, Mr. Trump offered a vague promise to “never forsake the friends that stood by our side” in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks — a pledge that White House officials later said amounted to an affirmation of mutual defense.
But European allies are likely to see Mr. Trump’s words as falling far short of the robust endorsement of NATO’s Article 5 clause, the “one-for-all, all-for-one” principle that has been the foundation of the alliance since it was established 68 years ago after World War II.
Mr. Trump’s repeated refusal to endorse that principle as a candidate, and now as president, has raised fears among allies in NATO about whether the United States would automatically come to their defense in the event of an attack.
In an interview with The New York Times just before officially claiming the Republican nomination last July, Mr. Trump said that if he was elected, the United States would come to the defense of the Baltic States against a Russian invasion only if those small countries spent more on their military and contributed more to the alliance.
“If they fulfill their obligations to us,” Mr. Trump said in the interview, “the answer is yes.”
Other top American officials have offered reassurances. Traveling on Air Force One this week, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson told reporters, “Of course we support Article 5.” But until those words are spoken by Mr. Trump, leaders of other NATO nations seem bound to remain concerned.
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