The 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a military alliance that guarantees mutual defence, binding Europe with the United States. Now, Trump may have it in his sights. Sunil Nambiar and Thomas Hussey take a look.
The relative leeway of the American President across foreign undertakings may prove consequential for the alliance. The United States’ hitherto guaranteed involvement in conflicts affecting treaty partners in the Baltic states has not been assured by Donald Trump.
The weaknesses inherent in these countries’ – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - defences compel deterring aggression that may undermine territorial integrity. Beyond questioning American support, Donald Trump has not ruled out an American exit from NATO.
Mr. Trump is no stranger to being incredibly vague on a multitude of issues, and this is no different on the topic of NATO.
‘‘It is hard to paint a picture of what exactly The Donald’s plans are for NATO’’
On the one hand, Trump has expressed great criticism of the organisation, citing it as ‘obsolete’ and arguing that the members of NATO are ‘ungrateful’ allies of the United States who rely too heavily on the protection of America and take more out than they put in.
This is centred on the frustration America has with the other members of NATO who are not reaching the required spending of 2% GDP on Defence. Trump argues America cannot afford to protect these European and Asian nations anymore, he demands compensation and threatens withdrawal of American forces unless members pay up. Yet, during a presidential debate and in a dramatic turn of events, Trump appeared to be in favour of NATO stressing he was “all for NATO” – confusing, ey?
‘‘Beyond questioning American support, Donald Trump has not ruled out an American exit from Nato’’
It is hard to paint a picture of what exactly The Donald’s plans are for NATO – what is clear however is that there will definitely be some form of shake-up of the organisation, what that manifests itself in is for us to find out.