U.S. President Donald Trump stated “NATO is no longer obsolete” which was a HUGE reversal from a stance that got the attention of U.S. allies including one in a series of recent foreign policy changes.
During a joint press conference with NATO secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, stated Trump will continue to work closely with NATO allies specifically working together to fight against terrorism.
Trump stated he and the secretary general had a productive discussion on what more NATO could do in the fight against terrorism.” Trump stated his concern about that matter prior to his presidency. Since then a change has been made to fight terrorism.
“I said it was obsolete, It is no longer obsolete.”
Trump reversed and digressed from his campaign-trail rhetoric on other foreign policy issues. Trump also said via Wall Street Journal that he would not label China as a currency manipulator, and he would fill two vacancies on the Export-Import Bank, which he decried as a candidate.
Just last week the administration flipped from the equivocation on regime change in Syria, to a U.S. airstrike against the regime’s deadly chemical weapons attack and insistence that Syrian President Bashar Assad leave.
That in itself has fueled a row with Moscow that seemed to upend a staunchly goal for Trump. Trump expressed optimism after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow.
Trump Stated “It would be wonderful, as we were discussing if NATO and our country could get along with Russia. As of now we’re not getting along with Russia at all, we may be at an all time low in terms of relationship with Russia. This has built for a long period of time, but we’re going to see what happens. Putin is the leader of Russia, and Russia is a strong country. We are a very, very strong country, so we’ll see how it works.”
Foreign Ministry spokewoman, Maria Zakharova, said on “Nobody understands what they will do in the Middle East because it is a very complicated region. No-one understands what they will do with Iran, nor what they will do with Afghanistan.”
As of late allies have been struggling to parse the administration’s mixed signals. Rex Tillerson, confused European diplomats at a meeting in Italy when he said “Why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?”
This statement came after Tillerson, affirmed in a TV interview broadcast that the U.S. and Europe shouldn’t lift the sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of the Crimea region.
Trump has continuously stated that NATO must meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe. As of now all NATO countries have agreed to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024, only a few of the member countries have met that goal.
Trump hopes NATO allies will take a larger role in supporting Iraq and that he is dispatching National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan to find a way to make progress with Afghan and NATO allies.
Stoltenberg said NATO is increasing its readiness, and called for the ongoing deployment of four battle groups to Eastern Europe an adequate answer to Russia. He stated Trumps strong, clear message on member-nation defense spending has been helpful, as the alliance is on track to increase defense spending by 3.8 percent.
Trump is completely committed to the alliance, and has met with leaders of NATO allies U.K., Germany and Denmark.
The airstrike last week, was an indication that they are moving towards what used to be the center stripe, mainstream on foreign policy.
The reality is without NATO and our allies we cannot defend the current world order. If we fail to defend it, all bets are off.
Bashing NATO sounds great to disgruntled voters who see a crazy world but the reality is it would make things much worse for everyone but especially America and Europe.
Keep up with current events people, things are getting quite interesting.
Isaac J. Hall II