Trump Shoves Aside NATO Allies, Giving Russia Exactly What It Wants (VIDEO)
President Trump ditches U.S. allies at NATO meeting
U.S. President Donald Trump has given Russia everything it hoped for after his catastrophic meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels. Trump’s first trip abroad included a stop in the Belgian capital of Brussels, where thousands of people protested his visit; nevertheless, it was an opportunity for the U.S. leader to meet with his Canadian and European allies and NATO members in the hope of strengthening cooperation between the 28 countries.
First of all, the European leaders hoped the U.S. would endorse NATO’s main pillar, the principle of “collective defense“. Trump, however, dedicated his speech to slamming European head of states for not spending as much as he thinks they should on defense. And in between, there were several awkward tussles that certainly did not contribute to the already cooling relationship between the U.S. and Europe, but that surely made the Kremlin happy.
President Trump began by addressing the issue of terrorism, referring to the 9/11 attacks and the recent events in Manchester, calling terrorists “losers”, and emphasizing the need to eradicate them. Yet his focus on terrorism did not leave aside his ideas on immigration—that among immigrants are terrorists. It is Trump’s belief that NATO countries must pay their “fair share” in order to fight security threats. As he said:
“23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States. And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years.”
To these words, European leaders could not help but to react, roll their eyes, murmur and try not to laugh; the financial contribution to the alliance is something that has been explained to Trump before, but he clearly has not understood. Nevertheless, Trump made it clear to its European allies that this issue makes the U.S.’s commitment to the alliance feeble.
During his 10 minute speech, he also refused to explicitly reaffirm America’s commitment to the principle of collective defense, something every U.S. President since Truman has done, in spite of the fact that NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg reminded him of when the European allies assisted the United States after the 9/11 attack. This refusal makes European countries nervous, putting in doubt if Washington will assist them if needed. As explained by Jorge Benitez, a NATO expert quoted by Foreign Policy,
“Trumps behavior at this NATO meeting in Brussels is a definitive win for Putin. It just increases a lot of the doubts and fears and concerns our allies have had.”
NATO members, especially the Baltic countries, fear Russia’s military forces and the continuous threats they receive from it.
After the tense speech, Trump and all the other NATO leaders gathered for a photo; but of course, Trump had to be the star. In a video that has turned viral, it is possible to see the European leaders mingling and chatting with one another while waiting for indications, when Donald Trump pushes Montenegro’s Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic, aside as he moves to the front of the group with a visible attitude of arrogance. Montenegro, to Russia’s displeasure, recently gained membership into NATO.
Featured image via Associated Press screengrab
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