Opinion: It’s Not Just Trump. The American People Are Skeptical of NATO, Too. - - PressFrom - US

Opinion It’s Not Just Trump. The American People Are Skeptical of NATO, Too.

18:35  03 december  2019
18:35  03 december  2019 Source:   politico.com

NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears

  NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears BRUSSELS — In another gesture to President Trump, NATO announced on Thursday that it had agreed to reduce the United States’ contribution to the alliance’s relatively small central budget, a move aimed at ensuring a calm leaders’ meeting next week in London. The military alliance’s own budget, which covers its headquarters and staff and some small joint military operations, is about $2.5 billion a year, compared with more than $700 billion for the Pentagon. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

President Trump castigated the leaders of NATO allies to their faces during his trip to Europe this week, suggesting that many of them “owe massive amounts of money” to the alliance. Mr. Trump has a point, but he mischaracterizes the way it works. What is Mr. Trump ’ s complaint?

First the White House said it would not co-operate with the impeachment probe because it was not formally authorised by the House of Representatives. Then, Donald Trump complained that the congressionally approved process in the Intelligence Committee violated his legal due-process rights.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

a statue of Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: 191203_donald_trump_stoltenberg_nato_ap_773.jpg© Evan Vucci/AP Photo 191203_donald_trump_stoltenberg_nato_ap_773.jpg

When it was created in 1949, the purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was clear. With the horrors of Nazism still vivid as the Cold War commenced, NATO’s first secretary general, Hastings Ismay, said the alliance existed to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in and the Germans down.”

Lord Ismay had a knack for plain language. It helped to popularize NATO among its member states’ citizens, which he regarded as one of his most important responsibilities: An organization that exists to defend democracies should, after all, earn popular support.

Trump cancels NATO press conference

  Trump cancels NATO press conference President Trump said Wednesday that he would cancel a press conference he was scheduled to participate at the conclusion of a NATO summit in London.Trump told reporters he planned to attend other scheduled meetings later Wednesday but that he would "probably go directly back to Washington" afterwards.President Trump said Wednesday that he would cancel a press conference he was scheduled to participate at the conclusion of a NATO summit in London.

The US president is reflecting the national mood, says Guardian columnist Timothy Garton Ash.

And this - it ' s what it is . But if we find - and we could - the American political system that allows for Donald Trump , then we should object to that system. And it ' s not just in the United States. It ' s beyond that, which means that the period after November 8 really is the critical period because that

But as the heads of NATO member countries gather this week in London, some of that popular support is in jeopardy. This is one of the conclusions of a national survey that my colleagues and I at the Eurasia Group Foundation recently conducted. For a second year in a row, when faced with a hypothetical scenario in which Russia invaded Estonia, a NATO ally, Americans were roughly split on whether they wanted the United States to respond militarily. And that was after respondents were reminded of Article 5, the part of the NATO treaty that obligates the United States to respond to such aggression, and after they were told that U.S. action could be the only way to expel Russia.

It’s not just President Donald Trump who is skeptical of the North Atlantic alliance, in other words. It’s the American people. To the extent that U.S. citizens think about NATO at all, they disagree about whether honoring its commitments would be worth the sacrifice.

Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him

  Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Former Vice President Joe Biden blasted President Trump on Wednesday over a video of several NATO leaders mocking the U.S. leader over the length of a press conference he hosted at the start of the NATO summit. © Getty Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him In a video released by Biden's Twitter account, ominous music plays as news anchors discuss footage of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron discussing Trump's lengthy press conference earlier Wednesday.Biden, a 2020 candidate for president, says at the end of the video that the U.S.

Mr Trump called Nato "obsolete" because it "wasn't taking care of terror". Figures released by Nato show that just five member-states met or surpassed its defence spending goal - 2% of GDP - last year. "This is in contradiction with what the American defence minister said in his hearing in

American voters were too sensible to fall for his hateful demagogy. America ’ s prestige was greatly bolstered not just by the soldiers who helped liberate Europe but also by the men and Anglophilia, like the American dream, may have been based on myths, but myths can be potent and long-lasting.

This wavering commitment likely signals a belief that American protection is no longer necessary for European security or that the United States has different priorities from when NATO was created 70 years ago. If NATO wants to earn the confidence of American citizens—who, after all, elect the American president whom NATO allies deal with—the alliance must rethink its mission for the 21st century.

To be sure, most Americans still have a general sense that NATO is important to our country’s security, according to another recent survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. But even that survey found the same divide on whether Americans would opt to retaliate against a Russian attack on a NATO ally. As recently as the late 1990s, nearly 70 percent of surveyed Americans supported sending U.S. troops to defend a new NATO member from a military attack.

What’s going on? NATO is in the midst of an existential crisis; its original mission is a vestige of an earlier era. Even the current secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, acknowledges that there’s no imminent military threat from Russia (whose economy has dwindled to the size of Italy’s), and the Germans certainly don’t seem intent on territorial expansion. So, Americans who retain a positive impression of the alliance might yet hesitate to sacrifice blood and treasure on a mission they don’t see as vital to their interests.

NATO countries boost defense spending ahead of summit showdown with Trump

  NATO countries boost defense spending ahead of summit showdown with Trump Bulgaria joins the top-level spending club — at least for one year.The top-tier spending club — with at least 2 percent of annual gross domestic product allocated for defense — expanded by one country and now includes Bulgaria, according to figures released by the military alliance.

Donald Trump left the opening day of the Nato summit in Brussels in disarray on Wednesday after making a surprise demand for members to raise According to Bulgarian president Rumen Radev, Trump raised the issue of the increase in defence spending and “he just left after he announced that”.

Seventy years after the founding of NATO , it ’ s not clear that all allies are on the same side about what collective self-defense would actually mean. A poll conducted this year by the German company Körber-Stiftung found many in the country were skeptical about key parts of its NATO relationship

Trump has seized on NATO’s troubles, dismissing the treaty as “obsolete.” That critique is not particularly constructive, and his transactional accounting of member states’ financial contributions smacks more of petty grievance than of grand strategy. But his provocations have led to some soul searching.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently worried aloud about “the brain death of NATO” and encouraged Europe to “regain military sovereignty” and “reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States.” Macron doesn’t lay this all at Trump’s feet, though; he says it was “very astute” for the United States to refocus on the rest of North America, as it did beginning under President Barack Obama, and to shift the U.S. geopolitical gaze toward Asia. In the wake of these comments, NATO will now convene a group of experts to strategize about the alliance’s future—an encouraging step.

If every crisis also represents an opportunity, leaders ought to use their meeting in London and subsequent gatherings to reimagine NATO’s mission. Doing so could revive the popular support that gives it license to operate.

Trump off to London for NATO summit, under pressure to steer clear of British election

  Trump off to London for NATO summit, under pressure to steer clear of British election Trump off to London for NATO summit, under pressure to steer clear of British electionAs a presidential candidate in 2016 and then as president since early 2017, Trump has shown no restraint in showing support for Britain's exit from the European Union and critiquing the politicians involved in the country's long-running Brexit debate.

It ’ s too much. And frankly it ’ s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea. Trump : Not decrease its role but certainly decrease the kind of spending. We are spending a Heilemann: So, just to be clear, you made two slightly different arguments there and I just want to

But America should be better than this. And I believe it ’ s our responsibility as citizens to say so.” The Texas senator said the murder in Israel last week of American Taylor Force in a terrorist attack “We as a nation are committed not just to guaranteeing Israel’s survival but also making sure it ’ s people

Russian meddling in democratic elections might be a place to start. It’s increasingly clear the main threats to open societies are not military. If NATO remains a military alliance, it is unfit to respond to these types of threats. Three years after Estonia acceded into NATO in 2004, Russia in fact did attack the Baltic country. But because it was a cyberattack on banks, media outlets and government agencies, and there was no major loss of life, the alliance was powerless. One could imagine, in our era, that the integrity of European democracy would be better defended, Russian hostility better deterred and public support better assured if a cyberattack on one NATO country were treated as a cyberattack on all.

NATO members might argue the alliance is adapting to modern times by expanding—it has grown from 12 countries 70 years ago to 29 today. But, on some level, expansion perpetuates the problem NATO seeks to solve. This sprawl has brought in a motley set of national interests to a body that requires consensus. Would Bulgarians fight for Belgium if it were attacked? Or, as Macron ponders, if Syria “decides to retaliate against Turkey, will we commit ourselves under [Article 5]?”

The real danger of an alliance with neither a clear purpose nor a clear adversary is its tendency to unnecessarily provoke citizens of non-allied countries. As Michael O’Hanlon at the Brookings Institution has pointed out, Russians see “a psychologically and politically imposing former enemy that has approached right up to their border.” NATO has strengthened autocracy and weakened democracy movements in and around Russia.

Trump calls Trudeau 'two-faced' after hot mic catches NATO leaders speaking candidly

  Trump calls Trudeau 'two-faced' after hot mic catches NATO leaders speaking candidly The Canadian PM and others were heard apparently speaking about the president.The video, which quickly went viral online, showed Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and others speaking at a Buckingham Palace reception.

It intends to help talks with the Taliban that are being led by Zalmay Khalilzad, the American special envoy. But American officials warned that Mr. Trump could upend the new plan at any time. Scaling back the training mission could leave the beleaguered Afghan military not just vulnerable to American -trained South Vietnamese fell to Communist forces two years after the United States

Maybe it was just a crazy guy.’ But in the meantime, he’ s screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he’ s shooting people And I think the kinds of rhetoric that we’ve heard too often, from Mr Trump and others, is “ The American people are going to be reminded again and again in this election that these baseless

This was utterly foreseeable. In fact, it was foreseen by the man whose policy of containment helped to defeat Soviet communism. In 1998, at 94 years old, George Kennan spotted the perversity of expanding NATO when, he said, “Russia’s democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we’ve just signed up to defend from Russia.” Kennan predicted, “Of course, there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are.” In a sense, his prophecy has come true.

If the Russian military is not the nemesis of the 29 NATO member countries, then who or what is? In a press conference with Stoltenberg on Thursday, Macron ventured it was terrorism, not Russia or China. This isn’t so farfetched: The only time any member country invoked Article 5 was when the United States did so after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. But Macron’s comment quickly led to derision from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who suggested Macron “doesn’t know what the fight against terror is” and should “have his own brain death checked out first.” In a case of badly entangled alliances, Erdogan is annoyed because French troops are in Syria working with Kurdish forces that Turkey considers terrorists, while Turkey is striking a deal with Russia on controlling parts of Syria that were once patrolled by the United States.

NATO has a proud history and could yet have a productive future. But it must seek a new purpose that Americans—and the citizens of other member states—can get behind. And it must heed Ismay’s call to use the kind of clear language that is only achievable with clear purpose. Only then will it be more than an alliance in search of both a mission and an adversary.

NATO leaders caught on camera mocking Trump .
The leaders of Britain, Canada, France and the Netherlands have been caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace reception mocking US President Donald Trump's lengthy media appearances ahead of Wedensday's NATO summit. The leaders of Britain, Canada, France and the Netherlands have  been caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace reception mocking US President Donald Trump's lengthy media appearances ahead of Wedensday's NATO summit.

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