Trump vs NATO? 🌎

AP Photo / Matt Dunham, Pool

AP Photo / Matt Dunham, Pool

Trump leaves for Brussels

Trump is on a 7-day tour across Europe, which will begin with a highly-anticipated NATO summit concerning military spending and trade on Wednesday. In a series of tweets, Trump accused NATO allies of not meeting the alliance’s defense spending goal for each country, instead, relying on the US’s heavy military spending and contributions. He also warned against European trade barriers on US goods.

Remind me about NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance that was originally formed to counter the Soviet Union’s communist expansion. Lately, the alliance has refocused its goals on recent Russian aggression and combating terrorism. However, Trump’s interest in the US-Russia relationship and his meeting with Putin next week are worrying NATO leaders. 

The right applauds Trump for calling out NATO members for “free riding” on the US’s hefty contributions. They view Trump as an effective hardliner for the American people. They maintain a sense of doubt with multilateral organizations overall, which they believe are ineffective and focus too much on diplomacy rather than progress. Right folk disregard the threat that Russia poses both to NATO and the state of international affairs. 

The left denounces Trump’s strained ties with NATO members and his budding relationship with Russia, viewing both as a threat to the international order. They question Trump’s motives to establish a relationship with Putin, who they see as a perpetrator of a global cyberwar and a threat to American bipartisan values. They also emphasize that Trump’s undermining of NATO means that the world as a whole will likely be less stable. 

Are Western nations weakening?

NATO is a part of the growing list of multilateral organizations that Trump has rejected. The uncertain fate of US participation with NATO comes at a time when multiple Western nations, notably Britain, Germany, and Italy, face political instability. Though we can only hope that the NATO summit avoids problems between clashing personalities, Trump's stance already undermines the appearance, accountability, and effectiveness of the Western front.

This week at NATO



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