meeu_featured_image_2“Here’s the problem with NATO: it’s obsolete,” candidate Donald Trump explained during the U.S. election campaign. He went on to suggest that allies that were “ripping off” the United States by failing to make a sufficient contribution to defence spending “would have to get out … And if it breaks up NATO, it breaks up NATO.” He cast doubt on Washington’s commitment to the Alliance’s key mutual defence guarantee, saying his administration might choose which allies to defend depending on whether they “fulfilled their obligations to us.”

Since Trump won the election, U.S. and Alliance officials have sought to allay allies’ fears about the potential impact of his presidency on NATO. After a phone call between President-elect Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, an Alliance statement insisted both men agreed on the “enduring importance” of NATO. US diplomats and military officers have been mobilized to explain that what was said on the campaign trail does not reflect future Trump administration policy; that US institutions are stronger than any individual; and there’ll be no fundamental change in the commitment to NATO.

So, which Trump will be running the administration: the candidate who admires Russian President Vladimir Putin and thinks NATO’s had its day? Or the President-elect who wants a stronger alliance?

His nominations haven’t exactly made the waters any less muddy. Trump’s choice for Defense Secretary, Gen. Jim Mattis, is a former NATO commander who has been outspoken on the threat posed by Moscow. His nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is reportedly a buddy of Putin’s who, as CEO of Exxon Mobil, spend years doing oil deals with the Russians. “Tillerson would sell out NATO for Sakhalin oil and his pal, Vlad,” tweeted Mark Salter, a former chief of staff for Republican Senator John McCain, after the oil man’s nomination.

We interviewed Jaromír Štetina, MEP with the EPP group and Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. What did he expect from the Trump presidency?

senator-stetina-bigI do not know and I’m afraid that Mr. President-elect Trump doesn’t know either. But I do have trust in the American democratic system, its checks and balances, as well as the ability to tackle issues effectively.

Will the Trump presidency put NATO at risk? Or were his campaign statements just bluster to push allies into spending more on defence? Should European allies feel threatened by the prospect of the new administration’s relationship with Russia? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDIT: CC / Flickr – Adrian Pratt


105 comments Post a commentComment


    • Jakub Bláha

      more like…almost last 70 years :D

    • Ander Anderson

      Matej Zaggy Zagorc Nobody has ever been at war with Russia because untill 1998 it was the Soviet Union

    • Matej Zaggy Zagorc

      That’s just arguing semantics. And wrong at that, because before the Soviet Union (and SFSR) there was the Russian republic, and before that the Russian empire, and before that the Russian tsardom etc.

    • Paulius Paždagis

      I am sure you would talk very differently if let’s say North Korea had developed a more advanced ballistic missiles. You cheap cheap sack of poo.

    • Rémi Martin

      France has got deterent power, where’s your problem scumbag?

    • Duncan

      Deterrents only work against rational people. If you know anything about North Korean politics then you’d know rational doesn’t describe their way of doing things. But the problem is far worse than you seem to think. NATO doesn’t just deter attack from outside of NATO, it also stops members from using hostile threats between one another during diplomatic talks. This is a key component to the comparative peace that has existed in Europe these last few decades. Take away the main reason to get along with your neighbour countries and things may regress. The EU army proposal will not work as an alternative because it doesn’t allow for non EU nations to be included in the military cooperation. Turkey for instance is not exactly getting along with the EU right now, and without NATO as a deterrent Turkey may well enable or even support aggressive military actions against the EU. Countries that are part of NATO but not part of the EU and vice versa currently have the overlap adding to their list of allies, this would disappear. Trust me when I say no NATO would be a terrible thing for the peace and harmony Europe has been benefiting from.

  1. Nando Aidos

    I would like to propose the following question –
    What do we want Trump’s residency to positively mean to NATO?
    Let us tell him what he needs to do.

  2. nando

    I would like to propose the following question –

    What do we want Trump’s residency to positively mean to NATO?
    I want to tell him what he needs to do. And what he should not do.
    I do not care what damage he thinks he is going to do.

  3. Paul X

    It will mean that those who do not pay their way should not benefit from the security NATO brings – sounds fair to me…..unfortunately the EU is founded on the principal of the few subsidising the many so it will no doubt throw yet another childish tantrum and pretend the EU can form its own army….

    …..and that’s a joke in itself, apart from the incompetence of the EU to be trusted with something as dangerous as an army just exactly where are the forces going to come from?…. certainly not from the UK and certainly not from countries with conscription… so between them the EU probably couldn’t even muster up a force big enough to defend itself from Taiwan

  4. Jakub Bláha

    Better diplomacy (less war, more peace), EU might finally pay its 2% (another guarantee for peace) and more independence for EU and EU countries in their national/foreign policies as Trump is more focused on in-US rather than sticking US nose all around the world and dragging us with them into all that mess they started.

    • Iván Marsh Whateley

      The same Putin did in Ukraine the same he did in Georgia the same he ll do everywhere he wants.

    • Ander Anderson

      Ivan Marsh Whately Putin and Trump don;t own Europe so he Trump can Grab Putin;s wife by the Pxxxy

    • Rémi Martin

      A bit like the Americans, the world’s police who’s bringing peace and democracy!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Rémi Martin
      IMHO France has been the greatest negative influence on the free world since its barbaric revolution – it’s bizarre and corruption-laden legal system + perverse judiciary + barbaric militarised police all of which France passed on to its colonies and indirectly to Latin America through cultural affinity has contributed to ALL Latin nations being more corrupt say than Germanic or Anglosphere or Scandinavian nations (please see 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index 2015).

      Any Anglosphere nation or Germanic nation or Scandinavian nation would be a far better policeman/leader than hyper-corrupt France.

  5. Çağlar Sakin

    Help and support us. We are under terrorist attack in Turkey. Help us in raising awareness.

    • Duncan

      What are you talking (OR SHOULD THAT BE SHOUTING) about? Unfunding? Who are them?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Michael John James Brown
      Like what?

      Pay 2% of GDP towards their [NATO] defence contributions?

  6. Duncan

    The fact is nobody knows. Not even sure Trump knows himself what he’s going to do. I do agree that countries should be meeting or exceeding their obligations with regards to international treaties. But I don’t exactly think Trumps ever changing message is helping to stabilise the situation and what’s more is his threats of not supporting allies if they don’t meet their spending targets is a dangerous message to send to potential enemies.

  7. Jokera Jokerov

    It`s a sensible principle: you pay and are protected, if you do not, you stay alone in the cold snow.

  8. ironworker

    Security and peace ain’t free, never was. With Trump or without Trump half of Europe is taking it for granted for a long time.

  9. JD Blaha

    the only point of NATO is to give America’s illegal wars some kind of ‘legitimacy’ (directly or in directly). If a Mil alliance is needed, it should be done by the EU not USA led NATO.

  10. Gioacchino Giorgio Nastasi

    Hopefully Europe increase His Power…Europe must have more military power. Europe must not be a colony of the US but should and can have, if the Europeans will want, a greater military power of Russia and USA..Europeans in the EU are more than 500 milions of People …

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Gioacchino Giorgio Nastasi
      Yes right!

      +500 million people – half of which come from basketcase countries!

    • Duncan

      So, you want the EU to supplant the USA and Russia as top aggressive superpower? I hope you never get your wish, luckily Europe is too busy trying to outdo the rest of Europe for that to happen anytime soon.

  11. Jean-Jacques Eiza Lauture

    Hope US will stop to encourage EU like vassals to WWIII, as it is proposed now undercover by elites and with big silence in the west media. This split of the continent is a non sense and contrary to the peace EU objectives. Peace should be on the top of EU and therefore NATO agenda as it was before the market expansionism toward Ukraine, which indeed has been also expanded to debt, conflicts and corruptions. Now we should go back to our EU peace objectives, it is still time and stop the nuclear race which is happening now between US and Russia, but initiated by the Obama administration, stopping all on going discussions on that subject taking place in particular for East Europe i.e our place where we live all in EU. https://dninews.com/article/us-sends-3600-tanks-against-russia-massive-nato-deployment-underway

    • Duncan

      Erm, wtf are you talking about? The EU has been expanding since it’s inception. The west media are far from quiet about the ww3 potential resulting in hostile talk and action between Russia and nato states. Obama has not initiated any nuclear expansion, that was Putin, Kim jong un, Iran and now Trump that have increased nuclear weaponry and/or are talking about doing so. “let it be an arms race” I believe was what the president elect tweeted. Yes nato are sending more troops to their eastern territories, but it is standard practice to bolster the defences of a border that is less peaceable, and the increase doesn’t even equal that shown by Russia, not even percentage wise does it equal it. If Putin were to reduce his aggressive stance nato would be able to safely lower their troop deployments again.

  12. Stephen James Cooper

    It might mean that Poland will be able to buy a lot of cheap Leopard tanks so that Germany can maintain it’s buffer zone…..look forward to many friendly overtures from Germany to Poland.

  13. Goró Oszkár

    Hopefully, he wont provocate Russia and make our countries as a playground as it was planned by Clinton. George Soros and as it happened in Ukrain due to George Soros “democracy” export.

  14. Antonio Marcos Rubio

    Estos son los nuevos cabestros o becerros de oro a los cuales muchos adoran. Ninguno sirve para nada y menos con los cuernos retorcidos como el Trump ese. Se está erigiendo en un Dios y todos sus votantes son sus adoradores de esa nueva ‘ley’ del Dios dinero. Se les está reventando en su propia cara todo ese engaño masivo que supone su idolatría actual y que se representa en forma de torre. Esa torre desaparecerá cual torre de Babel y se los llevará a todos en su propia destrucción.

  15. EU reform- proactive

    Besides speculating & whipping up emotions, let’s wait & see which spiderwebs the new US administration will clean up. A global renewal & rethink is appreciated.

    More important for Europe are the repercussions from actual events- like Brexit, the ominous weakness of a shrinking or even collapsing EU (self inflicted). Therefore, there should never be a need or desire for an “EU army”- as the Dublin accord chaos so clearly demonstrated.

    Germany, as one of the stronger but reluctant military force in Europe is better taken care of inside Nato, than in a German dominated EU army led by a questionable EU bureaucrat. I do not want see even a chance of a repeat of another (“welcome home”) ANSCHLUSS on an overambitious & expanding political & militant EU.

    The US, Canada & Britain will ensure that Nato will remain strong- even if a few weak links choose to exit.

  16. Maia Alexandrova

    I think Donald Trump sees NATO more from a business point of view, rather than political. For him it is fair and square – pay your membership fee to benefit from the club and also there should be a clear and defined purpose of this organisation which is relevant to the reality in 21st century, not the 1940s. At the moment he does not see any of those things present, so NATO is obsolete. I think Trump will insist on either bringing NATO up-to-date and excluding countries who don’t pay their full membership, or propose to dissolve the organisation. In my opinion, it has done more wrong than good anyway – fearmongering, warmongering, illegal invasions of sovereign countries, killing of millions of innocent people, destruction and destabilisation… Deterrent of aggression? Who is to deter NATO from its own aggression towards non-members? At present NATO is more a deterrent to peace than its guarantor. There can always be a co-operation and military agreements between different countries in case of an aggression. What is the point of having an outdated military alliance and waste a whole 2% of GDP for it? Change is needed and Trump might just start the process…

  17. Elisabeth Sommer

    A President Trump “will be” the NATO and he want to prepare the NATO for the future (25 Years after Cold War), he said. But now, it seems that Obama starts this days unfortunately “Cold War II” :(

  18. catherine benning

    Hopefully we will be shot of it. Gone with a clear definition of what the word DEFENCE means. Obama and his heavy lady intensely dislike the UK, Europe and the civilisation they do not understand or feel part of. So, the aim is to leave Trump with a mess bigger than they already created. The stench of Clinton and partner smells to high heaven in all of this. Lets hope Trump has the courage of his convictions.

    He should bring out the fake news lies, fix the Clinton Foundation rip off fraud racket and make sure those in charge go to jail. This is the first step back to restoring faith in our system.

  19. Karolina

    I can’t imagine how anything can be worse for NATO than Turkey remaining a member…

  20. Marko Martinović

    Hopefully it will stop war. NATO is ammasing troops on Russian borders, its dangerous. People dont want war with Russia. People want peace

    • Pedro Castro

      They could stop invadindo sovereign countries for a start.

    • Cãlin Rednic

      I think you should sit for a minute and just ask yourself with an open mind why is happenning such a costly an risky thing…

    • Siniša Bundalo

      Who should stop invading sovereign countries, the USA? / Quién debe dejar de invadir países soberanos, los EE.UU.?

    • Ainhoa Lizar

      Russia is Europe! A EU with Russia would be the best for the survival of the europeans! For once we should stop being stupid goys and unite with all our brothers.

    • Gatis Gailitis

      Europe should get their own army. Nato is not obsolete but it sure as hell should be. Status quo is back and everyone is pointing missiles at everyone. That is no policy to have. Europe can be peaceful and we should unite our armies like its done in the federative states. Protecting the borders should be number one priority NOT intervention or pointing weapons at someone.

    • Paolo Ortenzi

      Problem: EU is NOT a sovereign political union. No EU Army. And it will never be.

  21. Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Good riddance to NATO. The US should keep their own army and the EU countries should have their own joint army independent of the US agendas. And Turkey should be in neither. Invading Cyprus whilst a member of NATO and keeping one third of the Island under occupation. And Erdogan now stating Turkey will ‘never leave’ EU member country Cyprus and wants a rotating presidency in an EU country based on ethnicity. As if any other EU country would enforce rotating presidencies based on all ethnicities living in their country.

  22. Ivan Burrows

    .

    The only thing that will happen is EU countries will start paying their fair share of the cost as they know an EU army will be no match for Russia.

    • Ainhoa Lizar

      Russia is Europe! A EU with Russia would be the best for the survival of the europeans! For once we should stop being stupid goys and unite with all our brothers.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Ainhoa Lizar .

      Just like Turkey, Azerbaijan & Kazakhstan are your ‘brothers’ ?

    • Pedro Castro

      For the first time ever i agree with Ivan Burrows. Being european is not geography. It’s a state of mind that Putin lacks. We have more in common with the japanese than with Rússia. At least until Putin dies or is removed from power in a bloodied coup. We all know he’s not gonna leave by his own feet.

    • Rémi Martin

      Pedro Castro Not agree, my land have certainly more common points with Russia by the history, as with Japan!

  23. Alexandre Caldeira

    When Nato disapear, we will be facing World War III.
    Nato is not absolete.
    What Trump should be saying is “Nato is obsolete once UN has its own army and fully funcional way of blocking any country to enter in war with another nation”.
    But he dosent.
    He is mining the world peace and existence, as we know, by stating Nato + Un are a problem maker

    • Rémi Martin

      It was created before the Warsaw’s Pact, USSR doesn’t exist since 1991, there’s no reason to be for it!

    • Alexandre Caldeira

      Do you really think Russia, will not attempt to anex another land ? The name of oponents may have changed,
      However the intentions remain,and the actions have reborned this century.
      After creating a new and updated militar alliance, disolve nato, until then is unwised to strip europe of one capable army.

    • Francoise Moureaux

      coming soon in Europe with Nato , Russia doesn’t assault others countries , it’s only OTAN and barrack hussein obama and probably money of rotschild … as usually since many years !!!

    • Krystyna Wróblewska

      Francoise Moureaux Noooo, Russia hasn’t assaulted Ukraine quite recently. And it is not meddling is other countreis!

  24. Alex Tselentis

    NATO is a waste of time it fuels division and backs illegal wars the US pushes dragging Europe into Washington’s bloody mess

  25. Rémi Martin

    Totally agree, it was created before the Warsaw’s Pact, USSR doesn’t exist since 1991, there’s no reason to be for it!

  26. Manuel Alegria

    Trump is absolutly rigtht in that one…
    NATO is absolutly obsolete, it was created to fight back the monster Warsov Pact and USSR.
    With the killing of the monster, all generals suckers and staff are in trouble to show any kind of work

    • Manuel Alegria

      In the 80’s I dated a Poland Girl, and learn, people on the other side had exactly the same fear we had on the west…

  27. andre L

    NATO, is a redundant question those days. I understand the “defense” subject and the treats behind or connected with Nato by it members. Nato it is a old concept of the World, keeping those days, for me means. create two fractions here, NATO Members and non members….. With other “defense” world organizations UN Sec Council… For now, let the World spin around, focus on Euro zone, not economics… people and make it stronger, by promoting stronger union. I guess the answers that Trump does not expect is no “we leave NATO”. No pain, no gain

  28. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto vestias

    Russia is clearly a threat to Eastern Europe and the Middle East we have to put pressure on other NATO members to start building a lot of money troops and keep this threat on the bullet

  29. Blaz Bostjancic

    Eu urgently needs to form up its own defence. Hast to stand united as a global partner por peace. Aperengly Trumps aim is to destabilize Europe. The gentleman is married to a woman who survived Yugoslav war. He must have s very low resdon for natinal secueity. There must be a very big deal with Russia. This time is uterly important for the reform of the Eu. Nato depends too much on a will of the USA.

  30. George Kanev

    Memory:
    Това е първият голям проблем за ЕС – излизането на Великобритания от съюза! Но не трябва да се смущаваме…..проблеми винаги ще има за решаване в такъв принципно нов вид съюз, какъвто е нашият. Просто трябва да изчакаме да видим какво ще искат от нас британците и да се отнесем с разбиране като към страна част от Европа а не като „трета страна”. Рано или късно те ще разберат че този референдум беше грешка на неговите организатори – неподходящо подбран момент за неговото провеждане……най-вече кризата с Русия! Британците просто не желаят да влизат в конфликт с една държава където обикновено човешкият живот не струва „кой знае колко” – лоши спомени от предците на руснаците – викингите! По-големият проблем е кой ще спечели изборите в САЩ, защото Тръмп вече заяви че Америка ще защитава само онези които могат да си „платят”, а ако не могат ще бъдат оставени да се защитават сами. В тази връзка си мисля дали не е вече време Германия и Франция заедно да сменят позицията на такива които чакат да бъдат защитавани с такива които могат сами да се защитават? И ако това беше станало по-рано дали тогава Англия щеше да напусне съюза или не? Вярно е че Европа се е опитвала да се обедини много пъти чрез война с катастрофални последици, но въпреки това никога не трябва да забравяме старата мъдрост на Римската империя – „ако искаш мир готви се за война”! Старият подпалвач на войни в Европа – Русия отново се активизира, а ние от ЕС изоставаме и чакаме някой от вън да ни защити! И защо този път (ако Америка наистина „се дръпне” от Европа) не „приобщим” Русия като например и предложим членство в ЕС като концесия за „отстъпките” които ще направят за Украйна……..така те нямат да имат повече основание да претендират за сигурността на своята граница с ЕС както и за търговски загуби с бившите им съветски републики! В такъв случай никой Американски президент не би си позволил да загуби стратегическите си позиции тук в Европа! Г.Кънев

  31. Георги Кънев

    Memory:
    Това е първият голям проблем за ЕС – излизането на Великобритания от съюза! Но не трябва да се смущаваме…..проблеми винаги ще има за решаване в такъв принципно нов вид съюз, какъвто е нашият. Просто трябва да изчакаме да видим какво ще искат от нас британците и да се отнесем с разбиране като към страна част от Европа а не като „трета страна”. Рано или късно те ще разберат че този референдум беше грешка на неговите организатори – неподходящо подбран момент за неговото провеждане……най-вече кризата с Русия! Британците просто не желаят да влизат в конфликт с една държава където обикновено човешкият живот не струва „кой знае колко” – лоши спомени от предците на руснаците – викингите! По-големият проблем е кой ще спечели изборите в САЩ, защото Тръмп вече заяви че Америка ще защитава само онези които могат да си „платят”, а ако не могат ще бъдат оставени да се защитават сами. В тази връзка си мисля дали не е вече време Германия и Франция заедно да сменят позицията на такива които чакат да бъдат защитавани с такива които могат сами да се защитават? И ако това беше станало по-рано дали тогава Англия щеше да напусне съюза или не? Вярно е че Европа се е опитвала да се обедини много пъти чрез война с катастрофални последици, но въпреки това никога не трябва да забравяме старата мъдрост на Римската империя – „ако искаш мир готви се за война”! Старият подпалвач на войни в Европа – Русия отново се активизира, а ние от ЕС изоставаме и чакаме някой от вън да ни защити! И защо този път (ако Америка наистина „се дръпне” от Европа) не „приобщим” Русия като например и предложим членство в ЕС като концесия за „отстъпките” които ще направят за Украйна……..така те нямат да имат повече основание да претендират за сигурността на своята граница с ЕС както и за търговски загуби с бившите им съветски републики! В такъв случай никой Американски президент не би си позволил да загуби стратегическите си позиции тук в Европа! Г.Кънев

  32. Ryan Ross

    I would say that NATO is obsolete. But just because something is obsolete doesn’t mean that the role for which it was designed is not required. For example, the French have just decided that their FAMAS rifles are obsolete. That doesn’t mean the French Army has decided that they don’t need rifles anymore.

    In this case, I would say obsolete means non-functional. NATO is not working the way it was designed, most of the nations are not abiding by the agreement as it was written, and do not have properly funded national militaries as required by the treaties and agreements that NATO is based upon.

    But the role that NATO is meant to serve is still relevant, so just like with obsolete technology like the FAMAS, the options are to repair and upgrade NATO, or to replace it with something superior in the role that it’s meant to serve.

  33. Pan Sol

    NATO must remain to make great all allies starting from east, Great Poland, Great Albania etc

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