Amidst a global crisis, Donald Trump has raised questions about America’s commitment to its allies. In a recent speech, he revealed that when he was president he told European leaders that the US would not defend their countries if attacked by Russia. He insisted that NATO members should pay their debts and said that when he was president the USA would not lift a finger to defend their countries if they were attacked by Russia. This has sparked concerns among NATO members and others who rely on US support for their security.
The NATO alliance was founded in 1949 as a collective defense agreement. Trump’s insistence that NATO members “owe money” is based on a misunderstanding. Although NATO countries agreed 18 years ago to set aside at least 2% of their gross domestic product for defense, most countries, including the largest, have not complied with this agreement. Throughout his presidency, Trump has focused on this issue and shown little interest in the actual security of NATO.
Trump’s announcement has caused worry among countries along a possible front line with Russia and America’s military and political partners from Northeast Asia to the South Pacific. This explicit announcement violates international obligations signed by the US.
Nikki Haley, Trump’s opponent in the Republican primaries, is now making age and mental capacity an issue in her campaign. While she trails Trump in the polls, she points out the age and mental capacity of both Trump and Biden as qualifications for being president according to the constitution which requires a presidential candidate be at least 35 years old. This condition was established when life expectancy for men in North America was 28 years old. However, with increased life expectancy today, this qualification is now highly debated.
In conclusion, Donald Trump’s statements about America’s commitment to its allies have caused concerns among NATO members and others who rely on US support for their security. His focus on the debt owed by NATO members has led him to overlook the actual security of the alliance which is essential for global stability.