NATO Braces for Trump Visit, But Fears May Be Overplayed

Larry Hoffman
July 10, 2018

Last month, Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis sent letters to the leaders of Norway, the U.K., Belgium, Canada and other allies demanding that they boost defense spending. That approach has raised the stakes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation gathering for Mr. Trump.

I'll leave it to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to say whether there are sinister motives for Trump's consistent willingness to look past Putin's many transgressions - to name a few, Putin's attempts to subvert Western democracies, including ours; his illegal annexation of Crimea; his human rights violations and muzzling of free speech, including the press; and his alleged assassinations of dissidents overseas, including an attempt to kill a former intelligence agent in Britain with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

He accuses European NATO allies of freeloading, telling a rally this week that they had treated the US like "schmucks". "President Putin has spent most of his life working on foreign policy and national security issues", said McFaul.

Allies are braced for a barrage of invective from Trump for not spending enough on defense, and are apprehensive that his often skeptical tone on the alliance that has underpinned European security for 70 years might turn into outright hostility. US officials said the two sides this time would be discussing Russian election meddling, Russia's incursions in the Ukraine and involvement in Syria.

He noted that member states have been improving, but insisted they "must do much more".

Well, a new report reveals another tidbit of information on what President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked about during that conversation.

While it is in no one's interest to stumble backward into a Cold War, the huge political disconnect between Trump's dislike of Nato's democratic leaders and his frequently expressed admiration for the authoritarian Putin is an enormous discontinuity for the alliance.

In an earlier Twitter posting, the president singled out Germany for contributing just 1 per cent, which he said is one-fourth of what the spending.

"We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade". A quarter of the survey's participants hoped for an improvement in relations, while nine percent say that relations will deteriorate even further.

"Prior presidents saw America's allies as enhancing US power and really enabling the United States in being the global leader that it has been for so long, especially compared to China and Russian Federation, which have very few allies", said Goldgeier.

In addition to that there is a sense of anxiety about Trump's relation with Russian Federation.

Woody Johnson, Trump's ambassador to the United Kingdom, said the president is aware of the planned protests but insisted that Trump "appreciates free speech" in both countries.

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