Cristian Pîrvulescu: “If Donald Trump becomes president, then it will be much more difficult for NATO to function”

NATO is not an “a la carte” alliance that operates at the whim of the President of the United States.

It’s the tough reaction from European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell after Donald Trump said over the weekend that the US military would not protect an ally under attack that does not spend enough on defence.

Currently, 20 NATO countries have military budgets of less than 2% of GDP, the target set by the allies in 2014.

According to statistics, last year there were only 11 NATO countries that had allocated at least 2% of their GDP to the military. Among them, in addition to the United States, are the majority of countries located on the eastern flank of the alliance, that is, very close to Russia.

Romania is one of them, but so is Finland, which has just joined NATO.

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On the other hand, the countries of old Europe, some even richer than Romania, failed to reach the 2% target assumed by the allies in 2014.

Germany, for example, Europe’s strongest economy, allocates only 1.57% of GDP to defense spending.

These would therefore be the countries that the American army would no longer defend if they were attacked, according to Donald Trump’s statements at an election rally held over the weekend.

The former US president, who is close to securing his party’s nomination in the fall presidential election, said he would encourage Russia to do “whatever it wants” to any NATO member country that does not pay its defense spending as part of the alliance. The controversial statement angered many Europeans.

Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:In these times, NATO cannot be a military alliance that operates at the whim of the President of the United States. It doesn’t go with yes, no, yes, tomorrow, no, it depends, who are you! No, let’s be serious! Let’s be serious! NATO cannot be an “a la carte” alliance! It exists or it doesn’t exist!”

Borell’s reaction comes after the White House called Trump’s comments “appalling and unbalanced.” And NATO said that they “undermine our security, including that of the United States.”

Cristian Pîrvulescu, political analyst: “There are certainly statements that the former president makes in the context of the campaign. But these statements, which appeal to memories, apparently talking about something that happened, not something that will happen, have already created very serious problems, because they seem to indicate a disagreement in principle between Donald Trump and the European partners in NATO, which would imply a NATO dysfunction.

Contrary to what many of Trump’s supporters believe, Trump was not a leader who would have definitely supported NATO, it took President Iohannis’ visit to Washington and a question from a Romanian journalist to admit that it would apply point five of the treaty, which concerns the intervention of NATO troops and the United States of America in the event that a country is attacked.

So this statement only creates a lot of unease among American moderates, including in his own party, which may cost him the election, but also in terms of the European population and on the other hand , jubilation in Russia, because it is what Russia was waiting for.

If Donald Trump becomes president, then it will be much more difficult for NATO to function. The problem is whether the United States of America will still be a superpower after Trump’s second term.

Its supporters think so, but the isolationist United States will no longer have the same role in the world, it will lose tremendous opportunities, and very likely, you know, politics has a horror of vacuum, others will take the place of the United States of America.

NATO will be much more difficult in a new Trump term, because first of all it will be another Trump. Trump is an unpredictable man. We don’t know how he will react.

We know how he reacted when he was president, and we have a lot of information that is not likely to reassure public opinion at all.

We don’t know what’s happening to you. I don’t know if there will be lucid people around him to guide him towards correct decisions.

This may not happen again, it happened in the previous term, or it may, on the contrary, be a surprising president. We don’t know anything about what’s going on, but the statements he’s making at the moment are worrying.

NATO countries are Ukraine’s main supporter in the war with the Russian Federation and the conflict has led several European states that were reluctant to increase their contribution to the alliance to announce new arms purchases. In the meantime, however, the US Congress has blocked new aid to Ukraine for the time being.

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