July 10, 2018

NATO

, keeping up a recent drumbeat of criticism before meeting European leaders this week in Brussels.” (Reuters)

Trump is also set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin soon after the NATO summit.

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The left is concerned that Trump will further damage relations with our closest allies, and make concessions to Putin without consultation.

“After his outburst at the Group of Seven gathering, Trump is making good on his mission to puncture multilateral institutions and remake the world order in America’s interests. NATO might just be next.”

Bloomberg

“According to a reliable source, he recently complained that NATO is ‘as bad as NAFTA,’ the North American trade agreement, which he considers anathema to US interests. Missing from this perspective is NATO's 70-year record of advancing democracy, trade, and security as the most successful alliance in history.”

CNN

“Senior European officials have told Axios they are worried that Trump will spend the entire NATO summit beating up on America's closest allies — especially Germany — for not spending enough on their defense. They're worried he'll make these deficiencies the focus of the summit rather than solidarity in face of the Russian threat.”

Axios

According to a former national security advisor for then-Vice President Joe Biden, “Trump does not seem to understand the amount of planning it takes for some of these governments to expand their budgets.”

NPR

Furthermore, many are concerned that “Trump will offer Putin concessions without consulting with NATO partners. When Trump met with Kim, he agreed to stop military exercises with South Korea, without giving South Korea any advance notice.”

NPR

One former international economic adviser to President George W. Bush states, “In the past, Europe did not doubt that U.S. interests and values were fundamentally aligned with theirs… Now they wonder whether they can count on us in times of crisis without our first checking to see if they are current on their rent or royalty payments… The decline in confidence is palpable.”

New York Times

The right is looking forward to the conference as an opportunity for Trump to push for more equitable contributions from other NATO members.

The right is looking forward to the conference as an opportunity for Trump to push for more equitable contributions from other NATO members.

“These leaders continually assure the United States they are America's best allies, even as most contribute little to America's defense and rack up huge trade surpluses with the United States… the vast majority fail even to meet the modest, self-imposed requirement to devote at least 2 percent of GDP to defense.”

National Interest

This fiscal failure seriously impacts NATO’s combat readiness. According to one study by the Rand Corporation, “as currently postured, NATO [could not] successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members” from a hypothetical Russian invasion.

National Interest

While Trump “may wish to consider changing his tone and how he approaches the NATO budget problem” he still needs to apply more pressure. “For Trump not to stress the point would be a dereliction of his duty. For a military alliance to depend so much on a single country is not only unfair to the American taxpayer, it’s unsustainable over the long-term.”

The American Conservative

Some suggest that “an American tariff on European cars linked to defense spending might be enough of an incentive to bestir Germany, France, and even Italy to invest more in their own defense… If they remain content to rely on us to defend them, they are going to have to understand that their sovereignty depends on us, and that we will extract the large cost from them one way or the other.”

American Spectator

Regarding Russia, “the reality is that Trump’s administration armed the Ukrainians with lethal weapons, re-established the Second Fleet, smoked out 200 Russians in Syria in one day, and told Germans

yes, Germans) to stop the Nord Stream pipeline. Europeans, on the other hand... refuse to lead America in cutting off the Russian gas supply.”

The Federalist

On the bright side...

Bear takes a dip in a California hot tub.

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