Donald Trump’s remarks about the US not protecting Nato allies who do not meet the 2% GDP defense spending target have been strongly criticized by the Western military alliance’s chief, Jens Stoltenberg.
Stoltenberg stated that Trump’s suggestion undermines the security of all Nato members and puts US and European troops at greater risk.
This comes after Trump’s comments at a rally in South Carolina where he recounted a hypothetical scenario where a Nato member was under attack from Russia and the US would not come to their aid due to failure to meet financial obligations.
In response, President Joe Biden called Trump’s comments “appalling and dangerous” and suggested that it was giving Russian President Vladimir Putin “a green light for more war and violence.”
Nato’s own figures show that 19 out of its 30 member nations are spending below the 2% GDP target on defense. However, most countries bordering Ukraine, Russia, or Belarus are exceeding this guideline.
In a statement, Stoltenberg emphasized that Nato remains “ready and able” to defend its members, but any suggestion that “allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security.” This led to further condemnation from Biden and Trump’s remaining Republican rival, Nikki Haley.
Furthermore, the implications of Trump’s hardball approach on Nato allies are being discussed. The worry is that such attitudes could lead to a split in Nato, particularly in responding to a possible Russian incursion.
It’s important to note that Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine occurred after Trump left office. Since then, the US has provided Ukraine with significant financial support, although Republican senators have blocked new funding for the country.
The rejection of new aid money was celebrated by Trump at the rally, while the issues surrounding the funding continue to be debated in the US Senate.
These developments highlight the ongoing debates and tensions in US foreign policy, particularly regarding defense spending and the country’s commitments to its allies.