Brussels, Belgium. In no mood to jerk around with euro-trash, Don Trump took his message of pay up, or we are out of here to NATO, and a lot of people who were left in total shock after their first encounter, with an American who literally pushed a president of a country physically out of his way at a NATO photo op.
President Donald Trump drew shocked reactions after he did not explicitly endorse Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s founding document during his summit with NATO allies in Brussels.
NATO officials had hoped Trump would acknowledge that the organization’s biggest challenge now was not fighting terrorism, but countering Russian aggression in eastern Europe, according to political analysts. This difference in thought is becoming more pronounced as time goes on between how NATO wants confrontation and how Trump wants reconciliation.
This article, known as the collective defense clause, stipulates that an attack on any member is an attack on all. It was invoked for the first time in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks a point raised by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in their respective remarks.
President Trump said in his speech that the US would “never forsake the friends that stood by our side” in the aftermath of 9/11. But he did not explicitly endorse Article 5, as every US president since Harry S. Truman has when speaking outside NATO headquarters.Of course Trump does things the Trump way and as the world is quickly learning Trump does not always cater to what others want to hear.
Trump used the speech mainly to lecture representatives from nearly two dozen member countries for not meeting their “financial obligations” to increase defense spending to 2% of their gross domestic product.
“If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism,” Trump said.
Trump’s speech at the NATO summit came on the heels of his trip to the Middle East, where he told Arab leaders he was “not here to lecture” them about human rights, causing panic and anxiety in human rights advocates.
Richard Haass, a former US Neocon diplomat who has been the president of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2003, said, “Trump is a danger to NATOs interests and far too close to Russia for my taste.”
After Trump called NATO “obsolete” in a January interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Moscow “shares Trump’s opinion that NATO is a remnant of the past.”
Russia has repeatedly characterized the US-led organization as an “aggressive” force whose aim is to isolate Russia from Europe, rhetoric that became more heated earlier this year amid NATO’s endless military exercises in the Baltics and Ukraine.