Trust and respect for NATO has fallen significantly in the United States and Europe

Reuters: Pew Research Center’s scientific analysis reports that perceptions of NATO in countries such as the U.S., Germany and France deteriorated sharply in late 2019 after U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuelle Macron questioned the value of the Western alliance.

Positive perceptions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which relies on the commitment of its allies to collective defense, fell to 52 percent in the United States from 64 percent in 2018, according to a study published on Monday.

In France, where Macron said the alliance experienced “brain death” last year due to a perceived failure to help resolve global conflicts, support fell to 49%, from 60% in 2017 to 71% in 2009.

While Makron’s comments stunned other NATO leaders on the eve of the December summit in Britain, Trump has been chasing allies since he took office in 2017 due to alleged insufficient defense spending. Trump threatened to withdraw America from the alliance in 2018 and last year called low spending allies “past due”.

The Pew study notes that attitudes towards the alliance have “deteriorated”, including in Germany, where NATO support fell to 57% in 2019 from 63% in 2018.

Macron defended his remarks as a useful alarm signal for allies who, he said, were too focused on defense spending and other domestic issues, rather than on relations with Russia, a NATO member in Turkey in Syria and the Middle East.

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