President Donald Trump has called into question the NATO alliance, or particularly Europe and Germany’s financial support for NATO. Are we at the end of the NATO alliance?
The question about NATO is very, very important, but it isn’t new. If you look at what (former U.S. Secretary of State) Robert Gates said in his farewell address in June 2011 or at what President Obama’s been saying, they’re calling on the Europeans to do more. What is different is that the president, Mr. Trump, has now taken it to a higher level. He’s made a threat to not follow through with Article 5 (the principle of collective defense) because the Europeans aren’t paying enough. Now that’s more of a threat than it is a withdrawal from NATO. If you listen to his new secretary of defense, there is a strong commitment for NATO. But it is a message to the Europeans that they need to do more for themselves. Now what that means of course, is spending more, living up to the 2% commitment of GDP for financing NATO. But what that really means is the basis for the discussion, the negotiation, has changed.
Video: Ex-U.S. German diplomat James Bindenagel sees an end of the post-war era in Europe under Donald Trump.