NATO Allies Prepare to Push Back at Trump (however Not Too Much)

Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, mentioned that the Europeans ought to reply by telling Mr. Trump that “NATO is a success story, with increased military spending across the board and two new commands.”

But one other worry, he and others mentioned, is that Mr. Trump will search to cut price — “to conflate trade and security,” as he has already accomplished with South Korea and Japan. Europeans can’t settle for making collective safety transactional or depending on actions on tariffs or particular spending targets in a relationship that’s mutually useful, Mr. Niblett mentioned.

“It can feel like a protection racket, trading security for economic return,” he mentioned, particularly as “he then goes off to see Putin.”

That assembly worries NATO allies, as a result of Mr. Putin is anticipated to flatter Mr. Trump and play on the American president’s notion of himself as an amazing negotiator in face-to-face conferences. They cite the Singapore summit with Mr. Kim, when Mr. Trump emerged to announce the cancellation of longstanding navy workouts with South Korea — with out consulting or informing both the South Korean authorities or the Pentagon.

They fear that Mr. Trump would possibly unilaterally cancel planned NATO exercises, specifically Trident Juncture, a big one deliberate for late October, and Anakonda, for November, to apply the protection of Poland.

They fear he’ll even announce the withdrawal of some American troops from Germany, although Congress would have one thing to say about that. They worry he’ll abandon sanctions on Russia over Crimea and jap Ukraine. And bizarrely sufficient, they specific hope that Mr. Trump’s hard-line nationwide safety adviser, John R. Bolton, will restrain him from rash acts.

“Putin wants to deepen the schism between NATO, Europe and America,” Mr. Niblett mentioned. Mr. Trump’s world is certainly one of pursuits, no allies, with Europe a competitor and “NATO worse than Nafta,” as Mr. Trump has averred, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement. That world matches Mr. Putin’s goals.

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