Trump questions Nato's mutual defence clause

The Republican presidential candidate Trump would only assist the Baltic states in the event of a Russian attack if they fulfil their obligations vis-à-vis Nato. This statement made in an interview throws six decades of US alliance policies out the window, according to a few commentators. For others, Trump is merely repeating the usual US criticism of European military reticence.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Trump dismantling Nato for Putin

With his statement Trump has called Nato's very raison d'être into question, the Süddeutsche Zeitung rails:

“He has turned the mutual assistance commitment into a political quid-pro-quo transaction. What 'obligations' vis-à-vis the US must a small state like Latvia fulfil for Trump to consider it worthy of being defended against a Russian attack, for instance? With a single sentence Trump has thrown six decades of US Nato policy out the window. The mutual assistance obligation is the very core of Nato yet Trump has rejected it as if it were an unprofitable bit of real estate. With this gesture he has basically invited Russia to expand its aggression radius to the Nato states. This is both stupid and dangerous. ... Before long Vladimir Putin's American counterpart may just achieve what Putin himself has never pulled off - and dismantle Nato.”

Sydsvenskan (SE) /

The end of the Pax Americana?

As US president, Trump would create a dangerous power vacuum in the world, Sydsvenskan writes in dismay over the Republican candidate's statement:

“This statement is catastrophic. With one sentence Trump has undermined the world order that has been in place since World War II. He has a strongly isolationist approach. ... If the US, the key defender of Western European society, turns in on itself with Donald Trump in the White House, the situation would be very grave indeed. Authoritarian powers like Russia, Iran and China are already taking up more and more space. Considering its dominant position as a global power, a US retreat would leave a dangerous vacuum. It would be the end of the Pax Americana.”

Delfi (LT) /

Candidate not saying anything new

The reactions to Trump's interview are hysterical, scoffs web portal Delfi:

“Some have not analysed Trump's words properly. Why listen to a narcissistic populist whose wife plagiarises other people's speeches? Trump is the embodiment of the worst American stereotypes. His statement is just further proof that Trump is dangerous for Lithuania and that anyone who listens to him is a clown. ... But did Trump say anything new? Basically it was the same stuff that a whole bunch of Washington politicians and officials have said before. Why should Americans spend good money on defending the Europeans, who don't look after themselves and have nothing but lame excuses? Trump has just remixed the song that has been playing in America for years. He's just made it undiplomatic, impolite, coarse.”

Tvnet (LV) /

Empty words in the election campaign

Empty election rhetoric, is how political scientist Kārlis Daukšts describes Trump's speech on web portal TV Net:

“Trump is just a presidential candidate. He can afford to say what he likes to motivate his voters. If Trump ends up being involved in realpolitik, however, his rhetoric will certainly change. At the moment it's all empty phrases, aimed at Hillary Clinton. It's just a game and we must understand that the speculation is counterproductive. ... The only winner now is the Russian media, which feels vindicated in its belief that Nato and other nations are weak and in a state of chaos.”