How dangerous is Trump's stance vis-à-vis Nato?
Donald Trump has become the first US president not to reaffirm his country's commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which deals with mutual defence. Instead he accused the Nato partners of lacking financial commitment to Nato. According to commentators Trump's confrontation strategy will favour Russia in particular.
Trump fails to grasp Nato's role
Trump is endangering the cohesion of the North Atlantic defence alliance with his criticism that the Europeans aren't contributing enough to finance Nato, writes Akşam:
“One may perhaps find it important that Trump constantly stresses that none of the Nato members is paying the full contribution they are obliged to pay. But he simply hasn't understood that Nato has prevented a global war for 70 years and that this success can't be just be called into question like that. … Ultimately the only result of the Nato meeting is the agreement between Trump and [the president of the European Council] Donald Tusk that they represent the same stance on Ukraine. The participants of the summit came to the conclusion that Trump is not a reliable person and that US leadership within Nato is in doubt. And Putin will be happy about this course.”
US's course playing into Russia's hands
US President Donald Trump served the interests of Russia rather than the US's allies during his visit to Europe, Ziare observes:
“As president of the United States and commander of the world's largest armed forces Trump avoided clearly reaffirming Article 5 [of the North Atlantic Treaty], thus paving the way for Russia to up its pressure on the Baltic States. … It's as if everything the US president does in foreign policy has been coordinated with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin beforehand. His actions and statements are all aimed at weakening the EU and Nato. During his diplomatic tour he praised the Brexit, put the Nato members under pressure, attacked Germany and played the strongman against France's new president Emmanuel Macron.”
Risk of war in Europe growing
The fact that Trump did not reaffirm US commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty increases the risk of a war, according to Gazeta Wyborcza:
“Trump's silence on Article 5 means that the US is no longer giving the Nato states unconditional security guarantees. … For a Russia that is determined to win back lost territories and zones of influence, this could mean the green light for aggression. Putin's Russia isn't that determined. But it may find it difficult to not to take advantage at all of the opportunity Trump has offered. Moscow must now test what the US's new stance means in practice. It certainly means a greater threat for Central and Eastern Europe. … For the Baltic States it even poses an existential threat. The danger of a new war in Europe has become more real.”