During the presidential campaign, Donald
Trump called NATO obsolete. In May, he imposed a tariff on European steel and
aluminum, ostensibly on national security grounds. At the same time, his
administration, like all the previous ones since the end of the Second World
War, remains committed to the defense of Europe. US military deployments in
Eastern Europe have increased in size since Trump’s inauguration, and perhaps
surprisingly, US sanctions against Russia have been stronger than those adopted by
the European Union. As the president is headed to the NATO summit in Brussels on
the 11th and 12th of July, the question is how those two faces of his
administration can be reconciled. There are real and legitimate issues at stake.
A free prosperous and secure Europe is very much in America’s interest, but
the United States cannot care about European security more than Europeans do.
For a long time, US presidents have tried to persuade the Europeans to invest more
into their defense… without success. Maybe Donald Trump’s bluster and abrasive manners
will bring results where diplomacy has failed… but don’t hold your breath. What do you think about the role America has been playing in NATO? Let us know in
your comments. Also, let us know what other topics you’d like our scholars to
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