The head of Nato has urged members to respond to China’s rise at a summit designed to shore up US support for the Western alliance. The summit is expected to issue a statement describing China’s behavior as a “systemic challenge” after the meeting in Belgium. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the meeting was a “pivotal moment” for the alliance. It is US President Joe Biden’s first Nato meeting since taking office.
The French president has warned that NATO is experiencing “brain death”. Emmanuel Macron said the alliance, which was founded in 1949, is suffering from a lack of coordination and US unpredictability under President Donald Trump. When asked if he still believed in the Article Five collective defense guarantee of NATO’s treaty, which says an attack on one ally is an attack on all, he replied: “I don’t know.”
Nato disunity was on full display on the opening day of the alliance’s summit in London as the French president, Emmanuel Macron, accused Turkey of colluding with Islamic State proxies while Donald Trump described Macron’s criticisms of Nato’s “brain death” as insulting. Late on Tuesday, footage emerged from a Buckingham Palace reception of leaders including Macron, Boris Johnson, and Justin Trudeau appearing to mock Trump’s lengthy media appearances.
Crying foul over timing, President Donald Trump on Monday accused Democrats of scheduling this week’s impeachment hearing to undercut him during his trip abroad for a NATO leaders’ meeting playing out at a crucial moment for the 70-year-old military alliance. Trump, who arrived in London late Monday for two days of meetings, called the trip “one of the most important journeys that we make as president.”
NATO launched its largest military exercises since the Cold War era in response to Russia’s expanding presence in the Arctic and Baltic Sea. The Trident Juncture war games began on Thursday in places from Iceland to Finland. The games will include approximately 50,000 soldiers, 10,00 tanks, 250 aircraft, 65 ships, and more.
Amid concerns about continued US support for NATO, President Trump criticized NATO allies on Wednesday, targeting Germany for its dependence on Russian energy and demanding nations double their military spending commitments. Trump commented that Germany is ‘totally controlled by Russia.’ Trump focused mainly on allied defense spending at the NATO summit.
President Trump arrived in Brussels for a NATO summit on Wednesday ahead of a scheduled one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland. Trump criticized the EU and NATO allies before visiting. NATO allies are concerned Trump may threaten the alliance’s effort to show unity in the face of global threats.
After rattling US allies at last week’s NATO summit, President Trump commented that sending troops to defend an ‘aggressive’ Montenegro could result in World War III. Trump’s comment questioned the NATO article that says if one NATO country is attacked then all others will join in defense. Montenegro is the most recent addition to NATO.
A furious Donald Trump cut short his attendance at the Nato summit in London after a group of leaders, including Boris Johnson, was caught on video ridiculing the US president at Buckingham Palace for staging lengthy press conferences. Footage emerged late on Tuesday that appears to show world leaders joking about Trump at the summit, which has been marked by sharp disagreements over spending and future threats.
President Trump expressed his contempt for the fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members during his speech on Thursday at the NATO headquarters in Brussels for the alliance members failing to meet their agreed defense spending, two percent of GDP. He also refrained from endorsing Article 5 of the NATO’s founding treaty: an attack on any member is an attack on all. During the summit alliance formally stated that it would join the fight against the islamic state.