Sharp criticism of Trump’s statements about the NATO assistance pact

Former US President Donald Trump’s statements about not defending defaulting NATO allies in the event of re-election have sparked worried reactions. “Any suggestion that allies will not defend themselves undermines our overall security, including that of the United States, and puts U.S. and European soldiers at increased risk,” Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Sunday. The White House called Trump’s comments “appalling and crazy.”

“NATO remains ready and able to defend all allies,” emphasized Stoltenberg. “Any attack on NATO will bring a united and forceful response.” He expects that regardless of who wins the presidential election, the United States will “remain a strong and committed NATO ally.”

EU Council President Charles Michel criticized Trump’s “reckless” statements as playing into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They “re-emphasized the need for the EU to urgently develop its strategic autonomy and invest in its defense,” he said on the online service X (formerly Twitter).

The White House also reacted angrily to Trump’s denial of Article 5, the NATO assistance clause. “Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and crazy,” said spokesman Andrew Bates. Instead of calling for wars and promoting “deranged chaos,” US President Joe Biden will “continue to strengthen American leadership.”

Trump, currently the most promising candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, reported on Saturday at a rally in the US state of South Carolina about an unspecified meeting with the president of a NATO state. “One of the presidents of a major country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we get attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’

“I said, ‘You haven’t paid, you’re delinquent?'” Trump reported. In that case he will not protect the country. Trump said he would even encourage Russia to do “whatever they want.” The ex-president had repeatedly emphasized in the past how unfair it was that the USA had to stand up for the defense of the 30 other member states. Above all, he criticized the fact that the Europeans were not spending enough money on armaments.

Trump’s Republicans have been blocking the release of additional billions in aid for Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia, for months. On Wednesday, a legislative package that included support for Israel and billions for US border security as well as around 60 billion euros (56 billion euros) in new aid for Kiev failed in the Senate.

During his appearance in South Carolina, Trump also announced massive deportations if he were re-elected. “From day one, I will end the Biden administration’s entire open borders policy and we will launch the largest national deportation operation in the history of the United States,” the 77-year-old Republican said.

The so-called National Security Amendment included a total of $20.2 billion for border security. In addition, the compromise negotiated by Democrats and Republicans included numerous changes to immigration policy.

Linking foreign aid to the issue of US border security was originally a concession from Biden’s Democrats to the Republicans. The reason for the Republicans’ current resistance is the rejection by Trump, who wants to use border policy as a campaign issue again on his way to a second term in office.

The US Senate is now considering a package that completely decouples foreign aid from border policy. The $95 billion package, which largely includes aid for Ukraine but also funds for Israel and Taiwan, is expected to be discussed next week.