In two years as president, President Donald Trump hasn’t hesitated to speak out when he thinks he’s getting a bad deal. NATO has been a frequent target of those attacks, which often revolve around Trump’s belief that alliance members’ lack of defence spending comes at US expense. It’s not new for a US president to push NATO members to spend more on defence, but the harshness and frequency of Trump’s attacks are without precedent for a US president. These attacks were, in part, what led Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to resign in protest, saying that the president was undermining alliances that were crucial to US power. “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held,” Mattis wrote in the stinging rebuke delivered Thursday. Here how Trump took aim at the US’s transatlantic partners in 2018. “All this bluster and blasting.” US-NATO ties got off to a rocky start in 2018, when reports emerged in the first days of the year of Trump’s contentious dealings with alliance partners at a summit in May 2017. Trump had given a speech that was criticised widely for appearing to undercut the Article… Read full this story
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