Professor of Defense University of Japan, Masamori SASE: the theory that NATO is outdated, incorrect

4 April 1949 the US, Canada and ten European countries signed in Washington the North Atlantic Treaty. It is also called Washington Treaty. Then, the United States was a superpower, which could count on the Western countries in light of the worsening cold war.


That brings the number of NATO members grew up. Currently, the unit is the largest and most powerful military Alliance in the world, which includes 28 countries, including former Warsaw Pact countries and the Baltic States.


“Widespread distrust of the administration trump”


But when there was a trump administration, and other members of the Alliance were confused.


President trump said that he respects President Putin. However, he also criticizes NATO.


The precedent was set during the visit of Prime Minister Theresa may in the United States. On January 27, the head of the United States and great Britain held at the White house joint press conference. Their words spread all over the world. During such press conferences, the leaders usually start with colorful phrases, and only then gently answer the questions of the journalists.


Members of the press showered the heads of both countries with questions about NATO. They were especially interested in changed the position of the President of trump in relation to the Alliance.


However, trump has gone from these issues. The Prime Minister, may said that the American President 100% support NATO, but it was obvious that the new U.S. President does not want to go deeply into the problems of the Alliance. It seems that President trump professing Pro-Putin views, didn’t want to make awkward promises against the background of other countries in the block and sensing a threat from Russia.

In headquarters of NATO in Brussels, the NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg (Jens Stoltenberg) has published a standard greeting to the new President of the United States. It’s perfectly natural. The headquarters of NATO, including the meeting of ambassadors, it is one of the kinds of bureaucratic organizations. They will not be discussing the new leader, who heads the unit.


“The United States rejected Europe?”


Meanwhile, in mid-January, before the inauguration, Donald trump gave an interview to British The Times and German Bild. Both newspaper President, trump said that NATO does not correspond to the time. However, he did not give any arguments. In addition, he noted that NATO countries do not fulfill the condition, which is that defense spending should reach 2% of GDP. This is the right word.


Among the 28 countries in the bloc, only five countries met this condition: the U.S., Greece, UK, Estonia and Poland. Defence spending economic superpower Germany make up only 1.2%.


Therefore, the President trump was supposed to criticize Germany, but he did not do so even during the telephone talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, which took place on 28 January after his inauguration.


According to the German authorities, the heads of the US and Germany came to an agreement about the importance of NATO for both Western continents. Strange, but Washington has not criticized the meager defense budget of Germany. I wonder why?


Relations with France also can not be called simple. On 16 January the President of France Francois Hollande reacted harshly to trump statements that NATO is a relic of the past.


This means that Europe does not need to comment on NATO from the outside. If so, then the Alliance can be split into two parts. Somehow, trump did not respond to it. In addition to the relationship with France he is cool.


“It is important to unite against Russia”


As for NATO, the President of trump focuses primarily on the European superpowers.


It does not take into account small countries of the former Eastern bloc. Even if we take the relationship between the Western super powers, after Britain decided to leave the EU, between London, Paris and Berlin lay deep crack.


The leaders of Britain and the US tried to fix it, stressing the “special relationship” between the two countries, however, this can not only lead to the split between America and Europe, but also disturb the balance between UK — Europe.


The theory of the President of trump that NATO does not correspond to the time already outdated itself. Such reasoning is a mistake.


This Union increased the number of participants at key moments in history. He also increased the stability. That is why the former Eastern bloc countries over to the side of NATO.


Conversely, NATO is unprofitable to pursue policies in favor of major powers. The fact that the Alliance consists of countries such as Iceland and Luxembourg, whose population does not exceed 600 thousand people. For these countries NATO is a kind of lifeline.


Recently, the Baltic newspaper The Baltic Times wrote: “President trump is enthusiastic about the abolition of anti-Russian sanctions.” As long as they behave peacefully. On the other hand, it is a sign of fear against Russia. Poland is also experiencing serious fear against Russia.


Therefore, it was important for NATO to unite. And USA should take active part in it.