How and to whom Donald trump has filed a hand, who pushed, who spoke with him for three seconds, and as he sat at dinner — all the details of the meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels was as important as the main message of the trump of the allies: “Allocate more funds for defense, you owe the Alliance, and I will not take the responsibility of collective defence for thank you.”
European leaders, in whose ranks in critical moments such as the opening of the memorial on September 11 in the new headquarters of NATO — there was no Czech President Milos Zeman, after the meeting, tried to refute the conclusion that the American commitment to the defence of Europe was shaken. For example, at the international security conference Globsec in Bratislava, which began immediately after dinner in Brussels, the presidents of Poland and Slovakia Andrew Pussy and Andrzej Duda repeated several times that trump did not read the desire to limit the American commitment. In the same spirit spoke and the members of the delegations of these and other States. Many came to Bratislava directly from Brussels.
The question is how these statements were an attempt to hide the initial findings after public statements by trump and his, to put it mildly, unfortunate behavior. The two main conclusions of the summit can not be questioned or underestimated. First, from now on, NATO is closely involved in the fight against “Islamic state” (banned in Russia — approx. ed.), although this does not mean, that the flag of the Alliance in Syria or Iraq will begin to fight the soldiers. Second, the European members of the Alliance find themselves under increasing pressure, will now have to significantly increase defense budgets.
The first is essentially a simple affair, because, in the words of former representative of Slovakia to NATO tomáš Valasek, there is irony in the fact that now America wants to bring the Alliance to combat terrorism, although repeatedly expelled NATO from this struggle and even created an international anti-Islamic coalition.
The second aspect is more complicated. Until now, the Europeans hid low military spending for “smart solutions” and “distribution”, but, as the example above all the Central European members of the Alliance, effective immediately. Two percent of GDP devoted to defense, this year will reach Romania, and Lithuania. Poland and Estonia have coped with this task.
Rather, Europeans will think, how it makes most sense to spend money policy even in the period of economic recovery in the EU will allocate reluctantly.
European politicians want to make statements, but in the new headquarters of NATO, and indeed throughout Europe, after trump left a certain “odor”. If at the beginning the predecessor to trump Barack Obama not too interested in Europe and engaged in “reset” in relations with Russia and the Asian region, then he did what Europeans expect from American ally. Obama also stressed the need to allocate more for defence, but only after the Ukrainian crisis in Western Europe understood — though still not all — that security is needed.
The position of Donald trump in the eyes of European allies, undermines not only his, shall we say, brusque style of communication, but the investigation related to the Russian trace in the election campaign. In the period when NATO almost refuses international operations (Afghanistan) and return to its original role, in which the main threat to member countries is Russia, a strange relationship trump and his entourage with people Putin cast doubt in the American attitude towards the Alliance. And even more than that, at the meeting of the leaders trump has not committed the Fifth article and the common defense.
So extremely reliable ally has become a country whose devotion to the Union relations were questioned, and the leader of this country does not understand this fact and not even trying to somehow hide or correct.
While Donald trump is right that the views of the Alliance on the role of the United States and other allies have become obsolete and that the Europeans should be more active not only in defense spending, but also in shaping policy, which aims to respond to old and new threats looming over the old continent. After all, the Russian threat is not only armored divisions and missiles of different range, but above all attempts to hybrid means to undermine the unity of the allies and Western societies as such. In this Russian propaganda helps Islamic state. However, this great danger and how to resist it, at a meeting of leaders of NATO spoke little.
The summit showed that the Alliance is going through a difficult period, but not because of a lack of funds for defense, but primarily due to lack of political will to seriously engage in joint defense, to identify its priorities and to take gradual steps.