Trump’s trip to Europe: “America First” is “America Alone”?


US President Donald Trump arrived in Brussels for NATO summit with a message that it is time for America to stops paying Europe’s bills. Even though his complaint is not new to the European leaders, it is becoming quite disturbing.

Before flying to Europe to attend NATO summit, which will start on Wednesday, he tweeted:

“Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting – NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!”

And later,

“NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!”

Trump’s irritation with the alliance and inability of many NATO’s members to set their military budgets to the 2 percent of the gross domestic product will shadow the summit completely.

Europeans are concerned about Trump connecting the two issues, a position where he is misunderstanding how the alliances work. Stefano Stefanini, a former Italian ambassador to NATO, noted that “if it is really a threat linking security to trade, that can destroy the basis of NATO.”

The Washington Post’s editorial board wrote that “it is not only the fear that Trump will spoil the “unity” of the summit, before flying to a rather friendlier meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that he is prone on wrecking a multilateral organisations he considers outdated.”

We could already see POTUS refusing to cooperate with the U.S. allies on issues including climate change, trade, and the Iran deal. Among those are French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum, are most likely to cause a trade war.

Before going to Helsinki, for his first formal meeting with Putin, Trump will travel to Britain for a meeting with Theresa May, the British Prime Minister.

Even though Trump’s administration insists that “America First” doesn’t mean “America Alone,” progressively it is.

Thinking that NATO summit will only be POTUS’ stop before his meeting with Putin, which he considers “the easiest of them all,” Rachel Rizzo of the Center for New American Security in Washington wrote:

“Because the meeting occurs after the NATO summit, any achievements in Brussels could be easily wiped out by promises Trump makes to Putin on a whim. Given Trump’s negotiating style, allies are rightly concerned that he may tell Putin that he will remove some U.S. troops from Eastern Europe, or halt U.S. participation in NATO exercises as a sign of good will. This would send European allies into a frenzy.”

A senior NATO diplomat told Birnbaum that there is a fear Trump could recognize Russian’s annexation of Crimea and the issue would make valid some other action, which is a scary thing if you think about it.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, said that allies started to increase national defense spending, and Europe is doing more for its own security. It is not a secret that there are differences between European countries about trade, climate change, and Iran nuclear deal, but they are still united and like that, stronger.

Some analysts believe that Europe’s effort to strengthen its defenses will never satisfy Trump and that he will always ask for more. He doesn’t even think America should defend Europe so why paying them at all?

Donald Tusk, European Council President, in his speech on Tuesday, addressed to Trump saying “America does not and will not have a better ally than Europe,” noting that EU is spending more on defense than Russia or China and that POTUS should think better who is a strategic friend and who is a strategic problem.


As one of the founders of Knjaz Milos tries to bring all the latest news regarding politics. He loves history and is passionate about writing.
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