Thursday

7th Jul 2022

Nato chief defends alliance after Trump victory

  • Nato decided to deploy a Russia-deterrent force at a summit in Warsaw in July (Photo: nato.int)

Nato states had a “solemn” commitment to defend each other and the alliance was "important" for the US, Nato head Jens Stoltenberg has said in reaction to Donald Trump’s election as US president.

“Nato’s security guarantee is a treaty commitment. All allies have made a solemn commitment to defend each other. This is something which is unconditional and absolute”, he said in Brussels on Wednesday (9 November).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Stoltenberg: "Nato’s security guarantee is a treaty commitment" (Photo: Nato)

“Nato’s security guarantees are important for Europe, but they are also important for the United States”, he said.

He recalled that the only time the alliance had invoked its Article 5 mutual defence clause was to help the US after 9/11 in 2001.

He noted that Nato soldiers from Europe and Canada continued to support US-led campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He also invoked the history of transatlantic ties, saying Nato had “brought together America's closest friends in times of peace and in times of conflict for almost 70 years”.

Trump, who swept to victory on Tuesday, said during his campaign that the US would only protect Nato allies who were prepared to pay more for their own defence.

He has also praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin, amid Nato plans to deploy a Russia-deterrent force, with a large US component, in the Baltic and Black Sea regions next year.

When asked in Wednesday’s press briefing if Trump’s win would change that plan, Stoltenberg said “we have made important decisions, we are implementing those decisions”.

He also said there was agreement in Nato that it had to challenge “hybrid threats”, a term commonly used for Russia’s mix of covert military, economic, and information warfare.

Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, said he “looked forward” to meeting Trump “soon”.

He has, in the past, also complained that Nato states were not living up to promises to increase military budgets.

Stoltenberg spoke in Brussels after meeting Bosnian president Bakir Izetbegovic.

With Bosnia aspiring to join the alliance, Stoltenberg said Nato membership meant “greater security and greater prosperity”.

“Nato is and remains committed to stability in the Western Balkans”, he said.

Feature

What would a Trump victory mean for the EU?

A Trump win would cause cold sweats in Europe's chancelleries, but his foreign policy might not be as radical or as pro-Russian as his rhetoric.

Opinion

With Trump, this might not be fine

If the Trump’s administration doesn't turn out to be perfectly benign, being ready is what will stand between Europe and a geopolitical disaster of proportions unseen since 1945.

Trump and Erdogan haunt Nato meeting

Kerry sought to allay fears that Trump will abandon Nato, saying the president-elect is already "revising" many of his campaign ideas.

Opinion

Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways

For the most part Nato and its 30 leaders rose to the occasion — but it wasn't without room for improvement. The lesson remains that Nato still doesn't know how or want to hold allies accountable for disruptive behaviour.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

News in Brief

  1. Danish ministers no longer allowed to delete text messages
  2. Report: British PM Johnson to resign today
  3. British PM defiant amid spate of resignations
  4. France says EU fiscal discipline rules 'obsolete'
  5. Russia claims untouchable status due to nuclear arsenal
  6. Catalan MEPs lose EU court case over recognition
  7. 39 arrested in migrant-smuggling dragnet
  8. France to nationalise nuclear operator amid energy crisis

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Johnson quits, leaving Brexit headaches to successor
  2. Is Orban holding out an olive branch to EPP?
  3. EU should freeze all EU funds to Hungary, says study
  4. Legal action looms after MEPs back 'green' nuclear and gas
  5. EU readies for 'complete Russian gas cut-off', von der Leyen says
  6. Rising prices expose lack of coherent EU response
  7. Keeping gas as 'green' in taxonomy vote only helps Russia
  8. 'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us