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25 May 2017

Trump in Europe- Will NATO, US match expectations?

US President Donald Trump is currently visiting Brussels, the fourth stop in his first foreign trip, meeting with top officials from NATO and the European Union.

Although the visit has been termed informal, NATO members and the US are expected to chart a course for friendly relations under Trump's Presidency.

Let us find out more on US-NATO ties!

In context

Is there a future for US-NATO ties?
Why is this important?


Why is this important?

Trump has been critical of a number of orthodox US foreign policy traditions including alliance systems with NATO and Japan, citing US's unwillingness to shoulder their allies' responsibilities.

Trump later reversed his stance. Also, recent circumstances including increased threat from terrorism has forced US to repair its ties with its NATO allies.

Trump-NATO meeting is expected to pave a path towards harmonious relations.


What does America expect from NATO?

Trump insists US shouldn't alone bear the expenses of bolstering NATO defences and expects members to allocate 2% of their GDP on defence.

US further expects NATO to take part in the fight against ISIS and envisages deployment of its tanker aircraft and advanced warning and control systems in air campaigns.

It hopes for NATO assistance in rebuilding defence capabilities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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What does NATO expect from the US?

NATO leaders expect to get in good terms with President Trump.

NATO expects US assistance to bolster defences against a resurgent Russia and against growing cyber and terrorist attacks.

They further expect the US to continue shouldering its security responsibilities, in the background of its requirement for increasing deployments in its northern and Mediterranean fronts, against Russia and the Middle-East respectively.


Where are US-NATO ties headed?

While the US continues to have strong reservations against shouldering NATO's financial burdens, it cannot afford to let go of NATO's military punch and diplomatic weight.

NATO is unequipped to deal with a growing spectrum of challenges and hopes for US assistance to cope with these.

The relationship is likely to continue strong on quid pro quo arrangements accruing mutual benefits.

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