Trump questions Nato’s mutual defence clause

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Series Details July 2016
Publication Date July 2016
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The Debates feature from Euro|Topics offers English (+ French and German) translations of a selections of articles in European news sources on this topic.The Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would only assist the Baltic states in the event of a Russian attack if they fulfilled their obligations vis-à-vis Nato. This statement made in an interview with The New York Times on the 20 July 2016 threw six decades of US alliance policies out the window, according to some commentators in European newspapers. For others, Trump was merely repeating the usual US criticism of European military reticence.

In response, Boris Johnson, the new UK Foreign Secretary said that it was fundamentally, the Nato treaty, the doctrine of mutual defence, that had guaranteed the peace in Europe for decades, and would do for decades to come.

Some commentators (see the Carnegie Europe feature below) suggested that the imbalance between US contributions to European security and that of European countries themselves was indeed unsustainable and that Europeans did need to take on more responsibility.

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The New York Times, 20.07.16: Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack
The Guardian, 22.07.16: Boris Johnson takes issue with Trump over Nato stance
NATO: Topics: Collective defence - Article 5
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 27.07.16: Judy Asks: Will Trumpism Kill European Security?
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 04.08.16: In Defence of the Baltics
Politico, 12.08.16: Why Donald Trump is dangerous for Eastern Europe

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