US President Donald Trump has threatened to leaver NATO and conduct American security unilaterally — if allies do not immediately meet higher military spending targets.
President Trump, speaking at a press conference after the NATO summit, said he would have been “very unhappy” if other NATO member didn’t increase their defense spending.
“I told people that I would be very unhappy if they didn’t up their commitments very substantially. Because The United States has been paying a tremendous amount —probably 90% of the cost of NATO.”
Trump said allies have agreed to increase their spending.
Immediately following these remarkable comments, a US official sought to calm worries and advised that President Trump isn’t expected to pull out of NATO — but he will again scold countries for not paying their fair share and levy more threats.
It’s understood that Trump also accused NATO ally Germany of being “a captive of Russia,” calling members of the alliance “delinquent” in their defence spending and insisting they increase it “immediately.”
Is NATO the only option for the UK?
In an debating NATO, Charlotte Austin, OULC Secretary for HT18, argues the organisation has ceased to meet our defence needs and is acting in a way that threatens the peace it was built to preserve.
“Austin argues that the risks that Britain incurs by its membership of NATO become even more sinister when we look at nuclear weapons. Firstly, Britain’s nuclear weapons have been at the command of NATO since the 1960’s. This undermines the argument that these weapons are a deterrent as Britain’s missiles could be used to wage war by an alliance that contains deeply troubling politicians – think of Trump’s sabre-rattling in Asia. Moreover, NATO’s missile sharing agreement has violated the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, another blow to the hope of a non-nuclear world.
The deployment of nuclear missiles in Germany and Belgium has happened against the wishes of their respective governments. Britain should play no part in an alliance that uses nuclear weapons in this way.”
“This weds us to the brinkmanship of Trump’s America, and to President Erdogan’s regime in Turkey, one which represses Kurdish minorities, regards the YPG and PKK as terrorist organisations, and is behaving ever more aggressively towards Russia. What is the point of a defence agreement if it could drag us into war on the side of a racist semi-dictatorship?”
It’s important to consider both sides of this discussion, both options are valid and are largely based on personal ideology.