While Trump was all smiles among the Saudis, he struck a grim tone with NATO. Trump further worried allies by not expressing America’s commitment to the alliance, the first US president in its history not to do so, writes Julian Borger of the Guardian. At an event that remembered the loss of 9/11, after which the whole alliance came to America’s aid, Trump decided to lecture members on their funding. Barely mentioning Russia’s recent offenses also didn’t quell rumors of being bedfellows with Putin. Borger underlines the contrast between this brusque reunion with historic allies and Trump’s affectionate meeting in Saudi Arabia.
The emperor has no clothes, and Trump pointed this out. NATO relies on funding from each of its member states, and 23 out of 28 don’t meet their spending goal, reports Tyler Rogoway of The Drive. The alliance’s unity is being jeopardized by too many countries avoiding their monetary responsibilities. It's inappropriate for the US to be carrying most of the load. Rogoway argues that this may have been tolerable in past, more peaceful times, but that's no longer the case. Recently growing geopolitical matters like Russia and terrorism need to be faced head-on. NATO’s members are allowing these issues to worsen by not pulling their weight.