NATO fears that Donald Trump, as president of the United States, will reduce the presence of US troops in Europe, Spiegel reports.
According to the newspaper, this is one of the scenarios described in the report from the headquarters of the secretary general of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, who has “enormous” concerns about the election of the American billionaire.
“Nowhere is concern over the election of Trump as US President greater than in NATO. Now the alliance, as became known to Spiegel, is changing the date of its summit, which was scheduled for spring,” the article reads.
Stoltenberg had already prepared for Hillary Clinton to become the president, and he was going to congratulate her on the election at the spring summit, Spiegel writes. However, after Trump won the election, NATO decided to postpone the summit until summer.
In addition to the withdrawal of US troops, NATO headquarters is considering other possible scenarios. In particular, Trump may revoke consent for the rotation of US troops in Eastern Europe.
The most “favorable” scenario mentioned in the report is based on the assumption that the new US president will simply insist that European countries increase their own defense spending.
Trump was talking about precisely that in an interview with the New York Times over the summer, noting that many NATO members “do not pay the bills.” Some journalists then came to the conclusion that that could mean President Trump might refuse to help countries of the alliance in the event of a military conflict if they do not fulfill their obligations.