The former Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, believes that some of the claims of Donald Trump, a candidate for the President of the United States, that the United States will protect only those who invest 2% of GDP in defence may push the Russian government to attempt to test the resolve of NATO.
"The Alliance could not exist without U.S. support for the protection of allies that are attacked. Therefore, the statement of Mr. Trump that the United States will protect only those who invest 2% of GDP in defense, undermines the credibility of our collective defence," he said in an interview with Baltkom, adding that it may also push Moscow to try and test the resolve of NATO in protecting those allies who do not contribute 2% of GDP to the defense budget.
"We need strong U.S. support, including in ensuring security in Europe. We are in a completely new situation since the beginning of Russian aggression. We need a strengthened U.S. global leadership," he added.
According to Rasmussen, if you take all of Trump's statements at face value, "he gives reason to doubt the collective defense."
"I am concerned that if Trump is elected as President of the United States, it will weaken NATO," he said.
However, Rasmussen ruled out the possibility of a Third World War between NATO and Russia. "Russia knows that NATO is a very powerful security organization. Any attack against the allies would result in a strong response by NATO," he explained.