Brussels summit could signal NATO’s decline, chinadaily.com.cn

This is exceedingly unusual in NATO’s 69-year history. Almost immediately before the NATO summit in Brussels, US President Donald Trump criticized Germany for being “captive” to Russia and called the other NATO member states “delinquent”. Hours before his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump described the European Union as one of his greatest “foes”. Earlier, he had said, “frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all” to talk with.

Such remarks, appalling for US allies, could be deliberately made as tactics to force the NATO allies to increase their defense spending. None of Trump’s predecessors could push the US’ NATO allies to spend more on defense to share the collective defense burden. But a merciless Trump seems to have done that. He said NATO members have added $41 billion extra for defense spending; NATO will be taking in an additional $33 billion or more and at least 17 NATO member states have pledged to reach the target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024. […]

The US’ security focus today is China, which the latest US National Security Strategy report described as primary strategic competitor. Even if Trump has seemingly adopted “anything but an Obama” policy, his administration has followed the Barack Obama administration’s “rebalancing” toward the Asia-Pacific strategy, but sells it as an “Indo-Pacific” policy. Whatever that might be, 60 percent of all US Navy ships, 55 percent of the US Army and about two-thirds of its Marine forces are already assigned to the US Indo-Pacific Command, and soon, 60 percent of American overseas tactical aviation assets will also be assigned to this theater. Läs artikel