President Trump on Thursday punctured any illusions that he was on a fence-mending tour of Europe, declining to explicitly endorse NATO’s mutual defense pledge and lashing out at fellow members for what he called their “chronic underpayments” to the alliance…
“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense,” Mr. Trump declared, as the leaders shifted uncomfortably behind him, shooting one another sidelong glances.
“This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” he added. “And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years.”..
Standing before a large piece of twisted wreckage from the World Trade Center that will serve as a memorial at the headquarters, Mr. Trump promised to “never forsake the friends that stood by our side” in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks — a pledge that White House officials later said was an affirmation of mutual defense.
But to European leaders, Mr. Trump’s words fell far short of an explicit affirmation of NATO’s Article 5 clause, the “one-for-all, all-for-one” principle that has been the foundation of the alliance since its establishment 68 years ago, after World War II. Läs artikel