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NATO Braces for Trump Visit, But Fears May Be Overplayed

10 July 2018

Trump's seven-day journey begins in Brussels and will take him to England for his first visit there as president, to Scotland for a weekend respite at his private golf course and finally to Helsinki for his tête-à-tête with Putin.

Trump's approach contrasts that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who was mostly soft-spoken with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, but, right after getting elected, scrapped plans for expanding the US military presence in Europe, including the building of a radar base in the Czech Republic.

Then, when asked about whether or not the Prime Minister should remain in power, Trump said: "Well, that's up to the people". Some rules are a requirement mandated by the facts of global economics and the irreducible needs of individual countries and societies, including the United States.

"NATO has not treated us fairly but I think we'll work something out", Trump said. "I think we'll see more and more countries developing relationships that they think will benefit them in an era when they can't count on the United States the way they used to", said Goldgeier.

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He vowed not to be "taken advantage" of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while blocking USA imports into the bloc, the world's biggest market. "Wow!" And in multiple tweets, he reiterated a familiar theme, complaining that the U.S. is shouldering an unfair share of defense costs overseas: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS", he tweeted.

Trump has requested closed-door meetings to take place without aides or the media involved.

He said he got on well with Mrs May and had "always liked" Boris Johnson, who quit as foreign secretary on Monday.

"If we all speak with the same voice and say you can come into the community of nations, you can be a major player for good - but not when you're violating your commitments, violating treaties, going into a sovereign nation and trying to kill a citizen as happened in United Kingdom.,' she said, referencing the Novichok attack in Britain".

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In addition to stating that his meeting with Putin could be his "easiest" during his European trip, Trump also wouldn't say whether he considered the Russian leader a friend or foe. "Very supportive", Trump said. The US is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. "I've said that many times, for many years", he noted. Trump still is angry the allies don't beef up their individual military budgets.

Many U.S. presidents have urged European governments to spend more on their militaries. "We've had violent falling outs over Libya, Iraq in 2003, but it's qualitatively different as in that the biggest of the allies doesn't just have disagreements with us, but actually seems willing to walk away", Valasek said. On Putin's wish list: an end to USA military exercises in Europe and the scaling back of US forces there.

Labour MP Madeleine Moon, a champion of the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, said Mr Trump's comments were "a wake up call and a look into the future we face if Brexit goes ahead".

'When NATO has a Russian Federation council with the Ambassador from Russian Federation, we talk about the concerns that we have about Ukraine, the concerns that we have about Crimea, ' she said.

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NATO Braces for Trump Visit, But Fears May Be Overplayed