How Donald Trump came to love NATO – Donald Trump Sucks

How Donald Trump came to love NATO – Donald Trump Sucks

Story highlights

  • Trump called the alliance “obsolete” multiple times during the campaign
  • NATO chief favors increased defense spending from allies

“I said it’s obsolete,” Trump said, referencing a favorite refrain. “Now it’s no longer obsolete.” He was speaking to reporters at the White House alongside NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, after giving him a warm welcome and praising the organization as “the bulwark of international peace and security.”

Trump’s newfound enthusiasm for NATO brings him into alignment with a long-standing bipartisan consensus in Washington, exemplified by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement earlier Wednesday that he would lead a delegation of both Republicans and Democrats to visit key NATO members.

Trump’s stunning u-turns on NATO, China, Russia and Syria

But Trump’s about-face has more to do with those closest to him and the way Stoltenberg has focused on shared priorities with the new President, as well as the deterioration of another key relationship: that of the US and Russia. Here are four factors that have driven Trump’s dramatic 180 on NATO — for now.

Personnel

Trump has appointed several pro-NATO figures to senior positions and appears willing to heed their advice. Secretary of Defense James Mattis once held one of the senior-most military commands in the alliance and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the US commitment to the collective defense of fellow alliance members “inviolable” during his confirmation hearings.

Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, Trump’s new national security adviser, is similarly thought to embrace the alliance. 

And it’s fitting that Trump made his comments…

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