Drawing extensive condemnation, former President Donald Trump suggested at a recent rally in South Carolina that he’d encourage Russia to advance militarily on members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) if they fell short of ostensible financial obligations, the nature of which the ex-president misrepresents.
NATO operates on a premise of mutual defense, an agreement that’s activated in the event a member country is attacked. The organization’s tenets create a strategic covering of deterrence, arguably threatened — per many concerned observers — by Trump’s remarks. Even the Secretary-General of the alliance condemned the idea, saying the notions propagated by Trump threatened troops from the U.S. and Europe. Hostile forces could try and take advantage of division within the post-World War II security organization, as the widespread concern goes.
“The promise of NATO – that an attack on one is an attack on all – keeps American families safe. It’s that simple. Any individual who calls into question the durability of that vow is a danger to our security,” a statement posted on the official X (Twitter) account for President Joe Biden said on Monday afternoon.
Other remarks attributed to the president took a similar tone, and generally, Biden has been insistent about sticking by the commitments associated with the United States’ participation in that alliance. The organization stands against potential threats like Russian military forces, and accordingly, NATO has expanded — adding Finland — amid the Putin-led country’s ongoing war against Ukraine.
Trump’s corner of the GOP also incessantly opposes the security assistance that the U.S. has provided Ukraine amid that conflict, which has most prominently been in the form of weapons deliveries. GOP Senators recently voted down a legislative proposal that would have set up additional aid for the Eastern European country alongside updates to border policy, though there’s the continuing option of legislators coming through with something else. The Republican move, though, drew even international condemnation from the Polish prime minister, whose country has also given Ukraine security assistance. (This hasn’t included foreign militaries directly joining Ukraine defense.)