NATO Officially Adds A New Member In Major Defeat For The World’s Far-Right

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — often a target of ire from former President Donald Trump, now Republicans’ expected pick for president this year — has officially added another member. Newly in the alliance is Sweden, which is joining amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Amid the same war, nearby Finland — which shares an extensive border with Russia — also joined the alliance.

NATO is a mutual defense alliance, meaning an attack on one member is expected to lead to assistance with its defense from members across the international, multi-continent security organization. The Swedish prime minister was in attendance Thursday night at the “State of the Union” address given by President Joe Biden, and the president referenced this foreign counterpart in some of his opening remarks.

“Today, we’ve made NATO stronger than ever. We welcomed Finland to the Alliance last year, and just this morning, Sweden officially joined NATO, and their Prime Minister is here tonight. Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to NATO, the strongest military alliance the world has ever known,” Biden said in front of Congress and Americans watching nationwide.

Trump’s complaints about NATO hinge on members allegedly falling short of spending obligations, the nature of which he misrepresents. (Generally speaking, it’s domestic spending on defense, not an organizational due.) But it’s not just the failure to grasp the nature of this sought after spending. While recently campaigning for president, Trump threatened to support Russia and Putin in a potential military stand-off with NATO members if those members fell short of the claimed financial duties. Trump made the initial remarks to precisely that effect on the campaign trail, and while facing expansive condemnation, he doubled down.

“But now, without me there to say YOU MUST PAY, they are at it again. We are into helping Ukraine for more than 100 Billion Dollars more than NATO. We have nobody that they respect, and they insist on paying far less than we do. Wrong, NATO HAS TO EQUALIZE, AND NOW. THEY WILL DO THAT IF PROPERLY ASKED. IF NOT, AMERICA FIRST!” Trump said online.