President Donald Trump, who has spent months issuing conflicting statements on the U.S. commitment to NATO, had a tense meeting with alliance leaders in Brussels on May 25. In an ongoing series of Global Insider interviews, WPR has been examining how NATO has evolved and how individual members conceive of their roles within it.
It is the world’s most successful, most powerful and most popular security alliance. Considering the number of countries waiting to get in, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization seems to have even more admirers than it can handle. But it also has an unexpectedly prominent and powerful critic: the president of the United States. As he has scolded NATO members over their defense spending and cast the alliance as a protection racket, Donald Trump has seemingly undermined an organization whose purpose and unity have rarely been questioned—and never before by an American president—since it was founded in 1949 as a bulwark [...]
Editor’s Note: This is the final article in a series about NATO members’ contributions to and relationships with the alliance. Italy has long worked to improve ties between NATO and Russia, an effort that has continued even after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. At the same time, the country has urged NATO to focus more on threats facing the alliance’s southern flank, including insecurity resulting from migration. In an email interview, Alessandro Marrone, senior fellow with the Security, Defense and Space Program at the International Affairs Institute in Rome, describes Italy’s role in NATO and how this shapes [...]
Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about NATO members’ contributions to and relationships with the alliance. This year, troops from the Netherlands arrived in Lithuania to participate in a German-led battalion that is part of a broader NATO effort to bolster defenses near Russia; similar battalions are deploying in Poland, Latvia and Estonia. The deployment coincides with rising support within the Netherlands to increase defense spending, which was scaled back during the first half of this decade. Both developments reflect the realization, in the Netherlands and across Europe, that European militaries need to ramp up efforts [...]