There is a warning that it could destroy NATO and invite Russian aggression.
Donald Trump’s suggestion – in a New York Times interview – that he might, if elected president, abandon the alliance’s guarantee to automatically defend members, is once again surrounding him in controversy.
His comments “would seem to put him on the same page with Mr. Putin,” Richard Armitage, who was deputy secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview.
The US has been quick to confirm its NATO commitment.
“I want our NATO partners to be clear about where we stand,” said John Kerry, US Secretary of State.
“This administration like every single administration, Republican and Democrat alike, since 1949, remains fully committed to the NATO alliance and to our security commitments.”
Donald Trump’s statements on NATO fuel anxiety in Europe https://t.co/wbBIdHh9iS— The New York Times (@nytimes) 21 July 2016
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that he will not interfere in the US election campaign, but added that solidarity among allies was a key value.
And Lithuania’s president has reaffirmed her confidence in America when it comes to defending others.
“I would like to send a message back. And the message is the following. We do trust in America irrespective of who will be the president,” said Dalia Grybauskaite.
“America has always defended nations that were attacked and it will do so.”
Britain’s defence secretary has also added his voice, stressing that NATO’s mutual defence guarantee is a commitment that comes with no “conditions or caveats.”