Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation obligations risk WWIII, Trump asserts

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation obligations risk WWIII, Trump asserts

Despite this commitment, Trump appeared to question US responsibility to defend the newest of NATO's 29 member states, under Article 5 during a Fox News interview in July 2018.

"I would not be at all surprised that what you heard the president say to Tucker Carlson there last night is derived from what Vladimir Putin told him during the one-on-one discussions in Helsinki", Hayden said. "They [Montenegrins] may get aggressive and congratulations, you're in World War III", Trump had said Tuesday. "The American people have a right to know if foreign governments are targeting them with propaganda". They have very aggressive people.

The president's comments were in line with his overall "America First" strategy and with longstanding United States doubts about the wisdom of coming to the rescue of smaller, troublesome allies in Europe at the risk of triggering a wider conflict.

As members of the Yugoslav army, Montenegro's soldiers fought alongside Serbs in Croatia's war of independence. They only have to defend that country if it actually gets attacked.

"Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it against attack?"

Donald Trump says Montenegro could be the cause of World War III.

Polish NATO tanks

NATO's common defence clause has only been invoked once - by America after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks conducted by Al-Qaeda. "They weren't paying. So not only were we paying for most of it, but they weren't even paying and we're protecting them". But NATO, first formed to counter potential Soviet aggression in Europe, is seen by many as a check on Russian ambitions in Eastern Europe under a leader who has demonstrated a willingness to annex territory through military might.

Trump has come under widespread domestic criticism about the meeting.

Thus is the "equation on Montenegro", said the Peacock on Faux News, except for the entirely insignificant coincidence that his new BFF Putin has targeted Montenegro as a key geographical wedge against Russian violence in the region, having reportedly messed with its domestic politics, backed a coup and tried to assassinate its president.

This is technically true - only four of the 29 countries are exceeding NATO's current guideline for what they should be contributing to the organisation, which is two per cent of each country's gross domestic product (GDP). The clause, known as Article 5, has been invoked just once - by the U.S. after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"Trump's remarks further undermine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and his message may be interpreted in Moscow as a clear sign that the current USA government will not support its allies, should Moscow seek to destabilise the region by whatever means", said Kenneth Morrison, professor of modern south-east European history at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK.

There's nothing authoritarian Russian Federation wants more than to see a divided Europe, and for the United States to retreat from the region.


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