Amidst a global crisis, Donald Trump has raised concerns about America’s commitment to its allies. In a recent speech, he revealed that when he was president, he told European leaders that the US would not defend their countries if they were attacked by Russia. He emphasized that NATO members need to pay their debts and stated that when he was in office, the US would not lift a finger to defend their countries if they were attacked by Russia. This has caused unease among NATO members and others who rely on US support for their security.
The NATO alliance was founded in 1949 as a collective defense agreement. Trump’s assertion that NATO members “owe money” is based on a misconception. Although NATO countries agreed to dedicate at least 2% of their GDP to their defense 18 years ago, most countries, including the largest, did not comply with this agreement. During his presidency, Trump focused on this issue and showed little interest in the actual security of NATO.
Trump’s announcement has caused worry among countries along the possible front line with Russia and America’s military and political partners from Northeast Asia to the South Pacific. This statement violates the US’s signed international obligations.
Nikki Haley, Trump’s opponent in the Republican primaries, is now making age and mental capacity an issue in her election campaign. Although the polls show her far behind Trump, she is highlighting the age and mental capacity of both Trump and Biden. The constitution requires a presidential candidate to be at least 35 years old. This requirement was established when the average life expectancy of men in North America was 28. There were certainly people who lived long lives, including former presidents. However, there was no need to set a limit. Today, life expectancy has increased, and the question of the desired age of the US president is now a highly debated qualification.