Divide & Conquer? What’s Really Behind Trump’s Hostility to the EU and NATO?

On the eve of the NATO summit, President Trump has gone on the offensive, demanding that America’s European allies pay more for defense while considering a pullout of US troops from Germany, and asking point blank why Paris doesn’t leave the EU. But what are Trump’s objectives? Does he really seek an end to the Transatlantic partnership?

Donald Trump sent NATO members’ leaders letters urging them to pay up and commit to the NATO pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defense. 

“[It’s] increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security,” the letters said, according to Foreign Policy. “I, therefore, expect to see a strong recommitment by [country name] to meet the goals to which we all agreed,” the messages added.

Germany has to spend more money. Spain, France. It’s not fair what they’ve done to the United States,” Trump said of the letters, speaking to reporters on Friday.

The sharply worded messages, coming just two weeks ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels on July 12, have prompted another round of panic among proponents of the Western alliance. Political observer and The Guardian contributor Martin Kettle suggested that Trump was “hellbent on destroying the NATO alliance,” adding that the US leader’s “increasing hostility shows he has little interest in the Transatlantic partnership.” 

The letters come amid reports that the Pentagon is conducting a cost assessment study on the 35,000…

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