Small Wars Journal

A Top NATO General Echoes Trump, Calling Aspects Of Alliance ‘Obsolete’

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 7:20am

A Top NATO General Echoes Trump, Calling Aspects Of Alliance ‘Obsolete’ by Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post

A top NATO general said Tuesday that aspects of the alliance were “obsolete,” echoing President-elect Donald Trump’s language and saying that the Western military alliance needs to adapt for a changing world.

The admission was a first sign of how NATO may try to pitch itself to the most skeptical U.S. president in the history of the bloc, which was formed as a ­defensive bulwark against the ­Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. But it appeared unlikely that French air force Gen. Denis Mercier, the senior NATO commander based in the United States, and Trump believe that the same aspects of NATO are ­obsolete.

Trump has said that he wants the 28-nation defense alliance to focus more on counterterrorism, a shift that NATO leaders say was already underway before Trump’s insurgent candidacy transformed into an election victory. He has also left open the question of whether he would come to the aid of NATO allies that have not been meeting their defense spending commitments and left open the door to a deal with Russia that would be anathema to most other NATO members.

NATO leaders have been left to struggle with how to present themselves to an incoming president even as U.S. and allied troops fan out across Eastern Europe to provide deterrence to a threat of a Russian invasion...

Read on.