“It’s unclear what changes the president was referencing. NATO added a new assistant secretary general position focused on intelligence and security in July, although experts say the change does not mark a major shift for the organization and point out that NATO has long addressed concerns of terrorism. For months after the position was created, Trump continued to call NATO obsolete,” Jenna Johnson writes for the Washington Post.
“NATO needs reform. Washington’s recipe for what needs to be done, however, which largely consists of getting the Europeans to adhere to rigid defense spending targets, is similar to the obsessions of old Soviet economic planners—concerned with inputs rather than outputs. As a result, the Trump administration’s focus on burden-sharing obscures how NATO might really be made more effective, while inhibiting the development of a healthier U.S.-European defense relationship,” Jonathan Eyal writes for Foreign Affairs.
“[Trump’s] tendency to speak of budget shortfalls in Europe as a debt to the United States grates. European allies point out that the alliance’s largest and costliest military operation to date, the one in Afghanistan in 2003–2014, was fought in response to the 9/11 attacks on the United States. At any given time, between one third and one half of troops fighting in Afghanistan came from Europe, but their governments have never asked for a reimbursement from Washington,” Tomas Valasek writes for Carnegie Europe.