Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has raised fresh questions about his commitment to automatically defend Nato allies if they were attacked, a stancein keeping with his “America First” age
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has raised fresh questions about his commitment to automatically defend Nato allies if they were attacked, a stancein keeping with his “America First” agenda, the New York Times reported.
In response to a question about potential Russian aggression towards the Baltic states, Mr Trump told the newspaper in an interview that if Moscow attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations” have fulfilled their obligations to us”.
He added: “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”
Mr Trump was quoted as saying he would force allies to shoulder defence costs that the United States has borne for decades, cancel longstanding treaties he views as unfavourable, and redefine what it means to be a partner of the United States.
“I would prefer to be able to continue” existing agreements, he said, but only if allies stopped taking advantage of what he called an era of American largess, the New York Times wrote.
However, Mr Trump’s his running mate Mike Pence expressed contradicting views on America’s Nato allies.
In his vice-presidential acceptance speech, Mr Pence said that Mr Trump would rebuild the military and stand with the allies of the United States.
The rival Clinton campaign slammed Mr Trump and Mr Pence for their differences on this crucial issue.
“Tonight, Mike Pence said Donald Trump would stand with our allies. Tonight, Donald Trump flatly contradicted him,” said the Hillary for America senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan.
“Ronald Reagan would be ashamed. Harry Truman would be ashamed. Republicans, Democrats and Independents who help build Nato into the most successful military alliance in history would all come to the same conclusion: Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit and fundamentally ill-prepared to be our commander-in-chief,” he said.
“The President is supposed to be the leader of the free world. Donald Trump apparently doesn’t even believe in the free world,” Mr Sullivan said alleging that over the course of this campaign, Mr Trump has displayed a bizarre and occasionally obsequious fascination with Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin.
Mr Sullivan, said in a statement: “Trump has apparently decided that America lacks the moral authority to advance our interests and values around the world.”
David Corn, Washington bureau chief of the Mother Jones news website, said in a tweet that Mr Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort had told him the candidate had been misquoted.
Mr Trump rhetoric over Nato has raised alarm in allied countries that still rely on the US defence umbrella.