With President Trump's performance at last year's NATO summit still fresh in the minds of its members, NATO's continued existence has probably never before seemed as tenuous as it does right now. Trump has blasted NATO as "obsolete" and criticized the alliance in keeping with his "America First" platform. But NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned during a recent speech that there are still many strategic reasons why the alliance should persevere: Speaking in the UK, Stoltenberg invoked the rise of international terrorism and an "assertive Russia" as threats that should underscore how serious the issue of preserving the alliance truly is.
Yet, there's still no guarantee that, despite these security concerns, the trans-Atlantic partnership will survive as the relationship between the US and other NATO powers deteriorates. To protect against NATO's collapse, Stoltenberg called for its members to make a bigger effort to shore up the military alliance, according to the Associated Press.
"It is not written in stone that the trans-Atlantic bond will survive forever," Stoltenberg said during a speech in London. "But I believe we will preserve it."
With the NATO summit looming in July, Stoltenberg said "we may have seen the weakening" of the relationships between North America and Europe, but "maintaining the trans-Atlantic partnership is in our strategic interests." The world, Stoltenberg said, is facing "the most unpredictable security environment in a generation", largely thanks to terrorism.
"We must continue to protect our multilateral institutions like NATO, and we must continue to stand up for the international rules-based order," he said.
"We have had differences before, and the lesson of history is that we overcome these differences every time," Stoltenberg said.
But as trade tensions strain Trump's relationship with Europe, concerns about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's growing authoritarianism have raised speculation about the possibility of a Turkish exit. Meanwhile, Stoltenberg has hinted at the possibility of a dialogue with Russia, as he has said he doesn't want "another cold war."
Which of course is incredibly ironic as his actions...
Definitely don't match that 'diplomatic' rhetoric.