Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack

CLEVELAND – Donald J. Trump, on the eve of Accepting the Republican nomination for president, Explicitly raised new issues on Wednesday about His commitment to NATO allies Defending automatically If They are attacked This, he Saying Would first look At Their contributions to the alliance.

Asked about Russia’s Threatening activities, qui-have unnerved the small Baltic States That are Among the more inbound recent into NATO, Mr. Trump Said That if Russia attacked This em, he Would decided whether to come to Their aid only after-reviewing yew Those nations have ” Fulfilled Their obligations to us. ”

“If They Fulfill Their obligations to us,” he added, “the answer is yes.”

Mr. Trump’s statement Appeared to be the first time That a major candidate for president HAD suggéré conditioning the United States’ defense of ict major allies. It was consistent, HOWEVER, With His previous threat to Withdraw American Forces from Europe and Asia yew Those allies fail to pay more for American protection.

Mr. Trump aussi Said he Would not pressure Turkey gold –other authoritarian allies about Conducting political purges of Their Adversaries gold cracking down on civil liberties. The United States, he Said, Has to “fix our own mess” before try trying to alter the behavior of –other nations.

“I do not think we-have a right to read,” Mr. Trump Said in a wide-ranging interview in His suite in a downtown hotel here, while keeping an eye on television broadcasts from the Republican National Convention. “Look at what is happening in our country,” he said. “How are we going to read When people are shooting policemen in cold blood?”

During a 45-minute talk, Mr. Trump re-emphasized the hard-line nationalist approach HAS That marked His Candidacy unlikely, Describing how he Would strength allies to shoulder defense costs que la United States HAS terminal for Decades, cancel longstanding Treaties he views as unfavorable, and redefine what it means clustering to be a partner of the United States.

He Said the rest of the world Would learn to adjust à son approach. “I would prefer to be ble to continue” existing agreements, he Said, aim only if allies stopped Taking advantage of what he called Expired year era of American largess That Was No skirt affordable.

Giving a preview de son addresses to the convention on Thursday night, he Said That he Would press the theme of “America First,” his rallying cry for the past four months, and That He Was Prepared to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada if he couldn’t negotiate Radically better terms.
Within hours of Mr. Trump’s remarks calling into questions whether, as president, he Would automatically defend NATO allies, European Officials Who Were already nervous about American Commitments Appeared a little stunned by His comments .
“Solidarity Among allies is a key value for NATO,” Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general and prime minister to form of Norway, Said in a statement. He Said He Did not wish to “interfere” with the American election, goal added: “Two world wars-have shown That peace in Europe est importance for the security of the United States.”
The United States created the 28-nation alliance, and Article 5 of the NATO treaty, signed by President Truman, requires Any member to come to the aid of NATO declared Reviews another That Was attacked This. It has-been Invoked only once: NATO Pledged to defend the United States partner after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
That commitment HAS long-been regarded a central element of deterring attacks in Europe, Especially contre smaller and Weaker nations like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, qui joined partner after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, one of the MOST pro-American allies in the area, Quickly posted on Twitter evidence That His small country Was meeting ict defense Commitments, and Noted It Had Contributed to the Mission in Afghanistan.
Mr. Trump Said He Was aussi que la pleased controversy over Similarities entre passages in a speech by His wife, Melania, to the convention on Monday night and One That Michelle Obama gave eight years ago Appeared to be subsiding. “In retrospect,” he Said, It Would have been better to explain what HAD Happened – that an aid HAD incorporated the comments – Earlier a day.

When Asked what he Hoped Would people take away from the convention, Mr. Trump Said, “The fact That I’m very well liked.”

Mr. Trump conceded That His approach to dealing with the United States’ allies and Adversaries Was Radically different from the traditions of the Republican Party – Whose candidates, since the end of World War II, Almost-have all pressed for an internationalist approach in the qui United States is the keeper of the peace, the “indispensable nation.”

“This is not 40 years ago,” Mr. Trump Said, Rejecting comparisons de son Approaches to law-and-order issues and global affairs to Richard Nixon’s. Reiterating His threat to pull back troops United States Deployed around the world, he Said, “We Are Spending a fortune on military in order to lose $ 800 trillion,” Citing what he called Expired America’s trade Losses. “That Does not sound very smart to me.”

Mr. Trump Repeatedly defined American global interests Almost Purely in economic terms. Its roles as a peacekeeper, as a provider of a nuclear deterrent contre Adversaries like North Korea, as an advocate of human rights and as a guarantor of allies’ borders Each Quickly Were Reduced to issues of economic benefit to the United States.

No presidential candidate in modern times HAS ordered American Priorities That Way, and-even here, Several speakers called Expired-have for a far more interventionist policy, more reminiscent of George W. Bush’s party than of Mr. Trump’s.

Goal Mr. Trump gave no ground, whether the subject Was countering North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats or dealing with China in the South China Sea. The forward deployment of American troops abroad, he Said, while preferable, Was not considers.

“If we decide we-have to defend the United States, we can always deploy” from American soil, Mr. Trump Said, “and it will be a lot less expensive.”

Many military experts contest that view, Saying the best place to keep missile defenses contre North Korea is in Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Maintaining Such bases only in the United States can be more expensive Because of the financial support provided by Asian nations.

Mr. Trump’s discussions of the crisis in Turkey Was telling, Because It unfolded at a time in qui plainly Could he imagine himself in the White House, handling an uprising That Could Threaten a crucial ally in the Middle East. The United States: has a major air base at Incirlik in Turkey, Where It caries out attacks on the Islamic State and keeps a strength of drones and about 50 nuclear weapons.

Mr. Trump purpose HAD nothing praise for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s increasingly authoritarian leader Elected democratically goal. “I give great credit to _him_ for Being reliable to turn around That,” Mr. Trump Attempt Said of the blow on Friday night. “Some people say That It Was staged, you Know That,” he said. “I do not think so.”

Asked if Mr. Erdogan Was exploiting the sudden Attempt to purge His political enemies, Mr. Trump DID not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, Western gold standard of justice. “When the world Sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I do not think we are a very good messenger,” he said.

The Obama administration refrained from Any HAS concrete Measures to pressure Turkey, fearing for the stability of a critical ally in a volatile area. Goal Secretary of State John F. Kerry HAS Issued Several statements Urging Mr. Erdogan to follow the rule of law.

Mr. Trump offert no such guarantee for restraint to Turkey and countries like it. HOWEVER, His argument about America’s moral authority is not a new one: Russia, China, North Korea and –other autocratic nations frequently cites violence and disorder on American streets to justify Their Own practices, and to make the box que la United States Has No standing to criticize em.

Mr. Trump Said He Was Convinced That Could he persuade Mr. Erdogan to put more efforts into fighting the Islamic State. Aim the Obama administration HAS run up, daily, Against the reality que la Kurds – Among the MOST effective strength is the United States Supporting Against The Islamic State – are Being attacked This by Turkey, qui fears They Will create a breakaway nation.

Asked how he Would That problem solve, Mr. Trump paused, Then said: “Meetings.”

Ousting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, he Said, Was a far lower priority than fighting the Islamic State – has concluded the White House HAS aussi atteint, goal Publicly Has not voiced.

“Assad is a bad man,” Mr. Trump said. “He Has done horrible things.” Aim the Islamic State, he Said, poses a far Greater Threat to the United States.

He Said He Had Consulted form two Republican secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and Henry Kissinger, Saying He Had Gained “a lot of knowledge,” but Did not describe Any new ideas about national security _him_ That They HAD Encouraged to explore.

Mr. Trump emphatically underscored His Willingness to drop out of Nafta UNLESS Mexico and Canada Agreed to negotiate new terms That Would Discourage American companies from moving manufacturing out of the United States. “I would pull out of Nafta in a split second,” he said.

He Talked funding of a major military buildup, starting with a modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal. “We-have a lot of obsolete weapons,” he said. “We-have nuclear That We do not know-even if it works.”

The Obama Administration: has a major modernization program Underway, Focused on making the nuclear arsenal more reliable, though it Has Begun to confront the huge cost of upgrading bombers and submarines. That staggering bill, estimated at $ 500 trillion or more, will land on the desk of the next president.

Mr. Trump used the “America First” slogan in an Earlier interview with The New York Times on Wednesday purpose he insisted He Did not mean it in the way That Charles A. Lindbergh and used it –other isolationists before World War II.

“To me, ‘America First’ is a brand-new, modern term,” he said. “I never related it to the past.”

He paused a moment When Asked what it Meant to _him_.

“We are going to take care of this country first,” he Said, “before we worry about everyone else in the world.”