President-elect Donald J. Trump on Monday at Trump Tower in New York. He has recently criticized NATO, the European Union and the One China policy. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times
He called NATO obsolete. He said Germany’s acceptance of refugees is “utterly catastrophic.” The decades-old One China policy embraced by the United States? That’s up for discussion. Just days before Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, world leaders on three continents are on edge after comments the president-elect made in an interview on Friday with The Wall Street Journal and in a weekend interview with two European newspapers, Bild and The Times of London.
NATO is ‘obsolete’
“It’s obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Mr. Trump said, according to the German newspaper Bild. The 28-member alliance, born in 1949, three years after Mr. Trump, is viewed by many — including his nominee for defense secretary, Gen. James N. Mattis — as essential to American security.
“Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.”
Responding on Monday to Mr. Trump’s comments, Dalia Grybauskaite, the president of Lithuania, which gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and joined NATO in 2004, urged Mr. Trump to continue meeting the United States’ financial obligations toward the alliance.
“Since World War II, the presence of U.S. troops has been a prerequisite for rebuilding the Continent, safeguarding peace and ensuring security. We expect continuity from the new U.S. administration. Trump must maintain this leadership role, to ensure security, stability and peace.” — Ms. Grybauskaite