On February 4, 2019 at 2021 at 17:32
Joe Biden’s visit to the White House is not only a relief to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has linked Europe and the United States since 1949, but also a ray of hope after four years of difficult relations with Donald Trump.
“I can’t deny that in the last four years we have had difficult times and bitter discussions with the former president.”, NATO Secretary General said during a joint press conference with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Groove in Brussels on Thursday.
When he became president of the United States in 2017, Donald Trump was skeptical of his desire to maintain solidarity with his allies. According to Article 5 of the 1949 Washington Convention, an attack on a friendly country is an attack on all.
It was a very difficult period because the former US president was not the only one questioning the alliance. With a shock wave at the organisation’s headquarters in Brussels, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of NATO’s “brain death.”
Today the landscape has changed. At least in appearance. Jens Stoltenberg is considering setting up a new administration in the United States “Revitalizing and Revitalizing the Atlantic Connection”. But the warming of this relationship does not necessarily mean an upsurge in Europe or the United States.
Europeans, as Jens Stoltenberg reminded us, must continue to increase defense spending. When Joe Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president, at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales, Americans and Europeans promised to bring at least 2% of their GDP. But it was Donald Trump who put the most pressure on his European allies, especially Angela Merkel and Germany.
By reaffirming his commitment to increase defense spending in the face of the many current threats, the Belgian Prime Minister reminded everyone that Europeans must play their part in their burden. “If we are to achieve greater strategic autonomy, Europeans must cooperate more closely to identify gaps in their military capabilities. We must play our part and not always depend on other countries for that.”, This Alexander de Crew.
Strong US presence in Europe
It is true that in Eastern Europe the Americans were never militarily paradoxical. Last August, Trump’s then foreign secretary, Mike Pompeo, announced that 1,000 additional troops would be sent to Poland to strengthen the 4,500 Americans already there.
There is the question of who should be stationed in the 11,000 American troops still stationed in Germany and in other European countries. According to General Todd Walters, Commander-in-Chief of Europe (SACEUR), the new US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, is investigating the matter. “I don’t know what the end result will be”, He said at a phone conference.
Meanwhile, Europeans and Americans will have to make a quick decision on whether or not to maintain troops in Afghanistan under the NATO flag, following a policy agreement between the Americans and the Taliban. “A real mess”, According to Jens Stoltenberg, which is expected to be discussed at a NATO ministerial meeting on February 16 and 17.