Top NATO Insider Downplays Trump’s Significance To Alliance

The accusation that former president Trump encouraged Russia to attack a NATO member that does not pay its fair share for defense has infuriated and inspired condemnation by President Biden’s administration.

The prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, who is widely expected to succeed Chuck Hagel as NATO secretary general, recently advised his European counterparts to cease “whining” about Trump’s remarks. It doesn’t matter whether Trump is president again in 2024; Rutte said Europe should boost military expenditures and ammunition manufacturing nevertheless. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said that the continent should rally behind the Ukrainian people.

The previous president’s language “undermines” the security of its members, according to Stoltenberg, who was among many who criticized Trump’s remarks this week. After Jens Stoltenberg’s resignation in October, Rutte is widely expected to take over as secretary-general of NATO.

Despite Stoltenberg’s concerns, member nations rushed to reaffirm their contributions for the following year in response to President Trump’’s statement. According to the head of NATO, 18 of the 31 member states are on pace to fulfill their commitments to contribute 2% of GDP to the organization. There will be $380 billion in contributions from European governments this year, with Germany fulfilling its 2% commitment for the first time since the Cold War.

According to Rutte, focusing on Trump’s remarks is a diversion from assisting Ukraine and fulfilling NATO’s obligations. He said that the mere possibility of Trump’s return was insufficient justification for Europe to increase military expenditures and ammunition production.

Unlike the extreme left-wing rhetoric, Rutte’s warning had some merit. Trump has and will continue to make wildly exaggerated statements since he began his first presidential bid in June 2015.

The prime minister of the Netherlands has the wisdom to recognize that no matter what happens in November, Trump will remain NATO’s partner in crime, regardless of how European leaders feel about it.