United States 'won't have a better ally' than EU — European Council President

This week’s summit in Brussels could expose cracks in the Nato alliance

As The Washington Post argues, there could be a "catastrophe".

On July 16, President Trump will travel to Helsinki, Finland to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

This is a potent narrative. After all, NATO's main mission is to protect member states against outside threats, and right now one of those biggest threats is Putin's Russian Federation.

NATO, which was founded soon after World War II to counter the influence of the Soviet Union, officially suspended all cooperation with Russian Federation after Putin seized Crimea in 2014.

From tweets to rants at political rallies, Trump has made his grievances about member countries' defense spending known.

And pulling out won't have much support in his administration or among lawmakers. It also ignores other essential aspects of providing security.

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison briefs the media ahead of a NATO meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 13, 2018. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. On the European migrant problem, the United States has been of zero help under both the Obama and Trump administrations.

"And dear Europe, spend more on your defense because everyone expects an ally that is well prepared and equipped", he added, noting: "Money is important, but genuine solidarity should be more important".

"We do have a lot of allies, but we can not be taken advantage of".

This year, the United States will spend about $36 billion directly on defending Europe, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British think tank. But the point about lecturing the allies in GDP terms is instructive.

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Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the U.S. to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU's trade surplus with the US. It's too late to do anything about those facts.

Last years' visit to Brussels also produced the famous mano a mano handshake between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron. It would also have to be fully backed by Congress and the United States private and non-governmental sectors across the board.

Donald Trump risked sparking a diplomatic incident today ahead of his visit to the United Kingdom by saying the country is "in turmoil" and refusing to endorse Theresa May as PM.

Member countries are anxious that Trump will spurn them and threaten to unravel the organization, their fears stemming from the G7 meeting last month.

Trump can no more change those facts than he could repeal the law of gravity.

He will then head to Helsinki for talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and some experts have expressed fears the pair will agree the U.S. should station fewer troops in Europe. "This is unfair, nor is is acceptable".

Stoltenberg has stressed the alliance's ability to overcome differences in the past, but Tomas Valasek, director of the Carnegie Europe and former Slovak ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, said the situation with Trump had already undermined its ability to deter would-be aggressors. Only Trump's ratifying this USA commitment will get the Russian leader's full attention and reduce any belief Putin may have that he can manipulate Trump to betray Western interests.

He blamed Mr. Trump's policies and rhetoric for creating the atmosphere of uncertainty.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many". "You are not behaving like a leader in the world, and we need you to do differently, to do better'".

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