Donald Trump reaffirmed Friday that the United States fully adhered to Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty, which provides that allies will militarily assist a member of the alliance in the event of external aggression.
“I’m committing the United States to Article 5,” said the US President at a joint press conference at the White House with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
“and certainly we are there to protect, that’s one of the reasons that I want people to make sure we have a very, very strong force by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force” , added Donald Trump, who has been asking the Allies for months to spend more on defense.
In making this commitment, Donald Trump also tries to reassure the NATO allies after the concerns raised by the US President at the last Atlantic Alliance summit in Brussels on May 25th.
Mr. Trump had then failed to commit explicitly to the collective defense clause of the Alliance in the event of a country’s aggression. His position had shocked the allies and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had called on other countries to “take their destiny into their own hands”.
Donald Trump has on several occasions recalled that “23 of the 28 member nations were still not paying what they should” and owe “huge sums of money” to the Alliance, which is particularly “unfair to American taxpayers.” According to the NATO Charter, member countries must pay the organization 2% of their gross domestic product. Yet NATO’s budget is currently 70% funded by the United States.