Anne Applebaum: NATO may fall apart

Influential writer, commentator and wife of former Polish FM Radosław Sikorski says that Poland should not trust President Trump and that NATO may be on the brink of falling apart.

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Interviewed in the journal “Kultura Liberalna” Ms Applebaum argues that trusting President Trump is dangerous and foolish. She understands that Poland wants good relations with the USA but says that “it is impossible not to see the huge risk involved in trusting a President like Donald Trump. You have to understand that “America First” means just that. It's also impossible to ignore how inept this administration is in its foreign policy.”

Anne Applebaum goes on to claim that NATO is threatened with falling apart. She says she does not understand why no one in Poland is mentioning this. “If Poland wants to delude itself that it is otherwise, that is its business. But other countries in western Europe do not have such illusions” she quipped. She also added that one cannot pretend that Donald Trump is just another President who will maintain good transatlantic relations.

Comment

Anne Applebaum has taken a very committed stance against both President Trump and the current Polish authorities. She has been totally consistent in her view that Donald Trump is pro-Russian and in reality opposed to NATO.

However, in office, President Trump has merely demanded from his allies that they meet the defence spending commitments that they have signed up for (2 percent GDP) and that they make themselves secure in terms of energy supplies by diversifying sources of supply. Differences of view on Iran and climate change exist but they are not a NATO matter. Nor are trade disputes with China and the EU.

This US administration is willing to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank in line with the wishes of Central Europe, the Baltic states. Romania, the UK and Scandinavian states. In what way does trying to increase defence spending and strengthening the eastern flank of NATO threaten the alliance’s existence? Or is it that forces in Germany and France who do not wish to spend serious resources on defence, who want to do more business with Russia in energy and who want to see a European army come into being are no longer comfortable within NATO and want Europe to go it alone?

Poland cannot afford the risk of undermining NATO in any way. Its alliance with the US and membership of NATO provide it with security guarantees that no other security system could, especially in the short term. This is why relations with the US will be of key importance to this and any future Polish administration.

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