Question: The NATO summit was held in Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the capital of the European Union, on 11 and 12 /7/2018. It was attended by the American president and the leaders of the 29-member states of the alliance. The debate between them and Trump intensified and almost was confined to the issue of increasing military spending to 2% of the total domestic income. Why does America do that? And what is the fate of this alliance?
Answer: In order to clarify the answer, we review the following:
1- US President, Trump, behaves in a different away from diplomacy and spin. He openly proclaims what he wants and publicly pressures (others); what he says and asks behind the scenes and in private meetings with his counterparts in other countries is what he says and demands publicly with more insolence and arrogance than George W. Bush, the son. Therefore, he is opposite to his predecessor, Obama, who did so behind the scenes, exerting pressure on his counterparts and on states, conducting political maneuvers and spin in secret as if he was an English politician! The former US President, Obama, is the one who imposed an increase of 2% of GDP on the member states in 2014, and began to pressure them in different ways to abide by the agreement.
The news about his contacts with the member states about this increase was done without stirring up a fuss and a public stifle to show that the alliance was cohesive and that it was one unit, and its leader is America, which is satisfied with its progress and of its members, while it is, in fact, in a serious disagreement with them. NATO members pledged to Obama that year to spend that proportion of their countries’ GDP on defense by 2024, but about 15 member states, including Germany, Canada, Italy, Belgium and Spain, still spend below 1.4 percent and will be unable to fulfill their promise which enraged Trump. Under the US initiative on this subject, the NATO countries will commit themselves by 2030 to deploy, within 30 days, 30 automatic battalions, 30 squadrons of aircraft and 30 combat ships to face a possible military operation against Russia. America created a false enemy, that is Russia, to dominate Europe and prevent them from making independent military and political decisions, and thus force them to remain under its leadership and military umbrella at least.
2- Trump understands the difficulty of this with his allies and difficulty to convince them, and that is why he wrote on Twitter on 10/7/2018 as he headed to the NATO summit in Brussels: “His meeting (expected on July 16, 2018) in Helsinki with Russian President Putin may be easier than the NATO summit”. His words carry a lot of accuracy; Russia seems to be submissive and ready to provide services to America in order to achieve some of its interests, and to appear as a major state influential to the world alongside the first state, as well as to stop America’s evil against it, especially in the area of its influence and its surroundings, which America seeks to control. As for Europe, it appears as an enemy, competitor and rival and it has created its European Union to stand in the face of America and to compete with it, and therefore, America takes a hostile attitude against the Union, and works to dismantle it openly; therefore, it supported Brexit. Trump attacked British Prime Minister Teresa May’s policy of moving to a free market with the European Union after leaving the bloc, he said:
“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.” And he said: ” I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me. She wanted to go a different route”
Trump praised Boris Johnson, Britain’s Foreign Minister who resigned because of his opposition to May’s plan and said he would “make a Prime Minister” (BBC quoted by The Sun on 13/7/ 2018) and called on other countries to leave it (EU) publicly. He even offered the French president, who visited him last April, to leave the European Union. The Washington Post reported on 29/6/2018 that ” Trump offered his French counterpart Macron to leave the EU in return of a bilateral exchange agreement with the United States during their meeting at the White House last April.” It quoted two European officials saying: “Trump told Macron: Why don’t you leave the EU?”
3- This is why Trump criticized the European Union, especially Germany, because its crisis with America is the deepest and toughest! In a reply to a question on June 7, 2017, we mentioned the reasons for the escalation of the crisis with Germany in particular. We said: “Germany is the largest financial center in Europe and the fourth largest economy in the world after America, China and Japan, so Trump’s eyes were still heading towards it in an attempt to make a lot of money for the United States especially as the US allegedly claims that Russia is a threat to Germany in order to make Germany participate and contribute more to NATO; Berlin spends 1.2% of its national income on the military ($42 billion).
The trade balance between America and Germany tips in the latter direction very much, about 60 billion Euros. The German-American trade volume reached 165 billion Euros in 2016, of which 107 billion Euros is the volume of American imports from Germany…” and we mentioned “The European scene will see the emergence of more German leadership at the political and economic levels, and what indicates this and confirms it is the German officials’ heading of the response to US policies and the announcement of Germany’s desire to bring the dispute with the United States to the public. If this is increased, it will weaken Europe greatly and, at the end, can lead to a rapid heavy armament of Germany”.
4- Trump has seen Germany’s challenge to him by its indifference to him, especially since he has revealed his hostility to the European Union, which Germany sees as its strong economic market. And considers it as the vehicle by which Germany moves into the international arena to influence world politics. Thus, Trump criticized Germany in particular and demanded from it hundreds of billions of dollars for the protection given to it by the United States since World War II. He said before the summit, when he launched an attack on Germany during his meeting with the NATO Secretary General, “Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia. They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia. How can we explain this? This is unfair” Trump said before the Summit: “Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting from 60% to 70% of their energy from Russia, and a new pipeline and you tell me if that’s appropriate because I think it’s not and I think it’s a very bad thing for Nato.” (BBC, July 12, 2018)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel replied: “Germany has its own policies and it makes independent decisions … I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany. Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions.” “We are not prisoners, neither of Russia nor of the United States,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. (BBC, 12/7/2018) Trump and Merkel ignored each other as they walked through the new NATO headquarters corridor to the platform to take the traditional picture. Trump has repeatedly denounced the Nord Stream gas pipeline project, which will link Russia to Germany and asked it to abandon it. This project is opposed by some Europeans to cause a split in the policy of the European Union. Poland considers that Europe does not need it. “Nord Stream is the model of European countries that offer money to Russia and give it means that can be used against the security of Poland,” Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said on arrival at NATO headquarters. (AFP, 11/7/2018)
He speaks on behalf of Trump. This is because Poland follows America, working for America within the European Union. Thus, the United States has been working inside the European Union for a long time to destroy it, but what is new to the era of Trump is that he added direct and public action to destroy the Union, forcing Europe to apply the 2% became his fateful issue to show his success. His predecessor, Obama, did not succeed to force the Europeans to increase the Defense cost to 2% . This will improve his (Trump) position at home and improves the chances of the Republican Party in the midterm elections as well as getting his second presidential term.
5- But France was more responsive. Its president Macron said. “France will meet the agreed goal of NATO to increase defense spending to 2 percent by 2024,” and he said: “the Alliance’s cohesion will only be possible if the burden is shared fairly.” He said: “Trump had reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the defense organization, despite earlier expressing doubts and he did not directly threaten to withdraw during the summit on Thursday (12/7/2018).” (Reuters, 12/7/2018). Note that France currently spends about 1.8% of its gross domestic product on defense. But it is working to get close to America so as to be given an international role beside it to satisfy the feelings of love of greatness that overwhelms the French, but without abandoning the European Union, besides the fear of the rise of Germany. France sometimes works more in favor of the European Union, as was the case at the recent G-7 summit in Canada, and Trump’s trade war, and in the maintenance of the nuclear agreement with Iran despite America’s withdrawl from it, and other times it leans towards the US like what took place at the recent Brussels summit
6- Trump has shown that America is ready to give up NATO, and although he did not do so now, but this threat remains. He has declared war on his allies and enemies. This is a new direction in America’s policy led by its reckless president, and he is also ready to abandon other alliances. We have said in the answer to a question on 16/6/2018 ”All this shows that the trade war file is very important for America, as it continues to suffer from the repercussions of the financial crisis that erupted in 2008 with debts amounted to more than $ 20 trillion dollars, and President Trump who is business minded works to save the economy of America, raising the slogan “America first”. This threatens the disintegration of international institutions long used by America to impose its influence globally and thus the disintegration of the world order and the emergence of a new international position, where America no longer sacrifices in order to remain the leading state of the world, with the help of other countries and tolerance by making the balance of trade on its side, but it only cares about sovereignty with commercial profit without help from its allies so as to keep them under its umbrella and walk behind it”.
7- Thus, the war between the Allies is raging. This foreshadows the disintegration of their alliances and the outbreak of economic and political wars between them, and if it wasn’t for their fear of the use of nuclear weapons, a third world war would have erupted between them along the lines of the previous two world wars. These allies are the source of evil for the world, for their adoption of the evil capitalist ideology, which makes benefit the criteria for their action, and the material value is the only value that prevails in society. Thus, the world has become in a dire need of the emergence of the state of good, the Khilafah (Caliphate) Rashida state, on the method of Prophethood, which will spread spiritual, moral and human values, and does not only seek to achieve the material value. And Allah has sincere worshipers, who are truthful with the Messenger of Allah, and we do not recommend anyone for Allah, who work day and night to achieve this great good. Their tongue is moist with the remembrance of Allah, and their limbs are preoccupied with the call to Allah and their hearts are reassured with Allah’s victory
إِنَّا لَنَنْصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْأَشْهَادُ
“Indeed, We will support Our messengers and those who believe during the life of this world and on the Day when the witnesses will stand”
4 Dhul Qi’dah 1439 AH