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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Trump Adviser Proposes Overhaul of NATO’s Membership Criteria

Trump adviser proposes tiered NATO system, threatening Article 5 protections for members failing to meet defense spending targets.

International NewsTrump Adviser Proposes Overhaul of NATO's Membership Criteria
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A prominent national security adviser closely tied to Donald Trump unveiled a bold plan that could reshape NATO’s dynamics if the former president returns to power.

Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general who previously served as chief of staff of Trump’s National Security Council, outlined a proposal aimed at compelling NATO members to meet their defense spending commitments. Under his plan, nations failing to allocate at least 2% of their GDP to defense would risk losing the coveted Article 5 protections, which guarantee collective defense in the event of an attack.

Kellogg emphasized the importance of contribution within alliances, stating, “If you’re going to be part of an alliance, contribute to the alliance, be part of the alliance.”

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While Kellogg refrained from confirming discussions with Trump directly, he indicated frequent conversations regarding NATO’s future. With Trump poised to secure the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Kellogg projected a potential NATO summit in June 2025 to deliberate on the alliance’s evolution.

The envisioned changes could see NATO transformed into a “tiered alliance,” wherein members receive varying levels of protection contingent upon their adherence to NATO’s foundational principles.

Trump’s camp, although silent on Kellogg’s proposal, has previously highlighted him as a potential policymaker in a future administration. The administration’s discontent with NATO’s current state, particularly European members’ perceived underfunding, has been a consistent theme.

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Kellogg suggested a range of repercussions for non-compliant members, including loss of access to training and shared resources, and even the freedom to withdraw from the alliance.

He underscored the importance of Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty, emphasizing that adherence to individual defense capability development is crucial. Despite Article 3 not mandating a specific defense spending threshold, NATO members committed to moving towards the 2% GDP target by 2024 during a 2014 summit.

Kellogg’s proposal aligns with previous remarks by Robert O’Brien, Trump’s former national security adviser, hinting at potential trade tariffs on non-compliant NATO countries during a second Trump term.

As debates around NATO’s future intensify, Kellogg’s plan promises a paradigm shift in transatlantic security dynamics, prompting a critical reassessment of member nations’ commitments and obligations within the alliance.

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