NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that “going it alone is not an option.”
Trump criticized NATO members for “not paying their fair share” and described the alliance as “obsolete” during his campaign for the GOP nomination. Stoltenberg said it’s the wrong time to “question the partnership between Europe and the United States,” in an op-ed in The Observer published Sunday.
“Going it alone is not an option, either for Europe or for the United States,” Stoltenberg wrote.
Stoltenberg reminded Trump that the only time NATO’s self-defense clause — that an attack on one is an attack on all — has been invoked was after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
“This was more than just a symbol,” he wrote. “NATO went on to take charge of the operation in Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of European soldiers have served in Afghanistan since. And more than 1,000 have paid the ultimate price in an operation that is a direct response to an attack against the United States.”The former Norwegian prime minister acknowledged Trump was right in saying the U.S. contributes more to NATO than all other members combined. He asked for Trump and America to show “strong leadership” during a time of uncertainty instead distancing himself from the alliance.
“It is all too easy to take the freedoms, security and prosperity we enjoy for granted,” Stoltenberg wrote. “In these uncertain times we need strong American leadership, and we need Europeans to shoulder their fair share of the burden.”
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