NATO May Increase Anti-ISIS Commitment To Appease Trump

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

NATO is considering adding a counter-terrorism coordinator to appease President Donald Trump’s demands the alliance do more in the fight against the Islamic State, The Wall Street Journal reports.

NATO officials, however, are reluctant to commit to the post without agreement from allies that counter-terrorism should be a priority. They are also seeking extra funding for training initiatives. Some officials told TheWSJ they were waiting for a specific proposal from the U.S. but have not yet seen one.

Trump pushed NATO Secretary General Jans Stoltenberg to “adapt to the challenges of the future” during his April 12 visit.

“This includes upgrading NATO to focus on today’s most pressing security and all of its challenges, including migration and terrorism.” Trump said. “I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete; it’s no longer obsolete.”

Trump’s change of heart came after a modest NATO commitment to the American anti-ISIS effort of 17 soldiers to train 30 Iraqi Security Forces.

“This is a start, and then we will assess, work with allies and look at what more we can do,” NATO Secretary General Jans Stoltenberg told TheWSJ of the new counter-terror mission.

The matter will be formally discussed May 5 at a meeting of allied ambassadors ahead of a gathering of all heads of state May 25. The meeting will come during Trump’s first tour abroad as President, where he will also likely press the alliance on upping its spending commitments.

“I think the distribution of costs has to be changed. I think NATO as a concept is good, but it is not as good as it was when it first evolved,” Trump told The Washington Post in March 2016. Trump doubled down in a CNN interview the same day, saying, “Frankly, they have to put up more money. They’re going to have to put some up also. We’re paying disproportionately. It’s too much. And frankly it’s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea.”

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