CBS News: NATO is already preparing for Trump’s return and his attempts to break up the alliance

NATO is preparing for Donald Trump’s likely return to the White House: ramping up spending to 2 percent of GDP and creating a fund for long-term financing of Ukraine. CBS News reports that a new analysis shows Trump won’t even have to withdraw the U.S. from the alliance to significantly weaken it. He would simply use his administrative powers to operationally command the military and could simply sabotage the defence of Europe.

Because of fears ahead of Donald Trump’s re-election, NATO countries are ramping up military spending. “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is preparing a funding plan to try to insulate the 75-year-old military partnership from any changing political realities that could affect the alliance,” CBS News reported, citing Oana Lungescu, Stoltenberg’s former spokesman.

According to Lungescu, “having predictability is important for both the alliance members and Ukraine.” Stoltenberg’s plan, she said, would “relieve the US of the burden” but would allow it to “retain full control” of aid to Ukraine. The publication recalls that “Stoltenberg has proposed a five-year, $107 billion military aid package for Ukraine that would give the broader alliance a more direct role in funding.”

NATO has been forced to respond to statements by Trump, who has already reiterated several times in the election campaign that he will not defend NATO allies if they do not fulfil their spending commitments. In 2023, for example, only 10 countries out of 30 NATO members spent more than 2% of GDP on defence. Oanu Lungescu hopes that new data will be available by the alliance’s July summit that will show an improvement in the situation.

Important alliance lobbyists, such as former US security adviser John Bolton or former US military chief in Europe General Ben Hodges, have long warned of Trump’s threat to the alliance. CBS News points out that a recent UK Ministry of Defence political-military simulation showed that “in the event of a second Trump presidency, the alliance would be vulnerable to collapse even if the US does not withdraw from NATO.”

In the scenario, Trump tried to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine after taking office and after the talks fail “cuts foreign aid to Ukraine.” Due to a lack of votes in Congress, Trump cannot withdraw from NATO but “significantly reduces U.S. participation in NATO exercises, including moving 50 per cent of the U.S. military presence in Europe to the Indo-Pacific region” – because the White House administration decides to do so.

Finley Grimble, a former British defence analyst told the network that “such a scenario would leave NATO a ‘devastated, unprepared shell’ as a dormant NATO policy would be pursued.” Grimble expresses to CBS News the fear that Trump will take advantage of the fact that it is always a U.S. officer who commands NATO forces. “You tell the NATO supreme commander to stop cooperating, stop implementing plans, and the whole thing falls apart. And that’s what Trump has done in the game,” Grimble explains his concerns.