NATO Nations Uneasy After Trump Fails to Endorse Article 5

One of the principle articles in the formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) says that an attack on any one NATO member is an attack on all and that all will come to the defense of the nation attacked. Article 5 has been openly supported by every US president since Truman. Speaking at NATO headquarters, Trump said the US would stand behind its NATO allies, but did not come out and openly endorse Article 5.

President Donald Trump drew backlash Thursday after he did not explicitly endorse Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s founding document during his summit with NATO allies in Brussels.

The article, known as the collective-defense clause, stipulates that an attack on any member is an attack on all. It was invoked for the first time in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — a point raised by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in their respective remarks on Thursday.

Trump said in his speech that the US would “never forsake the friends that stood by our side” in the aftermath of 9/11. But he did not explicitly endorse Article 5, as every US president since Harry S. Truman has when speaking outside NATO headquarters

Another part of Trump’s address to NATO was his call for all member nations to meet their full financial obligations. He said that NATO would be a lot stronger if nations paid their bill, especially when it comes to fighting terrorism. Many are concerned and criticizing Trump for what he did and did not say.

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