Donald Trump has said that if he is elected president he may abandon a guarantee of protection to fellow Nato countries.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mr. Trump said the US would only come to the aid of allies if they have “fulfilled their obligations to us”.
Members of Nato have all signed a treaty that says they will come to the aid of any member that is attacked.
Mr. Trump will speak on Thursday at the Republican National Convention.
In a preview of what he will tell convention-goers in his speech, he outlined a foreign policy strategy aimed at reducing US expenditure and involvement abroad.
Donald Trump’s suggestion that the United States shouldn’t automatically come to the defense of fellow NATO members if they are attacked brought swift and sharp rebukes from longstanding American allies — and other Republicans — on Thursday, all while feeding the perception that he is in the tank for U.S. rival Russia.
Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, was on the defensive early Thursday, telling Fox News that he is confident the Republican nominee would stand by America’s NATO allies, but insisted that those countries ‘must pay their fair share.’
In the Times interview, which came ahead of his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, Trump also said he would not hide authoritarian leaders for cracking down on civil liberties or purging their political rivals; that he’d pull the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if Canada and Mexico didn’t agree to better terms; and that he may pull back U.S. troops deployed around the world, even from highly sensitive areas such as the Korean peninsula.
The US has long been pressing its European allies to spend more on defence. That is slowly beginning to have an effect.
But never has there been a suggestion that the US would renege on its responsibilities.
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