NewsTrump's potential withdrawal from NATO looms over Munich Security Conference

Trump's potential withdrawal from NATO looms over Munich Security Conference

Donald Trump can decide on the withdrawal of the USA from the North Atlantic Treaty.
Donald Trump can decide on the withdrawal of the USA from the North Atlantic Treaty.
Images source: © Licensor | 2024 Getty Images
2:58 PM EST, February 17, 2024

The Security Conference is taking place in Munich on Saturday. This conference serves as a forum for discussing current international security issues among heads of state, government officials, foreign and defence ministers, parliamentarians, media representatives, and academics.

Trump's potential withdrawal from NATO

During the conference, Hillary Clinton emphasized that should Donald Trump be re-elected as the president of the United States, he would readily withdraw the US from the North Atlantic Treaty.

- "He is taking us out of NATO." Clinton told the conference attendees. The former US Secretary of State called on everyone to deeply contemplate the harsh rhetoric of her former presidential opponent.

Previously, Trump expressed concerns over the US involvement in NATO, stating that he would "encourage" Russia to attack any member country that does not meet defence spending objectives. For some time, he has criticized the alliance for its lack of response to countries that do not allocate 2% of their GDP to defence.

In response to such rhetoric, the United States Congress passed a law in December to prevent the US president from unilaterally withdrawing from the alliance without Congressional approval.

Jim Risch, the Republican chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, denied on Saturday that the United States' withdrawal from NATO was even under consideration. - "It would take two-thirds of the votes in the United States Senate to withdraw - that will never happen." - he told CNBC in Munich.

Nevertheless, Clinton argued during the conference that Trump could merely refuse to fund the alliance. -"The United States will exist in name only." - she said.

Germany Increases Defense Spending

Upon being asked to comment on the possible re-election of Trump as the US president, Olaf Scholz stated that "relations between the United States and Europe remain in their best state for years".

He also confirmed that Germany, being the largest economy in Europe, has increased its defence expenditure to 2% of its GDP and will continue to meet this NATO target in the future.

However, Scholz has not yet decided whether Berlin will supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles, a matter Ukraine has been persistent about since May of last year. - "Germany is doing everything to ensure that a genuinely strong Ukraine can defend itself." - said the Chancellor.

He reminded attendees that the US provides Ukraine with military aid amounting to about $20 billion per year. -"All European countries should make a comparable effort." - he stressed.

Scholz also noted that Germany is discussing with allies - France and Great Britain - about developing precision long-range weapons, to ensure that the West has access to the most advanced deterrent weapons.

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