The issue of NATO’s viability has become especially acute after United States President Donald Trump described the alliance as “obsolete” and called for reforms.
In a January interview with The Times, Trump claimed that NATO is an obsolete organization since it is not much engaged in fighting terrorism and its members are not contributing enough.
“I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago. Number two the countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to pay. I took such heat, when I said NATO was obsolete. It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror,” Trump told the newspaper.
“With that being said, NATO is very important to me. There are five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much,” he added.
A recent Sputnik.Polls survey revealed that the majority of Europeans believe that they need protection from NATO.
According to Sergei Ermakov, a senior analyst at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, the results of the poll were predictable.
“In fact, there is no surprise. They [results] stem from the current situation and expectations in the US and Europe after Trump’s victory. Washington is tired of the burden of dealing with Europe’s affairs. Moreover, NATO has never been engaged in a military conflict, except for Yugoslavian conflict, which, however, posed no threat to its members,” Ermakov told Radio Sputnik.
The expert underscored that currently there is an information war underway and ordinary people are prisoners of this war.
“The global order is now in transition. In this context, there is also an information war. So, polls show that regular people are victims of this war. As for the US, we can focus public support for Trump and his calls to focus on domestic interests. He has repeatedly said that Washington should take down the burden of Europe, for example,” Ermakov pointed out.
At the same time, the situation in Europe is opposite, including the migrant crisis and the artificially inflated “Russian threat.”
“Europeans see that there are no domestic instruments to protect them from those threats,” the expert said.
According to the poll, half of Europeans polled believe that the European Union does need the protection offered by the US and NATO, while only 48 percent of American respondents share their opinion on the matter.