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Trump could end NATO expansion – Politico

The US presidential hopeful is reportedly considering options to stop the Ukraine conflict

The former and possibly future US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a deal with Russia not to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia, according to a Politico article citing anonymous sources.

Trump is the presumptive Republican challenger to the incumbent President Joe Biden in the November election. His campaign has not yet named a national security team, or published a new agenda for NATO, but Politico Magazine pieced together a possible one in a story published on Tuesday.

“As part of a plan for Ukraine that has not been previously reported, the presumptive GOP nominee is mulling a deal whereby NATO commits to no further eastward expansion — specifically into Ukraine and Georgia — and negotiates with Russian President Vladimir Putin over how much Ukrainian territory Moscow can keep,” the story said, citing two “Trump-aligned national security experts.”

One anonymous source supposedly familiar with Trump’s thinking said he was “open to something foreclosing NATO expansion and not going back to the 1991 borders for Ukraine,” but did not exclude any other options, “including supplying large amounts of weapons” to Kiev.

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Trump the Peacemaker? How his presidency might help end the war in Ukraine

While Trump is “unlikely” to quit NATO outright, he is likely to overhaul the US-led bloc to make its European members take on more responsibilities – something Politico’s sources worry they are not actually capable of.

European members of the bloc that don’t spend at least 2% of their GDP on the military  “wouldn’t enjoy the defense largess and security guarantee” of the US, according to one anonymous Trump-aligned source. 

The US “does not have enough military forces to go around,” Elbridge Colby, Trump’s deputy assistant defense secretary for strategy, told Politico. “We can’t break our spear in Europe against the Russians when we know the Chinese and Russians are collaborating, and the Chinese are a more dangerous and significant threat.”

European members of the bloc “need to be producing combat credible forces to deal with a Russian attack, like now,” Colby added.

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Former US President Donald Trump.
Trump advisers have a Ukraine ‘peace plan’ – Reuters

As part of a “radical reorientation” of NATO under Trump, the US would maintain its air and naval bases in Europe, but leave the “bulk of infantry, armor, logistics and artillery” to be handled by the continental allies.

According to Politico, EU countries are “plainly not prepared to fill a dramatically expanded military role anytime soon,” while the continent is “weaker economically and more dependent on US energy supplies than ever before.”

“It’s important to note that all these opinions are not from Donald Trump,” Richard Grenell, his former acting director of national intelligence, said on X (formerly Twitter) in response to the Politico article. The Trump campaign did not respond to the outlet’s requests for comment. 

July 03, 2024 at 04:09AM

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