Trump has been critical of the NATO alliance during his time campaigning and in the presidential debates. Now that he has won the presidency American allies and NATO members have to question what the global impact of his policies will be.
Trump critical on the campaign trail
During the first presidential debate Trump raised his concerns with NATO not contributing their fair share. This means an unnecessary burden is being put on the United States to cover the defense of other nations.
The 28 countries of NATO, many of them aren't paying their fair share. — Donald Trump
The recommended level of defense spending for NATO members is 2% of a nation's domestic GDP. This is an amount which many countries do not meet. Of the 28 countries in NATO only five meet the recommended level of spending on defense. These countries are the United States, Greece, Poland, Estonia and the United Kingdom. The United States spends around 3.61% of its GDP on military spending, far outpacing any other member.
NATO remains optimistic
Given Trump's attitude and questioning of the relevance of the alliance, many are concerned with the potential impact this might have on global politics. The NATO Secretary General has remained optimistic though, citing the long history that the alliance has had.
The US commitment to NATO and the US commitment to the collective defense of Europe has been rock-solid for almost 70 years and I'm absolutely confident that, that will still be the case. — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg also express his belief that NATO is good for the U.S. as well as Europe. The U.S. is without a doubt good for NATO as it contributes such a large portion of its budget. On the other hand, there is value in the U.S. having strong Democratic allies throughout the world of which to work with on matters of international importance.
I'm confident because a strong NATO is important for Europe, but it's also of great importance for the United States. — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Trump and NATO will have to work together
NATO and Trump will have to work together in some capacity. It simply is not feasible to dismantle the organization overnight. Should the U.S. actually withdraw from NATO the world would be plunged into unknown territory. There would be a new geopolitical balance, which would be the first major change since the end of WWII.
Things are not likely to happen this way, and although there may be changes in order for NATO, it likely won't disappear anytime soon. It is more likely that NATO and Trump will find common ground and find a way to work together that meets the needs of all countries involved. Jens Stoltenberg provided congratulations for Trump winning, as well as said he was looking forwards to working with him.
I congratulate Donald Trump on his election as the next President of the United States. And I look forward to working with President-elect Trump. — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg