In light of that development, Sputnik spoke to geopolitical analyst and author Nikola Mirkovic, to find out how Europe might respond to such straight talk.
Sputnik: So, we know now that President Trump plans on telling NATO countries next week that the US “cannot be the world’s piggy bank” – how do you expect NATO leaders to respond to that sentiment?
Nikola Mirkovic: I think that most of them would be hypocrites to say that this is something new.
Please bear in mind that former secretary of defence of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Robert Gates, constantly kept asking NATO countries to respect the two percent engagement of GDP for the NATO budget. So, this is not something new.
Sputnik: It is of course, certainly the ‘liberal consensus’, that president Trump is essentially tearing apart multilateral institutionalism, but of course man would argue that Trump has a point here, and that NATO members, and Europe more generally, need to start taking care of their own security and defence, a little more independently of the US – what do you think of that?
Nikola Mirkovic: I think this is true. And I think actually, the first question all of us should be asking ourselves, whether it be in Europe or in the US, is what is the purpose of NATO? NATO was invented right after World War Two against the so-called ‘Soviet threat’ against the west. Now that this Soviet threat does not exist anymore what is the purpose of NATO?
And if we look at what NATO has been used for, these past years: illegally bombing Serbia, intervening illegally in Afghanistan or bombing Libya, in all three of these regions the situation today is actually worse than it was before, it’s catastrophic.
If Donald Trump asks if NATO is in our interests, I think the European countries should jump on that bandwagon and review their own strategy in terms of defence.
Sputnik: Do you think that, given the recent concerns in Brussels over the future of the transatlantic alliance, it’s possible that EU leaders may be more open to Mr Trump’s demands, more accommodating of them, in order to try and preserve the stability of the alliance?
None of the officials of any European country today has voiced that position, but I think that seeing the current situation, seeing what happened at the G7, seeing the current status of the European Union, which is very bad, some may want to do whatever is possible to try to save the Atlantic alliance.
So, we may start seeing some hawks going in any direction to try to save the alliance. Some countries may also start voicing their own interests and maybe a different view on Europe and on the relationship that Europe should be having with the United States.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nikola Mirkovic and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.