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Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
NATO Allies Confront Uncertainty, Calculate Options in Wake of US Presidential Election
France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) and his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen attend a European Union foreign and defense ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium. (Reuters/Yves Herman)
This week’s snapshot focuses on concerns among America’s NATO allies in the wake of the US presidential election. During his campaign, US President-elect Donald Trump called the alliance “obsolete” and said he would hesitate to protect European nations from attack unless they “fulfilled their obligations to us.” The comments conflicted with the central intent of NATO’s charter, which establishes that “an armed attack against one or more [members] in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” Following his election victory, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that he was “absolutely confident” that the alliance was a strong as ever. Other NATO leaders have been more critical, with French President Hollande warning that the election brought a “period of uncertainty” and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen lecturing Trump that the alliance is “not a company” and that he needed to “say clearly” whether or he is on the “side of the law, peace and democracy” or with his “best buddy” Russian President Putin. The Kremlin, meanwhile, expressed hope that Trump would persuade NATO to slow down its expansion or withdraw its forces from Russia’s borders, which “would lead to a kind of detente in Europe,” allowing the country to maintain its present course in Syria and protect its annexation of Crimea.
News summary of events during the week of 07NOV16 – 14NOV16
Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about the US election results and NATO
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the US election results and NATO
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Founder, Rasmussen Global; Former Secretary General of NATO and Prime Minister of Denmark
“Neglecting [the Baltic States] will have far-reaching consequences and mark the beginning of the end of the US-led system. As Commander-in-Chief, Donald Trump must display strength towards Russia. Putin only respects a firm and steady hand.”
Dana Allin, Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs, The International Institute for Strategic Studies
“The idea that Trump’s presidency is not going to create problems for NATO is delusional.”
François Heisbourg, Special Adviser, Foundation for Strategic Research
“We have the intersection of the Trump challenge with the leadership problems in Europe, exacerbated by Brexit.”
Henry Kissinger, US National Security Advisor and later concurrently the US Secretary of State in the administrations of presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
“I really would appeal to people to give him a chance to develop a relation to a kind of foreign policy that he has not had to consider before…A lot of it will depend on the advisors. But after all, the linkage of Europe and the United States grew out of its very historical experiences. It wasn’t the personal idiosyncrasies of individual presidents. And so the elements by which that security link was evolved must be given consideration.”
Jonathan Eyal, International Director, Royal United Services Institute
“There will be an attempt to recalibrate the relationship. Asking for more military spending by Europe is not a novelty per se, and not without merit.”
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the US election results and NATO
Byline: Andreas Rinke
Date: 09 November 2016
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen described Donald Trump’s gains in the U.S. presidential election as a “huge shock” on Wednesday and asked him for assurances on his commitment to NATO.
Von der Leyen told broadcaster ARD that the Republican candidate’s strong showing was “not a vote for him but rather against Washington, against the establishment”.
Media: The Telegraph (UK)
Byline: Steven Swinford and Harriet Alexander
Date: 11 November 2016
Britain will next week warn Nato allies in Europe that they must pay their “fair share” on defence amid fears that Donald Trump will withdraw US support if they fail to do so.
Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, will on Monday use a Brussels summit tell his European counterparts that they must abandon plans for an EU army and back Nato.
Media: New York Times
Byline: ALISON SMALE and STEVEN ERLANGER
Date: 12 November 2016
BERLIN — And then there was one.
Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has emerged as the last powerful defender of Europe and the trans-Atlantic alliance after the election of Donald J. Trump. But after 11 years in power, she is tired, her associates say, and under siege seemingly from all directions.
She is under pressure from the same forces that elevated Mr. Trump in America, fueled Britain’s vote to exit the European Union and are now propelling the populist Marine Le Pen in France. At home, the hard-right Alternative for Germany party has scored a string of victories in state elections.
Media: New York Times
Byline: THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Date: 12 November 2016
Among the first world leaders to congratulate President-elect Donald Trump was Vladimir Putin. And why shouldn’t he?
Just when relations between Russia and the West are at their most precarious point since the Cold War, Mr. Trump has been Russia’s defender and the beneficiary of Moscow’s efforts to influence the presidential campaign. At times he has seemed almost intoxicated by the Russian president, praising Mr. Putin’s firmness and insisting that the two could resolve any differences if they met. Meanwhile, he has shown little concern that Russia poses a major strategic challenge.
Media: NBC News
Byline: Alexander Smith
Date: 12 November 2016
If Donald Trump actually follows through on his bold rhetoric he is in danger of tearing NATO apart, and with it the very concept of “the West” itself, according to experts.
During his campaign, Trump sent shock waves of alarm through Europe after revealing that he might not come to the aid of his NATO allies if they were attacked.
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