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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

With one speech, Donald Trump has caused transatlantic panic

Gage Skidmore
A photo of former President Donald Trump making a speech.

It is undeniable that former United States President Donald Trump is a controversial figure; he is no stranger to catalyzing uproar. However, his most recently displeased audiences are entire nations—more specifically, the countries within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

NATO is a longstanding post-World War II alliance between the United States and 30 other European countries, including prominent nations such as France, Norway, and the United Kingdom. There, they discuss political and security issues and come to a consensus.

However, the fundamental principle of their alliance is if a nation within NATO is attacked by another country, that attack is synonymous with all of NATO being attacked. Therefore, the other NATO allies will come to aid the attacked country.

On Feb. 10, in South Carolina, Trump spoke at his campaign rally, during which the topic of NATO arose. The former president said that when previously in office, he was asked by a “big” NATO country if they were attacked by Russia and hadn’t paid their “bills”—referring to each country’s goal of spending two percent of their GDP on defense—would Trump continue to protect them? To that, Trump claims to have responded with, “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage [Russia] to do whatever… they wanted.”

So now, only time will tell how his words will impact the nation.

All across the board, Trump has received backlash for his comments, particularly when he encouraged Russia to do as it pleases. From within NATO, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenburg shot back saying that suggestions such as Trump’s “undermine” all of the security built within the organization and put both European and American soldiers at risk. 

In addition to the foreign backlash, Trump also received backlash from within the United States—most notably from current President Joe Biden and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley. Haley called attention to his statements, saying, “We have to start paying attention to what this means.”

The response from Biden has been similar to Haley’s; he criticized Trump’s implications, calling them “dangerous” and “un-American.” Biden even went as far as to say that Trump has “bowed down to a Russian dictator.”  

Since then, Biden has called to action the Republican representatives, asking, “Are you going to stand with Ukraine or are you going to stand with Putin? Will you stand with America or Trump?”

Trump’s remarks have also been noted as extremely untimely with Ukraine continuing to push back against Russia’s invasion and the increasing skepticism of Republicans in Congress to continue to provide financial aid for Ukraine.

Nevertheless, Trump’s critics and allies alike concede that concerns over NATO’s defense spending are a legitimate problem that has been raised by previous presidents such as former President Barack Obama. 

In fact, this isn’t the first time Trump has brought up problems with NATO. During his presidency in 2018, Trump allegedly came close to leaving NATO, and in the press, he has a history of misrepresenting NATO and the information regarding it.

Trump has undeniable influence over politics in America. So now, only time will tell how his words will impact the nation.

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About the Contributor
Alysse Calabio
Alysse Calabio, Staff Writer
Alysse Calabio is going on to her second and final year on The Central Trend. If there's anything she loves more than the world, it would be experiencing new adventures and hobbies; everything from taekwondo to horseback riding to, evidently, writing has caught her attention at some point. Whether or not she was able to stick with it is up for debate but to say she didn't try would be a lie. In her free time you'll find her attempting to learn how to cook, something she has failed miserably in the past, and crocheting her heart out. This year will surely be a bittersweet one, but she's excited to be going through it. Artist she is currently obsessing over: Laufey Her favorite movie: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once Most interesting food she's ever tried: Chicken feet  

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