NATO Secretary General to Trump: Stop undermining our deterrence system

Wednesday, 14 February 2024

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, hinted that US presidential candidate Donald Trump is harming the security of the Alliance with his statements and stated that he is awaiting a change in his rhetoric.

Asked about Donald Trump's recent controversial statements in which he cast doubt on America’s intention to defend other allies in the event of a Russian attack, Stoltenberg reminded that the success of the Alliance has always been based on the inviolability of this commitment: "NATO has been able to prevent an attack on the Alliance for 75 years," Stoltenberg said ahead of the meeting of the Alliance's defence ministers.

Stoltenberg said that the primary strength of the Alliance lies in the principle of deterrence, based on the belief that adversaries are confident in NATO's collective response in the event of an attack on any member. Abandoning this principle undermines the strength of the Alliance.

"The idea and focus of NATO is to prevent war... Any assumptions that we will not defend each other undermine our security," emphasised the Secretary General, noting that all current governments of NATO members emphasise the inviolability of the principle of collective defence.


Stoltenberg also emphasised that all of these explanations are directed at Donald Trump personally after his statements came to light: "My signal [to Trump] is that we should not undermine our deterrence. We do not doubt the readiness to defend allies."

During a rally in South Carolina, Trump recalled how, during his presidency, he threatened to "encourage Russia" to attack NATO members who failed to meet their financial obligations to the Alliance.

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, referred to Trump's words as irresponsible.

Meanwhile, in Poland, Donald Tusk and government ministers, along with President Andrzej Duda, diverged in their reactions to Trump's words, criticising each other.

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