tv Quadriga - Friendly Fire How United Is NATO Deutsche Welle July 12, 2018 7:30pm-8:00pm CEST
hooman been fighting for the case to take you seriously in the world of what appears has come out women. the superhero. the smartarse smart stay in the gym or increasingly dangerous times. for my. rarely have divisions among the transatlantic partners been on more open display than at this year's nato summit in brussels it got off to a tense start with u.s. president donald trump insisting his nato partners in general and germany in particular must pay a larger share of the alliance's costs now is the us president who will go on to moscow early next week prepared to turn his back on nato while embracing russia and
could his tough talk and unpredictable actions undermine not only the transatlantic partnership but the post-war order overall. how united is nato that's our topic this week on quadriga and these are our guests it's a pleasure to welcome claudia mind your she is senior associate for international security and germany's institute for international security affairs and she says nato is only as strong as its members make it open conflict undermines its collective defense commitment and it's great to have with us on the show christiane tippet he's a security expert here. and he says u.s. president trump could spell out it's to put this concrete fear among allies shows that nato is eroding and finally we're very pleased to have with us tyson barker he's a foreign policy expert for the aspen institute here in berlin and he's a former state department official he says nato focused for too long on threats
from the east and the south and failed to take seriously the threat from within. so let me start out by asking you your you wrote just before the summit that europe's security is at stake thereby mirroring europeans fear that the long standing u.s. security guarantees for europe are perhaps fraying but despite trump's aggressive rhetoric he did sign the joint statement by the nato members so would you say the worrying here in europe was perhaps a little bit unnecessary. i think in the end this summit went oh it's better than we sold it's not yet over because i think we have to wait for the meeting with president putin and then be comparably do a kind of conclusion what really happened. but overall i think the problem goes beyond the nato summit we have
a major change in the transatlantic relationship between the u.s. and the europeans and this is something that's what's very us if we are not united in nato in the transatlantic relationship if they have doubts of us being together based on solid devotee than we are actually we can go on that also applies to our security because when to play your opening statement says that nato is eroding but despite trump's attacks the alliance still does have very strong support in washington the senate for example sent president trump off on his trip with a resolution with a strong majority saying that the senate absolutely supports nato that's right and perhaps we simply have a donald trump problem with nato if you look back at nato is history you see that you know and you have the ninety's or in the sixty's and seventy's there was often a public debate on where nato should go to how nato should develop what strategic
outreach nato should take so it's not new for nato to discuss where to go or to discuss its future but what is new is the way the style the american president throws into nato and this combined with his collusion with the possible collusion with russia combined with this outlook on the summit with mr putin of course creates serious varies but coming back to your question it's not nato being in danger to be dissolved the u.s. in general is still supporting it but we have a problem with the u.s. president for sure doesn't bark or your opening statement seems to him. that you think the problem goes beyond the u.s. president alone you referred to the threat from within what do you mean exactly by that yeah i mean president trump is just a symptom of something that is not just happening in ited states but across the nato space which is erosion of trust in democratic institutions and erosion of
trust in democracy itself return to kind of ethno nationalism isolationism america first poland first hungry first this first ism and this is not circumscribed to one man or one country this is across the board and those are not the natal values that were established after the second world war let me get us to all take a listen to a sound bite from president trump at abe rally that he attended last week in other words before leaving for the summit and it essentially is mr trump describing a batch of letters that he sent out to the other nato members and especially one letter in particular namely to chancellor merkel you know what. i can't guarantee. we're protecting you and it means a lot more to you then protecting us because i don't know how much for texturing we
get by protecting you and then they go out and they make gas feel well and gas from russia where they paid billions and billions of dollars to russia. ok so they want to protect against russia. dollars through russia and when they're shocked at all for. the schmucks that pay for the whole thing let's deconstruct that statement that we heard there from president trump a number of aspects of which he did repeat as the nato summit got under way and let's begin with his final assertion that the u.s. bears a disproportionate share of nato's costs he put it a little more bluntly the u.s. does cover sixty seven percent of the nato budget with a contribution that amounts to over three point five percent of the u.s. g.d.p. its gross domestic product germany manages a paltry one point two percent of its g.d.p.
the nato allies claim they've gotten the message germany says it's going to go up to one point five percent by two thousand and twenty four is that good enough i think first first one needs to be clear that this we point something that the u.s. spends on defense does not go and tiredly tonight so you have been secured a defense is a tiny element of the overall u.s. defense budget and the u.s. is not a date to because they find they do that wonderful best because it's part of their national interest so i think we should be very clear about that having said that there is indeed an issue of bone showing and the question i've been showing is as old as nato is every american president actually talked about showing and called europeans to do more for that defense rightly so the europeans have forgiven on time. they didn't pay enough attention to their own defense forces to their own defense system so he is right and claiming more. and more european commitment for
defense germany has actually stepped up its commitments since two thousand and fourteen the defense budget is growing so we had some thirty two billions into seoul and fourteen we are now searching eight something billions in two thousand and eighteen and it's going to grow the problem is about the long term development so far is not really in the plan so we have a very strong political rhetorical commitment by the chancellor by the minister of defense but if you look in the financial planning of the german budget it's not yet there but what i really want to underline is that the debate about defense in germany and in europe has changed and it has changed before from it has changed since two thousand and fourteen when russia annexed crimea and didn't warn eastern ukraine this was really a game changer for european security it forced europeans to really learn collective
defense concentrated upon crisis management like in afghanistan or libya it forced europeans to remember reading on collective defense but everything that implies just excusable ities training finances everything there is movement it's not yet enough but there's clearly movement question. many people watching from abroad would say the debate may have changed in germany but it's not changing fast enough germany's role in two world wars and in the holocaust is often cited as a reason for why it spread public reluctance to see germany take a stronger role militarily but the fact is that history is receding ever further into the past isn't it high time that germany does in fact do more with germany started to dumas is claudia just pointed out i would like to say that the two persons toddlers spending two percent of the g.d.p. for defense is much older than mr trump's term in office it's
a social commitment from two thousand and fourteen but it has been endorsed already ten or eleven years ago for the first time and ever since not much happened in europe it's not only germany whose father was looking behind to meet that target as many other countries lot of a lot of countries also i'm not there already but coming back to germany yes you're right. german history and the experienced germans drum society has made with the second world war makes it difficult to talk about spending a lot for defense about the military in general the military has not a very high esteem in drum society anymore but if this is so to say the long term perspective after the fall of the berlin wall and the collapse of communism it was . the germans who really were eager to consume the peace dividend and that's what we did and now turning around is
a very difficult process apart from the long term perspective of history just briefly do you think we see enough leadership from german politicians on this two or three years ago my answer has been no i think it has started now yes tyson barker i know that you were working in the obama era white house and other were it's a sorry in the state department in other words you were in the state department at the time that in two thousand and fourteen the nato members did signed up to this two percent commitment president trump is now talking about doubling that commitment to four percent so my question to you also as a former diplomat how binding are these targets and to what degree that do they truly reflect the nato members actual contributions because if i look at it germany has sent a large number of forces to afghanistan i think it's the second largest provider of troops in afghanistan it has led to a battalion in eastern ukraine right so does this kind of target if you're
a national security in eastern europe sorry does this kind of a new target measurement really reflect the respective members contributions well you know this is it's just a target to focus the mind i mean it's easy to communicate two percent two percent that's something you can save your public and now trump what he's doing is saying four percent i don't think that this is something they come up with on a whim although it seems that way he's communicating it. but that's not meant for germany that's not meant for as a message to medical or anybody in brussels that's meant for as a message to his base back home and what he's trying to do with his base and this is what's worrying this comes back to the threat from within is basically create a part of the population the united states that's hostile to nato that sees it as decadent that sees it as a lot of countries that have enjoyed the american security blanket without paying it without appreciating it sufficiently and that's something he's creating a new resentment for right now in the united states nato has sixty two percent approval actually in germany it's sixty seven percent but in the u.s.
it's sixty two percent but where does that approval come from eighty one percent of liberals democrat leaning voters support nato and only forty nine percent of republicans and that's going down so he's really creating a new skepticism for nato within his base and that's really worrying. just to say that a comment on this on these two percent target nato has been trying to find a better measurement for i mean because only looking up on cash is a bit is a bit easy so we have a nato another measure amend which of the so-called sui cease which means cash that's a budget the money you put in that's a two percent capability so from time to a craft but you actually put in your mind you know it was in to good on that measure at the moment yes but it's actually better than all the states and the surge is what we call contributions of what the country. gives to from afghanistan to the end handsful that presence in the baltic countries and on the two other capabilities so tanks and a lot and contributions from is actually pretty good so i think the focus on the
two percent is a to be that from has is not so much about two percent it's actually about nato as a multilateral alliance that he doesn't like and. this is the the far bigger problem we have here is that we have an american president who openly dislikes the transatlantic architecture as we used to have it before this very strong ties and all policy areas from trait to foreign policy to defense and in all every us use questioning the very special transatlantic link and that's something that should be very else because that's for the future is ready. it's actually of everything that we might be growing apart that we in the u.s. and europe so how does europe need to respond to that christian trip either with in nato the european nato members or outside of it we have seen europe taking moves now twenty three members of the e.u.
to strengthen their defense and security cooperation in an initiative known as pes go is that actually a competitive threat to nato or is it a necessary and and essentially long overdue move by europe to get onto its own feet i think so i can't interpret or read this as a threat to nato it's. adding some something special adding. a special value to nato and nato has efforts and it's assault in my mind as a sort of contingency planning for the day of the unlikely day of the day we hopefully never see when the u.s. says ok we're no longer there so maybe europe has to prepare has to strengthen its own structures its industrial base is to produce not in weaponry in order to meet scenarios like this that we're not there yet so i don't want to solve
a mystery to you but europe needs to shape its own defense future test of barker the idea of the u.s. saying we're no longer there for you if i come back to that sound bite we heard from trump at that rally and clearly it was intended for his base but he says in that sound bite essentially he implies that the u.s. doesn't get very much for the money that it puts into nato in other words that old transactional idea of his would you agree with that to the games inflect in fact all flow to one in one direction namely to europe let me be diplomatic he's wrong the truth is that we have benefited for seventy years from nato presence. nato is a product of a failure to stay engaged in europe after the first world war that stability that umbrella has created the space for the prosperity to develop in europe and we've been a fit so much not just in the bilateral trade investment relationship but also in services our economy is become rich off of the investment of europeans and it's not
just cars it's things like use of digital platforms the five biggest companies the united states are all tech companies have complete dominance in the european market that is indirectly a product natal the europeans are prosperous they're using these products they're users they all have i phones that is an indirect benefit from nato so yes we benefit enormously from nato and we need to keep that stability in the continent close to my r. in terms of the u.s. turning its back trump has made noises about pulling u.s. troops out of europe and or especially out of germany supposedly asked the pentagon to assess the costs and the impact of that do you think he really might make good on this threat. it wouldn't make much sense to do so we also have to understand about the roughly thirty eight thousand u.s. soldiers in germany not that actually to protect europe mainly but their forward
base for u.s. troops for many other crisis we didn't so we have for example the u.s. africom stationed in germany where cus you come in germany and germany actually serves as a perfect stable and just take a hop to all crisis regions in the world it's easier to go from germany to the middle east than to go from the us one of the most modern u.s. hospitals is in germany so actually the us benefits from the very stable european part of a half the problem is that on rational terms all that bank sense but we don't know whether the president is going to decide based on rational terms and that's the that's actually the disruptive unpredictable wild card element he brings in to european security let's look at one other aspect of what we heard in that sound bite earlier and let's do so in terms of a pattern that we've seen in other diplomatic settings as well whether it's nato or the g seven donald trump's bravado often seems to be directed at
a wider audience voters at home but also negotiating partners abroad many people are asking whether the president's latest tirades are in fact intended to impress the strong man he'll be meeting next week. and putin i think understanding. both love grandparents is have nothing to qualities. no one to trump constant raving about putin i love russia i will say this i'm meeting with president putin next week and jenny you know let me tell you that i go along with russia and getting along with china and getting along with other countries is a good thing. the russian president was happy to chime from in return. night here at the twenty seventeen g. twenty summit in hamburg just before you get home i'm delighted to be able to.
hardly seems to mine is that his ministration is pushing ahead with investigations on russian influence in the election that teach him into office. will trump and putin use them meeting in helsinki to arrange secret deals and undermine nato. testin barker at the june g seven meeting trump rejected the final joint communique after already actually having signed it saying it essentially in a show of strength that was designed to impress kim jong il and who he was then traveling on to meet would you say the tirades we've been hearing from president trump here are actually largely directed at impressing vladimir putin and will they do so i think that's part of it but he clearly has an affinity for putin and he has an affinity for russia going back to the one nine hundred eighty s. you know he's looking to come out of this meeting with some kind of optical deal if
not a real deal. you know we'll see but the truth is this administration has up sanctions on russia it has delivered lethal assistance to ukraine so on the actual substance there is a much more hawkish position russia than. before although the rhetoric is not reflecting that and christian tripper you said in your opening statement that trunk could sell out the alliance to putin but if we look at the communique that he did sign here at the nato summit it is harshly critical of russia so how far could he actually go with this meeting with his new lot is that mr putin mr trump will meet only with the translators no no takers no political advisers so ever so this is the atmosphere it's. where political deals on mate and if you look at the map of europe and if you reflected what's at stake it's possible that mr trump buys putin's narrative that crimea is not your ukrainian peninsula annexed by russia but
that belongs to russia which would result in the perhaps the immediate lift of u.s. sanctions against russia just to give one example and i'm afraid that a deal like that a secret deal like that might emerge from that meeting doesn't bark or briefly would the u.s. congress go along with that actually congress is locked into place these sanctions so it would require congressional approval to rip them cutting my our nato general says secretary general. says that he actually sees the truck put in meeting as an opportunity is he just putting a good face on it would you say or is it possible something positive could come of this i think it's partly putting a good face on that's his job as nato secretary general but i actually do think that there is a positive element if the leaders of those two big powers actually talk to each other it's always a chance to sell something they have so many crisis from ukraine to syria. why a nuclear weapon so that it's good to talk the problem i see is that putin is
a very experienced head of state and have a good diplomat so the fear i have is that might make concessions. a buffy has of the european nato allies but they that very much concern european security issues that could be symbolic for example you could say oh maybe u.s. troops won't participate in the next u.s. and the next nato. exercise but already they kind of political disunity of the political doubt whether the u.s. is still this is european allies in nato is already a major problem nato supported ticket alliance states to be promised each other to stand up for each other in case of a crisis and if there's the smallest tiniest doubt that they really stick together that has already implications for nato's deterrence and defense so better stay together don't give any message of disunity let me come back now at the end to the
title of our program which is friendly fire how united is nato and come back to our sort of what tyson barker said to us at the outset when he talked about the threat from with in name with the undermining of democracy by the alliances own members which of course you could argue is very much in the interests of russia questioned hippa how can the alliance defeat that form of friendly fire and insider insider attacks to be quite honest if you look at trump's behavior well nato has to take its own decisions serious and has to stick to the sort of commitments and it has to strengthen the european pillar of nato then of consort. you need to have an informed public we need to invest more in our people more faith in institutions that's happening in the united states with me to with the anti-gun movement more grassroots engagement in politics and we need to make the case for nato to our people we need to get out of the capitals. they admire what would you say are the
three most important things the alliance needs to do to underpin that crucial political foundation i think the first one is keep the you keep the americans in. the second is make make europe strong so actually strengthen european defense that means in terms of capabilities or terms of finances and what you mentioned we need to talk about to defense we need about defense we have to explain why it's was defending the european project and the transatlantic relationship. by by doing what i think that's what that's what i thought it's financing but it's also increasing the understanding of why defense actually matters in the end defense is about defending our way of life our way of doing things it's about our values that can be done in a political way but in the end we must have all submitted means ready but we need to explain why the system we live in is if you do wish to be defended thank you very much to all of you for being with us and thanks to all of you out there for
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this is you don't use life from berlin donald trump declares nato a fine chewed machine after a contentious two day summit in brussels the us president bush sort of winning big spending increases from allies the then flew to britain where he had stirred controversy earlier by suggesting the british people might not get the bricks that they voted for also coming up.