tv Quadriga - Friendly Fire How United Is NATO Deutsche Welle July 13, 2018 8:30am-9:01am CEST
pursuing her own vision. no other woman got so close to. life and death with the. starts july twenty first on d w. 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 my your she is senior associate for international security at 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 the obama gets 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 of the south and failed to take seriously the threat from within. so let me start out by asking you cloudy in my 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 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 you are not united in they too in the transatlantic relationship if they had doubts of us being together based on some a devotee than we are actually we could go on that also applies to all security costs and to pay 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 they have been 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 united states but across the nato space which is an erosion of trust in democratic institutions and erosion of trust
in democracy itself aid to 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 nato values they 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. i can't guarantee it. but we're protecting you and it means a lot more to you they're 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 steal the oil and gas from russia where they pay billions and billions of dollars to russia. ok so they want to protect against russia. dollars through russia and when they're shocked at a pair of. 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 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 of us what needs to be clear that this reporting something that the u.s. spends on defense does not go and timely to nato 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 day to because they find they do about wonderful buzz 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 having and the question offered and showing is as old as nato is every american president actually talked about but in 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 in claiming more. and more european commitment for
defense germany has actually stepped up its commitment since two thousand and fourteen the defense budget is growing so we had some thirty two billions into sold for. again we are now searching eight something billions and two thousand eight hundred and it's going to grow the problem is about the long term development so far it's not really in the cards so we have a very strong political rhetorical commitment by the chancellor and 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 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 a collective defense concentrated upon crisis management like in afghanistan or
libya it forced europeans to remember reader and collective defense but everything that it implies just takes capabilities training finances everything there is movement it's not yet enough but there's clearly movement christian group or. 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 it why the 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 do maist claudia just pointed out i would like to say that the two per cent 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 german strom society has made with the second world war makes it difficult to talk about spending a lot of 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 in other words it's a story 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 break so does this kind of target is an interim
measure syria in eastern europe sorry this is kind of a new target measurement to really reflect the respective members contributions well you know this is it's just 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 at. 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 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 sort of a comment on this on these two percent target nato has been trying to find a better measure men for having 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 what you have to put in and i mean i was in too good on that measure at the moment yes but it's actually better than other states and the surge one is what we call contributions to what the country it to be gives to from afghanistan to the and henceforward presence in the baltic countries and on the two other cities 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 see the far bigger problem we have here is if 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 worry else because that's for the future is ready. it's sort of everything that they 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 pests go is that actually a competitive threat to nato or is it a necessary and and essentially long overdue move by europe to get on to 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 and special value to nato and nato as efforts and it's assault in my mind as a sort of contingency planning for the day in the unlikely day of the day we hopefully never see when the u.s. says ok we're no longer there so europe has to prepare has to strengthen its own structures its industrial base is to produce not on weaponry in order to meet scenarios like this that we're not there yet so i don't want to stomp. on this to
you but europe needs to shape its own defense future doesn't bark or 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 lamely to europe let me be diplomatic he's wrong the truth is that we have benefited for seventy years from nato is presence as. 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 nato 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 cloete in my or 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 he's 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 they also have to understand that the roughly thirty eight thousand us soldiers in germany are 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 us africa stationed in germany there see us you come in germany and germany and to the surface a perfect stable of just equal help 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 us hospitals is in germany so actually the us benefits from the very stable european part of the half the problem is that on rational terms all that makes sense if you 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 into 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 and deep understanding. both love grandparents is them have nothing stick qualities. no wonder trump constant raving about putin i love russia i will say this i meet with president putin next week and getting our let me tell you that you go along with russia and getting along with china and getting along with other countries is a good thing. and the russian president was happy to chum trump in return for. your children night here at the twenty seventeen g. twenty summit in hamburg just be sure to keep it on geologic to be able to leave.
hardly seems to mines 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 dealings and undermine nato. 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 un whom 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 that 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 bias 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 remove them cut in my our nato general says secretary general. says that he actually sees the trip 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 solve 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 trump might make concessions. about the hearts 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 don'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 is a political ally and states actually promise 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 him with the undermining of democracy by the alliances own members which of course you could argue is very much in the interests of russia. how can the alliance defeat that form of friendly fire. inside inside attacks may be quite ones if you look at the trends 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 it can survive. 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 too with the anti gun movement more grassroots engagement in politics and we need to make the case for native who are people we need to get out of the capitals but 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. and the second is make make europe strong so actually strengthen the. defend 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 worse defending the european project and the concert on the question. 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 met us in the end the fight is about defending a way of life our way of doing things that's about our values that can be done in a political way but in the end we must have also submit having the ready but we need to explain why the system we live in is that you do wish to be different thank you very much to all of you for being with us and thanks to all of you out there
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the odds . the odds are. this is due to the news live from british american relations under strain u.s. president donald trump lashes out at the u.k. government plan trump's visit to britain gets up to a rocky start after he says the british government's roadmap to exit the you would probably make a free trade deal with the united states impossible. also coming up syrian government troops to recapture an opposition stronghold the syrian flag is raised about the city of herat for mass protests in two thousand and eleven to lead to an uprising against the.