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Trump's conditions for NATO allies

July 21, 2016

Donald Trump has said US military support of NATO would be conditional if he becomes president. He said only a country that had fulfilled commitments to the alliance would receive help from the US.

Presumptive US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Image: Reuters/J. Roberts

In comments made in an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said a NATO ally would not necessarily receive the backing of the US military in a crisis situation.

A NATO member would only receive help from the US military if they had fulfilled their commitments to the alliance, Trump said.

Other parts of the interview indicated that Trump would be willing to significantly lower the priority of US troop deployments. He mostly cited the costs of such deployments, indicating that the US was shouldering too much of the burden of keeping other countries safe and that America suffers in terms of trade losses as a result.

"We are spending a fortune on military in order to lose $800 billion," Trump told the Times.

Trump also referred to America's role as a global influencer, saying America needed to focus on its own problems before lecturing other nations on how to handle theirs.

"When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don't think we are a very good messenger," he said, referring specifically to whether or not the United States should weigh in on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's handling of a coup attempt in Turkey.

This is in line with Trump's 'America First' policy, which he said meant "we are going to take care of this country first before we worry about everyone else in the world."

Trump is set to deliver a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Thursday after accepting the party's presidential nomination earlier this week. On Wednesday, Trump's vice presidential candidate Mike Pence delivered a speech but was overshadowed by former presidential candidate Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump as the nominee. Cruz was booed off the stage in Cleveland, highlighting the deep divide in the Republican party over Trump as the presidential candidate.


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