Tags: secretary of defense | jim mattis | nato summit | us | europe

Trump's NATO Rhetoric Tests Mattis With Europe Allies

Trump's NATO Rhetoric Tests Mattis With Europe Allies

By    |   Monday, 09 July 2018 02:51 PM

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will face a test at the NATO summit, as he tries to preserve an alliance between the U.S. and Europe that he believes is vital to America, but President Donald Trump does not, The Washington Post reported.

Allies are preparing for another meeting with Trump, who harshly criticized them after a Group of Seven economic summit in Canada. Trump has fired or sidelined policy advisers who share Mattis’ viewpoint, The Post reported.

"Mattis is caught in the middle… he’s the unifier. He’s the guy keeping things going in terms of allies," said Jim Townsend, a former Pentagon official for Europe and NATO, the report said.

The Post reported that Mattis’ approach has been to use rousing language, instead of threats, to tout the alliance’s importance while calling for more military spending in Europe.

The secretary has a "more mainstream understanding of the significance of allies," defense scholar Frank Hoffman said, The Post reported.

"He knows he can be most effective by quietly convincing the president," said retired Adm. James Stavridis, The Post reported.

R. Nicholas Burns, a former NATO ambassador, said that Europeans find Mattis trustworthy. However, "they don’t trust Trump," Burns said, The Post reported.

A senior U.S. official downplayed the differences between Mattis and Trump. "The fact is this president does things differently. It’s nothing more than that," said the official, The Post reported.

Stavridis and other former NATO commanders have rejected Trump’s disdain for NATO. "What is different now is the obvious antipathy, which feels deeply personal, on the part of the U.S. president toward the alliance in general and some of the key leaders in particular," Stavridis told Stars and Stripes.

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Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will face a test at the NATO summit, as he tries to preserve an alliance between the U.S. and Europe that he believes is vital to America, but President Donald Trump does not, The Washington Post reported.
secretary of defense, jim mattis, nato summit, us, europe
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2018-51-09
Monday, 09 July 2018 02:51 PM
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