In his Times interview, Trump repeated his contention made during the presidential campaign that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is “obsolete” in its current configuration because of its failure to focus on the terrorist threat posed particularly by ISIS.
Last March, in the wake of the Brussels terror attack, Trump said NATO needs to be geared more toward the terrorist threat and less toward the Soviet Union-era model. “I’m not saying Russia is not a threat,” he observed, but he noted it is a much smaller nation and no longer has its Eastern European satellite allied nations in its sphere.
Trump stated in this week’s interview that The Wall Street Journal reported following his observation that NATO now has a new division devoted to combating terror.
The president-elect also continues to contend that NATO nations need to step up and all pay their fair share, noting that only five of the 22 nations are paying what is required.
As reported by CNN Money, NATO guidelines state member nations are to spend at least 2 percent of their annual gross domestic product on defense.
— Tobias (@TobiasBee) December 17, 2016
The nations meeting that threshold include the U.S., which leads all member states with 3.61 percent, followed by Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Poland.
France, Germany, Italy and Canada are among those members that fall short, despite being in the top 10 largest economies in the world.
As to the vexing problem of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Trump described the Obama administration’s failure to veto the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the Jewish state as “terrible.”
Resolution 2334 calls for Israel to halt building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is described as “occupied Palestinian territory.”
The Jewish state acquired these lands from Jordan, which launched a military invasion against Israel from the West Bank during the Six-Day War in 1967.
The president-elect signaled that he wants to see an agreement reached between the two sides, but the resolution makes it harder “because the Palestinians are given so much — even though it’s not legally binding, it’s psychologically binding and it makes it much tougher for me to negotiate. You understand that? Because people are giving away chips, they’re giving away all these chips.”
Trump also indicated that he plans to task his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, with working with Israel.
“He’ll make a deal with Israel that no one else can — you know he’s a natural … he’s a natural deal-maker — everyone likes him,” said Trump.
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