Russia’s conflict with Ukraine stems in part from the Kremlin’s concern that Kyiv is drawing too close to institutions such as the European Union and NATO. Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump called into question the usefulness of today’s NATO and spoke of building a better relationship with Moscow. Advocating change, he has shaken trans-Atlantic bonds and arguably seen some results. Would the president be prepared to go further and suggest ending NATO expansion while seeking a new security architecture that might accommodate and reduce the risk of conflict with Russia? What would be the benefits and costs of such an approach?
On July 31, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings hosted an event focused on the future of NATO and the European security order. Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, author of “Beyond NATO: A New Security Architecture for Eastern Europe” (Brookings Institution Press, 2017) was joined by Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, author of “The Eagle and The Trident: U.S.—Ukraine Relations in Turbulent Times” (Brookings Institution Press, 2017). Torrey Taussig, pre-doctoral research fellow at Brookings, moderated the discussion.
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If Trump and his group hoped that this kind of tough talk would make the North Koreans nervous, and make them come back with their tail between their legs — no, that’s just not the way they work. This is a stupid move. By pushing North Korea away, in such an in-your-face way, he’s pushing them to work separately with the South Koreans and the Chinese.
Timing the pull-out to the exact moment North Korea was publicly doing Trump a favor looked like an intentional burn. This was a slap in the face against Kim [Jong-un].