US and Europe cannot go it alone on defence, Nato head warns Trump

‘We face the greatest challenges to our security in a generation,’ says Stoltenberg

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg: “This is no time to question the value of the partnership between Europe and the United States.”  Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg: “This is no time to question the value of the partnership between Europe and the United States.” Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

 

Going it alone on defence and security is not an option for either the United States or Europe, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said in an article published on Sunday.

During the presidential election campaign Donald Trump, now president-elect, threatened to abandon US allies in Europe if they did not spend enough on defence.

“We face the greatest challenges to our security in a generation. This is no time to question the value of the partnership between Europe and the United States,” Stoltenberg wrote in an article for the Observer newspaper in the UK. He highlighted that the only time the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) had invoked its clause that an attack on one member is an attack on all, was after the attacks of September 11th, 2001 on the United States.

Value of partnership

Many nations in Nato have lagged in their defence spending, failing to meet the pledge of 2 per cent of GDP, and Stoltenberg said the US had rightly called for others to pay a more equal share.

“It is all too easy to take the freedoms, security and prosperity we enjoy for granted. In these uncertain times we need strong American leadership and we need Europeans to shoulder their fair share of the burden,” he said.

He said the value of the partnership between Europe and the United States was “indispensable”.

“Rather than deepening our differences, we need to nurture what unites us, and find the wisdom and foresight to work together for common solutions. Going it alone is not an option, either for Europe or for the United States,” he said. – Reuters