Should NATO be worried about Trump’s return? “The departure was unimaginable,” says General Mart de Cruyff

Dit is de Dag

‘Predictable and Unimaginable’

Off-duty Lt. Gen. Mart de Cruyff can’t easily imagine the United States leaving NATO. “We have to look carefully at who becomes the US president, and of course he has a lot of influence within NATO. But in my view it is not predictable or conceivable that the US can do without Europe. Not at the military and economic level. So in that sense the soup will not be eaten so hot.

He pointed out that a two-thirds majority is required to amend the constitution. “There are many senators, including Republicans, who think this is not a good plan.”

‘Trump may take drastic measures’

Dick Jandee, a security expert affiliated with the Clinkendale Institute, is less optimistic. “Europe needs the US, but the US does not need Europe. Even if the US stays in NATO under Trump, he can take drastic measures. For example, withdrawing some US forces from Europe. He can decide on his own that congressional approval is not required.

Such a decision would cause great shock in Europe, Zandee said. “I don’t think we’re ready for that in Europe yet. It’s bad for Ukraine, bad for Europe and ultimately very bad for America, but Trump won’t see that.

European sales market

America depends on Europe, De Cruyff believes. “America has to put its apples somewhere, Elon Musk has to put his stuff somewhere. We are a sales market and America’s economic growth depends largely on sales and economic relations with Europe. If the economy doesn’t grow, Trump has a political problem and a military problem.

He says Europe must become more independent militarily and thus become a stronger European pillar within NATO. “It’s not up to the president of the United States, we have to act quickly,” he says.

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