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Analysis | NATO prepares for a friendlier president — and shifted under a skeptical


Trump had two instincts that ran against the history of U.S. involvement in organizations such as NATO. He felt that the U.S. military was being taken advantage of by other countries, like European nations or South Korea, and that the financial obligations that resulted should be offset by drawdowns or increased funding from our allies. That was the other instinct that Trump didn’t share, by the way: He didn’t express a lot of interest in historical alliances or the value they offered. He got a different reaction from people like Russian President Vladimir Putin — stroking, generous — than he did the leaders of America’s actual partners, for whom ingratiation was not presumed to be a needed exercise. So NATO, an international alliance depending disproportionately on the United States, was not his favorite. (That it was also not Putin’s favorite will be a coincidence left to historians to adjudicate.)



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