Transatlantic solidarity appeared strained on day one of the NATO summit, as leaders parried rhetorical blows from President Trump, including his charge that U.S. allies "owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back."
Trump criticized countries spending less than 2% of GDP on defense, before making an unexpected call to boost the figure to 4%. He also said Germany was "totally controlled" by Russia, denouncing a planned gas pipeline that would link the two countries and yet speaking little about the Russian threats across Europe.
Yes, but: There have been meaningful policy and security agreements that risk getting lost amid the rhetoric.
The details: The 29 leaders — including President Trump — agreed on a "30-30-30" readiness initiative that would shorten the time necessary to assemble a force of aircraft, warships and land battalions. They condemned Russia's annexation of Crimea as "illegal and illegitimate," and pledged not to recognize it — just before Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki next week. They made progress on counterterrorism and military mobility, and began to sort out NATO cooperation with the European Union.
The bottom line: For all the superficial battering the alliance may take, its underlying strategic logic remains sound. The transatlantic partners are likely to get through the present crisis as they have through ones before. In many ways, the alliance works. While the current friction is unwelcome and largely unnecessary, reports of NATO's death are greatly exaggerated.
Read more from Axios
More from CNAS
PodcastVladimir Putin and the Future of Russian Politics, with Michael McFaul and Vladimir Kara-Murza
Ambassador (ret.) Michael McFaul and Vladimir Kara-Murza join Andrea-Kendall Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss recent anti-democratic developments in Russian politics and U.S...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Michael A. McFaul & Vladimir Kara-Murza
PodcastDefense Priorities in a New Administration, with Michèle Flournoy
Michèle Flournoy joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss how a Biden administration can work with NATO to confront transnational threats. Flournoy has been a l...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Michèle Flournoy
CommentaryDuda’s Unnecessary Gamble
Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit the White House on Wednesday, a mere four days before the first round of Poland’s presidential election. While the United States and P...
By Adam Twardowski & Carisa Nietsche
PodcastGermany, Nuclear Sharing, and the U.S. Drawdown with Ulrike Franke and Frank Sauer
Ulrike Franke and Frank Sauer join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to break down the U.S. proposal to drawdown in Germany, nuclear sharing, and more on a joint Brussels...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Ulrike Franke & Frank Sauer