U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump

U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump

News

Helene Cooper, Julian Barnes

The work to preserve the North Atlantic Treaty Organization agreement, which is usually subject to intense 11th-hour negotiations, came just weeks after Mr. Trump refused to sign off on a communiqué from the June meeting of the Group of 7 in Canada. The rushed machinations to get the policy done, as demanded by John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, have not been previously reported.

…the approval of the communiqué — renamed for the meeting as a declaration — was critical for the alliance. It ensured that, despite Mr. Trump’s rhetorical fireworks, NATO diplomats could push through initiatives, including critical Pentagon priorities to improve allied defenses against Russia.

The new agreement has given American national security officials the ability to assure the public, and skittish allies, that the country’s commitment to the alliance remains intact — no matter any anti-NATO tweets or interviews or statements from Mr. Trump.

The NATO ambassadors also said the American demand to get the agreement done before Mr. Trump arrived served to silence, for the moment, some of the squabbles within the alliance, including whether it is doing enough for southern allies or enough on counterterrorism.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/us/politics/nato-summit-trump.html


John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, pushed NATO ambassadors to finish a critical policy document before the alliance’s summit meeting last month so the president could not reject it.

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