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Trump’s Yes to NATO

Poland’s former Deputy Prime Minister welcomes Donald Trump’s backing in Warsaw for Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. Was it the result of a carefully laid plot?

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Donald Trump has finally committed America to the principle of mutual defense. It is a triumph for diplomacy.

There were plenty of theories about why Donald Trump chose to make Poland the first stop on his trip to Europe. But the one I’d been pinning my hopes on was that although he’d been lured here mostly by the prospect of a much warmer welcome from Poland's populist leader Jarosław Kaczyński and his minions than he could expect from most other European countries, the most important reason was that the few grown-ups in his administration saw an opportunity to win a much bigger prize.

The issue for them was the US commitment to NATO. At the NATO summit in May, Trump, having questioned NATO’s relevance during his election campaign, pointedly ducked the opportunity to affirm America’s commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which holds that an attack on one member state is an attack on all. In response, German Chancellor Angela Merkel concluded that the days when Europe could rely on others were “over to a certain extent.”