After questioning the overall NATO strategy numerous times during his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump did quite the opposite of his stated position on NATO. He has approved NATO expansion by provisionally including the Balkan nation of Montenegro as the potential 29th member of the international body.
The campaign trail saw Trump bemoan allies who have not yet paid their bills and also indicated that the U.S. would “have to let NATO go” at some point. The support of inclusion of Montenegro in the NATO is seen as a major U-turn by the President. Many political analysts also view it as a message to Russia as the support announcement coincided with visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow.
Russia has historically opposed the expansion of NATO – which was established post-cold war as a protection against Soviet Union aggression. The choice of Montenegro is likely to annoy Russia even more as it was part of the Soviet Union and there were reports of an attempted coup by Moscow some years back.
The message that goes out is that America is committed to U.S security in NATO. The world sees it as a positive sign that the U.S supports NATO.