Listen: Tensions Overshadow NATO Meeting Intended as Show of Unity
"Start start with the ongoing NATO summit here in the UK it is meant to mark the seventieth anniversary of the military alliance bought. Disagreements have threatened to who over shadow celebration Robert. The summit began yesterday with us. President Donald Trump's attack on French president Mo mccraw as micro had earlier called NATO brain debt. What did you make a fuss? Well trump absolutely played to His his his absolute he. He was big completely consistent in that he likes strong men who he thinks like him and and he hates rivals. That's the crudity of it but I'm macron has come in for something of a beating not only for trump but also from the German leadership suggesting somehow the could be a displacement or replacement or winding down in Europe European security of NATO building up the defense component payment of the European Union e. e. d. u. and the other things that are which which Germany is not prepared to accept. It's not prepared to accept by the way also the NATO. I told him that they go up. Two percent of GDP. They say ten twelve years off that by the way if they were to do it tomorrow. That'd be the third military power in the world but the engagement with Russia is really terribly. Terribly important McCall the Italians particularly to say we must engage h with Russia You know that despite everything. It's a pity that the the the the NATO arrangements have really gone into neglect. The and this has enraged. Of course the new eastern part but cotton us of of NATO. There is real substance to this route. But I don't want to take cap the conversation dominated but actually there is more to macron's argument than the he's been given credit for. Let's talk about Russia moments bus but Carol s Robert mentioned our there are big questions now weaving the NATO over the future of the alliance over money also over Turkey's behavior do you think the summit in the UK. We'll find any solutions. I think this summit will be an attempt to paper over the cracks. I think they want to try and put on a show of unity. We've had the British prime. I'm Minister Boris Johnson. Arriving saying that it is one for all all for Juan and Jens Stoltenberg secretary general saying it's the most successful swill alliance in history because we've changed. The world has changed but I think the problem is that it hasn't sufficiently adapted to the changing attitudes. It's a some of its key players. that comment from President mccraw about NATO being brain dead was because he's looking at NATO which is after all a political as well as a military alliance you have now got in the American president trump. Someone who has questioned America's engagement in the alliance in the past that he's now saying he's committed a to it you have had Turkey which didn't even consult key NATO allies before waded into Syria. And what you've got now. Is this alliance that was constructed to join the the end to try and confront the Soviet bloc during the Cold War which hasn't hasn't really worked out what it strategic purpose is now and although there's a lot of talk now about what the attitude to will be with China but it will be towards sabree threats and so on it hasn't really worked out a new overall strategic direction and I think that's what President Macron was referring to so robots looking looking at this strategy and what NATO's functioning at the moment is there any agreement between the states member states over who or what is the the biggest threat at the moment is it is terrorism or what. Now this is This is high theology which has been around. I was at the think-tank forum-goer I'm Greg Cote engagement NATO. Yes Day and it was very interesting by the way how was generation split that a lot of young people. They had a lot of the debates. Only open people speaking from the floor if they are under thirty five sons a bit mad bit work but it was terrific. It was terribly important and you saw really. What a fundamental difference was? This is an an enormous area of debate. And you're absolutely right in your question and I'm going to illustrate it. Only with one anecdote with three prime ministers in succession on the stage together together with Justin Trudeau and marketer of the Netherlands are absolutely accomplished uric euro performer Ruta. But before him it was the extraordinary absolutely straight out of Borgen Earner Solberg of Norway. NSO book was asked to consider the whole scenario Korea. Russia the works they know about what is your greatest strategic threat. The melting of the Ice Cap Justin Trudeau was hopeless. He was absolutely his mother. The Sun was Apple Pie and hugging trees. Where really were ready for piece? Actually in fact he did down what the Canadians have been doing in Syria left Galveston than Don don good fighters most intriguing was Huta. You thought he would be the most accomplished God talk about a snake oil salesman. He would not put what his hand up for anything. Not even a commitment for about the second or third richest country in the EU a NATO putting its hind in its pocket to go to two few percent of GDP. He said No. We're not going to do it so that tells you where we are. There is a fractured leadership on generation. Lines absolutely what. Carol Carol said it. It's going to hold together for the time being but to come back to macron Laura detail in all seriousness. He did awesome very important questions because the foundation is a union of Democracies and Turkey. Certainly doesn't look much like a democracy to most of the allies now. Let's look at the dynamics between the NATO elitist. There's a newly released video that seems to show Justin Trudeau. Boris Johnson. Emily mccraw Make Fun of Donald Trump. Are they ganging up on him. Will it was some wonderful footage. which any of our listeners could probably find fairly easily with a a quick search on the Internet of them the reception at Buckingham Palace and they do seem to be poking fun at trump for waiting in with his own little impromptu news conference yesterday? I think we shouldn't shouldn't make too much of that specific incident but I think that what he does is show this This real concern that there is is on the suspicion of where from really is on this We know that he doesn't really like these. Multilateral organizations we know that he's he's been hugely critical of in particular many of the European members of NATO not putting sufficient funds and sufficient resources into the NATO part. He's been very critical of that. He seems so far on this trip to have been on his best behavior. Trying going to say that trying to stay out of the UK election which is something that the conservatives who are battling away with polling day just a week or so away now he he pulled back from waiting too much into the election campaign he has kept his comments. Pretty supportive of NATO. But I think when you saw that little Vignette of the other world leaders apparently mocking trump underlying that is all these big doubts about whether trump's halt halt really still is in the NATO alliance you're a detachment didn't become with trump Obama hugely popular in Europe with far more eurosceptic. Almost the for P people around trump. I think it's terribly healthy. That McCall and Boris and Justin Trudeau chatting away. They all mate actually the the the interesting intelligent womb people. And that's a great thing. It's great for my country Britain. Whatever you say about Boris and I know him well he does engage? They like talking to him and he was having a sip of champagne even though he'd promised he wasn't going to touch a drop of drink until brexit assault. It just just finally before we move on. Obviously we have to talk about how trump's visit is reflected in the UK politics right before general elections. So so Carrie. What is interesting is that we haven't seen that many photos of trump and Johnson together this time for example? Have we know extraordinary. The lengths to which Downing Street has gone to to try to prevent photos of President trump and Boris Johnson. buddying up together and when you think about previous visits of. US The president's it is really quite extraordinary but the backdrop to this is that Boris Johnson's opponent Jeremy Corbyn one of the central themes of his attack on the Conservatives is that we're going to get a trump style US UK trade deal if the Conservatives win on that will push up drugs prices in the National Health Service and it's going to cost us all hundreds of millions of pounds every every week now the conservatives have flatly denied that they flatly denied the NHS will be affected in any future trade deal. But the problem is that in the the UK trump is not exactly a popular figure. And I think the conservatives who are ahead in the polls at the moment no that if Boris is seen to be using using up too much to his old friend Donald that is not gonNA play well with the British Electric. And that's why even though they did meet in Downing Street last night there were no pitches the two of them together."