Tierney Sneed · Friday, June 09, 2017, 4:27 pm
After declining on multiple occasions to affirm the United States commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty – the mutual defense provision that treats an attack on one NATO country as an attack on all members of the alliance – President Trump explicitly made that commitment during a press conference in the Rose Garden Friday with Romanian President Klaus Werner.
“I am committing the United States —and have committed—but I am committing the United States to Article 5,” Trump said, “and certainly we are there to protect and that’s one of the reasons that I want people to make sure we have a very, very strong force by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force. But yes, absolutely, I would be committed to Article 5.”
Trump’s remarks came in response to a question about Article 5 in the context of a Russia threat in the region around Romania. Trump did not address the Russia aspect of the question.
During his presidential campaign, Trump questioned the NATO alliance, and said that he would defend its allies from attacks if they “fulfill their obligations to us.” In an address to NATO countries during Trump’s oversees trip last month, an affirmation of Article 5 was conspicuously missing, reportedly to the surprise of his top national security advisers who had sought to have such a commitment included in Trump’s remarks in Brussels.