Just like the majority of Americans, Jens Stoltenberg, the leader of the western military alliance, NATO, was holding his breath when the US electoral votes were rolling in. Now fearing the decisions that could emerge from the president-elect, and with the US and Europe's relationship at the forefront of his mind, Stoltenberg warned Donald Trump that solely defending against the current national security threats is not an "option" for either Europe or the US.

Writing in the Observer, he pointed out the intervention and commitment that NATO had made when they sent troops from their countries into Afghanistan, following the terrorist attacks at 9/11. " More than 1,000 have paid the ultimate price," he said.

Trump throws shade at NATO

Despite the position that NATO has played over the last decade, Trump seemed to undermine their position when he described the alliance "obsolete" at the Republican national convention in July.

He implied that the country would withdraw its military forces from around the world if European NATO members do not contribute enough costs to the US military. In an interview with David Sanger, Trump said: "I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself,’” Although Stoltenberg agrees that NATO's European members should pull their weight in terms of costs, the unity of the US and Europe is something that he still defends.

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Donald Trump

Should NATO take Trump seriously?

It is unthinkable that a US president could go against the organization that was established as a result of a treaty to protect America and others. Then again, not all the US presidents or candidates have been outspoken or controversial as Trump.

In fact, the billionaire seems poised to carry out his immigration plans that consist of deporting illegal immigrants and those who have are criminal records. He is also not shy to repeat his plan of building a wall around the southern border of the country.

Stoltenberg's warnings, or concerns as some may see it, come because NATO does not have the authority to make the US defend any of it's members.

NATO instead depends on the moral commitment and loyalty that comes with signing the treaty. However, Donald Trump could overlook all of this, should he feel unsatisfied with NATO members contribution to America.

NATO and America's future

This is where it gets complicated. Stoltenberg claims that NATO is playing a crucial role against Islamic State. As of this current moment, America is a target for terrorist attacks.

Should Trump neglect his obligations and leave NATO members in the dark, he may have to rely on reduced support if the threat of the Islamic State should come knocking on the door.

And what about the president-elects relationship with Russian president, Vladimir Putin? Trump has claimed in the past that he could have a good relationship with him. But, Stoltenberg believes that Russia should be treated as a threat rather than a friend.

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