In Brussels this week, President Trump sent jitters down the spines of some U.S. NATO allies by remaining vague about Article 5, which states that an attack on any member is an attack on all. Instead, he sharply scolded some members who were behind in paying their dues.

NATO is obsolete

As a presidential candidate, Trump had openly denounced NATO as an "obsolete" organization and suggested that disbanding it might just be a good idea. He has since abandoned that line of thought and considered NATO to be a viable entity. That was why his first, much-anticipated address in Brussels this week was expected to be a rationalization of his actual beliefs about NATO.

However, his audience--leaders of NATO nations--were left scrambling for logical conclusions.

The fear of Russia

Russia is the monster many NATO members are afraid of, most especially countries from the Eastern European bloc as Vladimir Putin has set his eyes on some of them as candidates to re-integrate into a Soviet-like group. This would mean that he could influence their political and economical processes. A deafening silence about their protection from President Trump would surely have given many U.S. NATO allies sleepless night after the Brussels summit.

The truth is that Russia has always perceived NATO to be a major deterrent in Europe, but with the lukewarm support for the organization coming from the U.S., Russia may as well heave a sigh of relief and power on with its expansionism agenda.

Unpaid dues

The calls for NATO member-nations to pay up their backlog of dues have been a perrenial issue for the organization. Even President Obama chided some NATO allies for leaving the bills for the organization's military expenditures mainly on the shoulders of U.S. and the U.K. President Trump reiterated the same concern this week by categorically calling out 23 out of 28 members who have defaulted in paying their dues as scheduled.

Defend yourselves, Europe!

It is unclear, at this moment, if President Trump will someday ask Europe to defend itself as the majority of NATO members continue to shy away from the primary responsibility of funding their military defense. One thing that is sure though is that the President's mantra of "America First" may translate into a huge challenge for NATO, if the current administration refuses to spend U.S. taxpayers money on a defense group that can't sustain itself.

That will mean NATO may be scrapped, and the European region thrown into a defense dilemma.