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Trump loyal to NATO, but seeking a mission change: Commentator

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US President-elect Donald Trump will maintain Washington’s ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) but wants its mission shifted to focus on battling terrorism, an analyst says.

“I am certain that he will be a president… who will live up to all the commitments of the United States in the alliance, because a strong NATO is important for Europe but it’s also important for the United States,” Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Tuesday.

Commenting on that, Michael Maloof, a Pentagon veteran based in Washington, told Press TV that Trump was actually seeking a change in the organization’s mission while his anti-NATO remarks were mostly directed towards smaller NATO members that he believe are not paying their fair share.

“He does want the mellow countries to commit more,” Maloof said. “I think he wants the mission changed in NATO to be more of a kind of terrorism entity.”

He supported the argument by describing the organization as one that’s “still trying to figure out what its true purpose is.”

“The Europeans, however, are their own worst enemy; they are the ones who are alienating Trump because of their arrogance,” he added.

The commentator further predicted that “there will be redirection of what the US commitment to NATO will be,” once other members pay their share and the organization agrees to function based on “modern standards.”

“Frankly, NATO needs the United States more than the Unites States needs NATO, so they need to come around and conform.”

Stoltenberg defended NATO’s support for the US in an earlier comment by reminding Trump that “the only time we have invoked article 5, our collective defense clause, is after an attack on the United States, after 9/11.”

Since he emerged victor in the November 8 presidential vote, Trump has caused panic among European authorities over questioning the alliance and how much the smaller members contribute to it.

After President Barack Obama debunked Trump’s aversion for NATO in a recent speech, the secretary-general of the organization also came out to reassure allies of the billionaire’s commitment.

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