Trump Not Caring Whether Ukraine is in NATO
In a “Meet the Press” interview with Chuck Todd, Trump expressed ambivalence about allowing Ukraine into NATO.
“I would not care that much to be honest with you. Whether it goes in or doesn’t go in, I wouldn’t care. If it goes in, great. If it doesn’t go in, great. Look, I would support NATO,” Trump said. “Why isn’t Germany, Chuck, leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we’re like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine?”
Many might agree with Trump’s general point, but it very much matters whether Ukraine is a member of NATO: One of the organization’s founding principles, codified in Article 5 of the treaty, specifies that member countries must take “such action as it deems necessary,” as “an armed attack on one … shall be considered an armed attack on all.” Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea and subsequent meddling in eastern Ukraine could have obligated the United States to come to Ukraine’s defense, were the country a NATO member.