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Biden’s Age and NATO’s Future: U.S. Elections Cast Long Shadows

Daniel Kim Views  

Yonhap News

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) reaffirms its “unwavering” support for Ukraine, the United States, the organization’s linchpin, faces election risks.

As the clock ticks, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been ramping up calls for swift support for his war-torn country.

On Tuesday, NATO leaders are worried about a potential rift within the organization.

The United States is pivotal in NATO, the security alliance that bridges North America and Europe. The outcome of the 2024 presidential election in the U.S. could significantly shape the future direction of NATO.

At 81, President Joe Biden is older than NATO, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. His age has sparked significant controversy and concern over potential cognitive decline, presenting a major challenge during his presidency.

Biden plans to use this summit to strengthen NATO’s unity against Russian threats and dismiss controversies about his age.

NATO leaders also closely monitor whether Biden, who values and supports NATO, can serve another four-year term.

President Biden underscored his role in unifying NATO during an interview with ABC ahead of the NATO summit. He suggested that his ability to unite NATO members is unmatched, rhetorically asking who else could unite NATO as he does. Biden also invited observers to attend the upcoming NATO summit in the United States, proposing that listening to what people say at the summit would be an excellent way to evaluate his effectiveness.

However, former President Donald Trump sees the controversy over Biden’s age as a fatal nuisance to Biden’s presidency.

Trump also raised his spirits, offering to hold another debate round and golf matches with Biden, saying, “I’m officially offering Joe the chance to redeem himself in front of the entire world.”

The possibility of Trump’s return to the White House, which is hostile to NATO, is alerting European NATO member countries.

During his tenure, Trump dismissed NATO as “useless” and threatened to withdraw from membership.

Earlier this year, he caused a stir by saying he would “leave them (Russia) to do whatever they want” to member countries deemed not contributing enough to NATO’s defense spending.

The NYT reported that major European allies have begun holding discussions, with the possibility of Trump’s return growing after the presidential TV debate in late June.

The discussions include what a second term for Trump would mean for the alliance and whether they can confront Russia without American weapons, money, and intelligence gathering.

Currently, NATO member countries are providing military aid to Ukraine, which Russia has invaded. Starting several months ago, the member countries have already been gearing up for a possible Trump re-election.

For example, they are pushing for a plan to establish a new NATO command that can provide long-term military aid to Ukraine even if the United States withdraws.

This ensures the sustainability of support in case of a Trump re-election.

Zelenskyy has urged NATO leaders to provide immediate support to Ukraine, emphasizing the situation’s urgency rather than waiting for the U.S. presidential elections in November. He highlighted the global anticipation of the election’s outcome: “Now, everyone is waiting for November: Americans are waiting for November. Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific — the whole world is waiting for November.”

He urged NATO members to step out of the shadows and act decisively, emphasizing that the time for action is now rather than waiting until November or any other future date. He repeatedly called for swift support from the alliance.

Zelenskyy commented on his previous interactions with Trump, stating, “I’ve met with him, and we had a good meeting when he was president. But I haven’t experienced war with him. If he becomes the president of the United States again, I don’t know what he will do next.” This reflects uncertainty about how Trump might handle the situation if he were re-elected.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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