"“If you take him literally, then the message is indeed that there’s no unconditional guarantee of security any more”
- The current US administration can't keep a promise to save its life. To make threats like this, and it is, indeed, a threat, one has to make credible commitments. This Trump administration can't do that.
- The current US administration is the most pro-Russian administration ever, even with Flynn being dumped, so threatening NATO at this time is most un-cool.
- Oh, this current US administration is the most anti-NATO administration, given Trump's comments about it being obsolete.
- The US has just spent an incredible amount of effort to make its commitment and NATO's commitments to the Baltics/Poland more credible, so perhaps this is not the time to crap on the alliance?
- Russia is kind of on the march, so not a good time.
NATO in Afghanistan).
The good news is that NATO countries are increasing their spending. Well, most of them. So, Trump can declare that he influenced them to spend more, even if the increases started before he came into office. Just like his claims about businesses deciding to invest in the US because of his pressure even as those decisions preceded the election in November. It won't take much more spending by NATO countries for Trump to declare victory.
Of course, all this misses the larger point--NATO currently hangs by a thread. And that thread is not about burden-sharing but about the credibility of a pro-Russian US President when push comes to shove in the Baltics. So, I am very pessimistic about the future of NATO, but my pessimism is not due to the burden-sharing problem, which is inherent in any multilateral alliance and is more or less problematic, depending on what measure one uses