Is Trump Actually Good for NATO? Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told me last week that his job has in some ways been made easier by US President Donald Trump.

That’s because Mr Stoltenberg had already been pressing Nato members to pay their fair share on collective defence.

Now “the very clear message” from President Trump has put the issue “even higher on the agenda”, he said.

This will be the main topic when Mr Stoltenberg visits the White House on 12 April, along with ways to refashion the Cold War alliance for the fight against terrorism.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be beating the same drum on Friday in Brussels….

Mr Tillerson will push them to present a clear plan on how they’ll do that, and to do it faster.

A senior State Department official added: “Absolutely no apology about that.”

Defence Secretary James Mattis has said the US might moderate its support for Nato if there isn’t a fairer sharing of the burden, but he’s given no details.

Neither did the official. “Our joint security requires it,” he said when asked about Mr Tillerson’s leverage, noting that the “trend line is up” on increased defence spending.

Europeans have been rattled by Mr Trump’s sometimes hostile rhetoric about Nato, not to mention his apparent ignorance about the alliance.

His Twitter claim that Germany owed Nato and the US “vast sums” of money for defence elicited a sharp rebuke from Germany’s Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, who noted tersely that “there is no debt account at Nato.”

“He’s not only critical of Nato, he doesn’t seem to understand how it works,” marvelled Jorge Benitez, director of NatoSource, a website covering news about the alliance.

Related Experts: Jorge Benitez

Image: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, March 31, 2017 (photo: NATO)