Trump Says Montenegro Could Cause World War III
WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 19, 2018
US President Donald Trump suggested that World War III could begin because of a small, NATO-member country like Montenegro. Donald Trump appeared to question NATO’s Article 5, the alliance's commitment to mutual defense, during a Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson Tuesday night.
“Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?” Fox host Tucker Carlson asked.
Trump responded: “I understand what you’re saying. I’ve asked the same question.”
“Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people... They’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in world war three,” the US president added.
Montenegro, a Balkan state with a population of around 640,000, joined NATO in 2017.
Donald Trump clashed with NATO leaders at a major summit last week after he demanded members pay their fair share.
Members of the alliance are supposed to invest two percent of their GDP on defense, though the majority currently spend far less than this target.
The Montenegrin prime minister, Dusko Markovic, said Trump’s comment was “not in the context of justification of Nato’s existence, but of Nato funding”.
Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, called Trump’s remarks “extraordinary”.
“It is not just that the president throws Montenegro under the bus; he makes the US commitment to Nato conditional and makes clear his discomfort with Article 5 and collective security, the core of the alliance,” Haass wrote on Twitter.