May 16, 2017

NATO's "Trump-proof" summit

Trump during East Room presser yesterday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg / AP's Evan Vucci

Foreign Policy magazine reports NATO "is scrambling to tailor its upcoming meeting to avoid taxing President Donald Trump's notoriously short attention span."

The juice, according to FP's reporting:

  • "The alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to two to four minutes at a time during the discussion, several sources inside NATO and former senior U.S. officials tell Foreign Policy."
  • "Experts are wary of how Trump will react to NATO meetings and their long-winded, diplomatic back-and-forth among dozens of heads of state, which can quickly balloon into hours of meandering discussions."
  • NATO "[s]crapped plans to publish the traditional full post-meeting statement meant to crystallize NATO's latest strategic stance."
  • "One former NATO official said the agenda meant to mollify Trump appeared to amount to repackaging what NATO was already doing — increasing its defense spending and continuing to support U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and the counter-Islamic State campaign — in a new wrapper for the president.
"It's kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump," said one source briefed extensively on the meeting's preparations [told the magazine]. "It's like they're preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They're freaking out."

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