Biden live updates: President welcomes Nato leaders as Democrats pile on pressure

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Biden’s election woes a ‘stomach ache’ across alliancepublished at 19:01

Bernd Debusmann Jr
Reporting from the Nato summit

It’s not just US officials who are thinking about the country’s November election and what it could mean if either Joe Biden or Donald Trump win.

Here at the Nato summit, I’ve just spoken to Kristine Berzina of the German Marshall Fund, or GMF, a think thank that seeks to deepen ties between the US and Europe.

Berzina – who also runs a GMF initiative which takes US officials to build connections with local communities – told me that she believes the upcoming US election lingers like a “stomach ache” across the Nato alliance.

“There are reasons to fear a potentially unpredictable and convincible president who thinks allies are not worth it,” she says, in response to a question about the possibility of Donald Trump becoming president again.

“But there are also reasons to think that a US commitment to the allies, to Nato, is so much in the US’s interest that there would be a strong bond, even if the politics are challenging,” she adds.

Former President Trump, she adds, wants “wins”, to “be respected” and for his leadership to be “acknowledged”.

Already, she notes, European nations have increased their defence spending, although that is likely a result of concerns over Russian aggression than because of Trump’s repeated calls to do so.

“If Trump is really going to take on all the bad guys, as he likes to say that he will, he’s going to need friends,” she adds. “As long as those friends say the right thing, and pay enough money, it really shouldn’t be that much of a challenge.”

“No one in Trump world is holding punches, and yet, it’s really important that progress can be made together,” she adds. “Who is the happiest about our infighting. It’s Russia. It’s China. It’s North Korea. We shouldn’t be doing things that make them very happy.”

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