Republican Trump said on Monday he would work closely with NATO allies to defeat Islamic State militants and would wage a multi-front “military, cyber and financial” war against the terrorist organization.
“We will also work closely with NATO on this new mission,” Trump said.
In earlier and widely criticized statements, Trump had suggested that NATO was obsolete and that the US under his leadership would not come to the rescue of its allies under attack, unless those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us”.
The statement has sent a wave of awe across the 28 NATO countries, including the US. The Baltic states, fearing potential Russian aggression and relying on US commitments for their security, were particularly incensed.
Trump, the New York business tycoon who will be the Republican party’s nominee in November’s presidential election, now indicated that with NATO’s focus on fighting terrorism, he no longer considered it “obsolete”. He was apparently referring to reports the alliance is moving toward creating a new intelligence post in a bid to improve information sharing, according to Reuters.