Trump said as much, by implication, in his remarks at the unveiling of an Article 5 memorial at NATO's Brussels headquarters. "What they can do, what they are doing but should perhaps invest more resources and personnel in, is engagement in unstable countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, or perhaps even Libya, through training of armed forces and police".
The Wall Street Journal editorial board pushed back on Thursday, lambasting the press for crying wolf every time Trump opens his mouth. The Soviet Union no longer exists, at least not in that form - making the alliance obsolete, just as Trump said during his presidential campaign.
In Trump's speech at the NATO summit in Brussels, he did briefly mention the "the commitments that bind us together as one", but he didn't give NATO what it wanted: an explicit endorsement of Article 5, which says that when invoked, NATO allies must aid a fellow ally under attack.
The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russian Federation and on NATO's eastern and southern borders. They're all competent adults, accomplished politicians, familiar with the rules governing the organizations that their nations belong to, and most likely fluent in several languages. The United States spends more on defense than the other 27 member countries combined.
So, there is no real - honest - dispute that President Trump's words were true. It's worth noting that Article 5 on that subject has been invoked only once - by the US after 9/11.
In one of the trip's more moving moments, Melania Trump having read a book to a sick child at a hospital in Rome who needed a heart transplant - and the boy found out hours later that a new organ had come through for him.
Trump's nine-day, five-stop worldwide tour resulted in few tangible policy achievements. Trump has said he'll make a final decision as soon as next week.
While Trump is demanding that the world's wealthiest nations to do more to fight terror, he's also listening to their urgings about the need for the U.S.to remain in the sweeping Paris climate agreement.
The American people and the world are again faced with the variance between what Trump said as a candidate and what he says as president.
The idea that Donald Trump set out on his first foreign sojourn with a distinct goal in mind might seem hard to imagine based not only on what has been reported throughout his trip but simply on his record in Washington since becoming President in January. "Man!" Trump said to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi when they met in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, a friendly nod to a Mideast strongman who the US largely snubbed during the Obama administration.
A senior administration official said that no one should "read into" Trump's remarks any lack of United States commitment to the alliance's collective defense obligations. Taken as a share of total military spending by all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, the USA spends vastly more than the rest of the organization combined, accounting for almost three-quarters of total outlays.
Ironically, the petulant European response to Mr. Trump makes his point: Europe expects the United States to bear the burden of the common defense largely by itself.
And finally, little was made of the leaking of critical intelligence about the terrorist attack in Manchester by American sources.