Skepticism Runs Deep At NATO As Pompeo Meets With Allies

In FOREIGN RELATIONS On

BRUSSELS — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed into meetings at NATO on Wednesday amid questions about U.S. leadership in the military alliance and whether it will even continue to be a member.

Pompeo’s conversations with foreign ministers at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization aim to lay the groundwork for a higher-level meeting of presidents and prime ministers scheduled for next month in London.

Once pretty staid affairs, NATO gatherings nowadays are infused with melodrama and cliffhanging uncertainty about global challenges and the willingness of the United States to aid its allies. Diplomats were particularly unnerved by the U.S. decision last month to withdraw troops from northern Syria before a Turkish invasion, without consulting the Europeans in advance.

Testimony by State Department officials at the impeachment hearings in Washington has also made some of his own diplomats question Pompeo’s strength of purpose, while a growing number of European diplomats say they believe he ultimately yields to President Trump’s wishes even if he considers them unwise.

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