The views expressed are his own.
In response to a question about whether United States forces should respond if Montenegro were attacked, Trump said that the tiny nation's "very aggressive people" might end up drawing NATO's members into a war with Russian Federation.
Trump's jab against the smallest and newest entrant to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has further fanned worldwide uproar over his trip to Europe, where he clashed with the US's closest allies before holding a closed-door meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
"Interpreting Trump's comments is a treacherous business, he says one thing at noon and another at 1 p.m." said Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who served in the Obama Administration.
"Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people", Trump said. "Once more I think President Trump is doing Putin's job". Of course, nobody wants their kids to die for Montenegro.
Russia is a foe of Montenegro, and Russian mercenaries were believed to be behind a coup attempt in 2016. Before joining NATO, Montenegro assisted in Afghanistan's reconstruction efforts for almost eight years. The Post recently reported that US military commanders are anxious that if they had to quickly move USA troops east to head off a military conflict with Moscow, "the most powerful military in the world could get stuck in a traffic jam" as "Humvees. snarl behind plodding semis on narrow roads" and "U.S. tanks. crush rusting bridges too weak to hold their weight". This ignores both geography and history.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation agreed to a two per cent target for 2024 and his predecessor Barack Obama also leaned on alliance members to "step up" their progress toward that goal. Additionally, the idea that a major European war would not ultimately involve the United States betrays Trump's ignorance. Unlike Montenegro, all three countries border Russian Federation. A multi-state war in Europe would be far less likely to stay contained. Making matters more fraught, Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority have become emboldened in their agitations for wider communal autonomy, something which threatens the fragile inter-ethnic Ohrid Agreement which in 2001, prevented the country from plunging into civil war. The response to this latest infliction of totally insane gibberish on the rest of the world was predictably unkind, even from the ordinarily gentle people of Montenegro.
"It means that an attack on one is an attack on all", the official told CNN.
Alongside Macedonia, Montenegro was the only ex-Yugoslavian country whose decision to split from the federation did not trigger a war, though its soldiers fought against Croatia's war of independence in the 1990s as part of the Yugoslav army. The latest comments are a reminder that the threat of World War 3 remains a serious concern for the USA president, and one not easily dispelled.