Nearly 300 U.S. Marines landed in Norway on Monday with a clear assignment from the outgoing Obama administration: Train with allies and help reinforce the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s northernmost border with Russia.
But the latest comments from President-elect Donald Trump—who referred to NATO as “obsolete” in a newspaper interview—have left the U.S. military in an awkward spot as its new commander-in-chief signals an interest in improved ties with Moscow.
Mr. Trump’s comments—he also called for making “some good deals with Russia” and said NATO’s focus should be terrorists, not Moscow—sparked fresh unease in Europe, prompting leaders there to call for unity in the face of trans-Atlantic tensions.
Norway’s foreign minister, Børge Brende, declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s remarks but said he expected the U.S. to stick to promises made to allies.
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Featured image courtesy of Reuters.