The return of the 45th US president could be disastrous for NATO, Richard Dearlove has said
Former US President Donald Trump’s potential re-election may be “problematic” for British national security due to his stance on NATO, the former head of the intelligence service MI6 has warned.
Richard Dearlove, who led MI6 from 1999 to 2004, made his comments during an interview with Sky News on Sunday when discussing potential threats to the UK in 2024. He pointed to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the “long-term behavior of China,” before moving to the American presidential race.
“You have to add a political threat, which I am worried about, which is Trump’s re-election… which I think for the UK’s national security is problematic,” Dearlove said. He explained that if Trump, given his critical attitude towards NATO, “acts hastily and damages the Atlantic alliance, that is a big deal for the UK.”
“We’ve put all our eggs in defense terms in the NATO basket. If Trump really is serious about, as it were, changing the balance, I mean the American nuclear umbrella for Europe is, in my view, essential to Europe’s security and defense,” the former spymaster said.
During his time in the White House, Trump disparaged NATO, calling it “obsolete,” and questioned the bloc’s relevance to the modern world. He also cast doubt on Washington’s commitment to defend its allies and argued that other NATO members were not contributing enough.
“Look, NATO has taken advantage of our country. The European countries took advantage,” the former president recently told Fox News. During the same interview, he said that his attitude towards NATO commitments “depends [on] if they treat us properly.”
Despite several court cases against him, Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination as their candidate. A recent Morning Consult poll indicates that he is leading with 69%, while the nearest rival is trailing far behind.