Trump is no longer a joke to them, but instead a cause for profound alarm—especially his pronouncements on the NATO alliance, his talk of torturing prisoners, and his willingness to improve America’s relationship with Russia.
The Trump anxiety is most profound from countries in Eastern Europe who are terrified that Trump’s will usher in an era of Russian dominance and a resultant decline in their freedoms and independence.
“From my conversations with them, they’re very nervous. There have been mixed messages, obviously, and they’re continuing to get enormous pressure from Putin and the Russian propaganda machine,” Sen. John McCain, chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, told The Daily Beast. “We don’t really know exactly what President Trump will do. Some of it depends on who his selection for Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense are.”
In the halls of the Halifax Westin, officials from countries like Ukraine and Estonia hustled from meeting to meeting to take the temperature of American support in this new age of Trump. Trump’s election has ushered in a moment of uncertainty for America’s allies. Will he withdraw from Asia? How will he address the Iran nuclear deal? Will he recognize the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea?