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Confidence in NATO declines sharply in US, France, Germany: Study

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump (R) holds a bilateral meeting with Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the NATO summit in Watford, northeast of London on December 4, 2019. (Getty images)

Public confidence in the NATO military alliance has fallen sharply in the US, France and Germany since US President Donald Trump came to office, according to new research.

The proportion of people who have a favorable view of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dropped at least 10 percentage points in the US, France and Germany between 2017 and 2019, according to a study released on Monday by the Pew Research Center.

The Pew survey found that a median of 53 percent of people across 16 member countries surveyed had a favorable view of NATO, and 27 percent expressed a negative view.

But between 2017 and 2019, the proportion of people who had a positive view of the alliance had fallen from 62 to 52 percent in the US, 60 to 49 percent in France and 67 to 57 percent in Germany.

In Turkey and Greece, publics are particularly unfavorable toward the alliance: Roughly half or more express a negative opinion.

NATO, founded in 1949 to contain a military threat from the Soviet Union, reinvented itself after the end of the Cold War in 1991 as a shield against Russian influence and fighting terrorism.

NATO diplomats have long feared that Trump's portrayal of NATO as an alliance in crisis might erode US public support.

Trump called NATO “obsolete” during his election campaign and repeatedly criticized European countries for failing to increase their military budget.

NATO members are required to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on military affairs. This is while the US currently spends around 4 percent.

French President Emmanuel Macron has also questioned the value of NATO. Macron said last year the alliance was experiencing "brain death" because of a perceived failure to help resolve world conflicts.

The French president also suggested that the alliance should not regard Russia as an adversary.

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