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Support for NATO wanes in France, Germany & even US as alliance struggles to maintain unity

Support for NATO wanes in France, Germany & even US as alliance struggles to maintain unity
Public support for NATO has seen a notable decline in France, Germany and the US, according to a new poll. The alliance has suffered from months of budgetary in-fighting and mud-slinging among member states.

While the Pew Research study noted that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization still enjoys general support across member states, it pointed out that several countries "have soured on the alliance."

Positive views of the transatlantic alliance fell to 52 percent in the United States last year, from 64 percent in 2018, the survey found. In France, support fell to 49 percent, from 60 percent in 2017 and 71 percent in 2009. A figure for 2018 was not available. Germany also saw a drop in public support, which stood at 57 percent in 2019, down from 63 percent in 2018. Positive ratings of NATO among members range from a high of 82 percent in Poland to 21 percent in Turkey.

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The decline in public support can be attributed to a number of factors, including months of heated debate over defense spending among member states. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly chastised alliance members for not meeting their military spending commitment of two percent of GDP, while arguing that the United States pays far too much for Europe's defense.

European states have also been highly critical of the Cold War-era defensive alliance. Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron accused NATO of suffering from "brain death" because of its perceived failure to help maintain global security and resolve world conflicts.

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The alliance has also struggled to maintain a united front, most notable in Syria, where Turkey has been at odds with its American allies. Ankara has also locked horns with Athens over the tense military and political situation in Libya.

Founded in 1949 to counter the Soviet Union, NATO has been criticized for being largely obsolete and lacking a clear purpose. Despite billing itself as a defensive alliance, it has participated in a number of disastrous military interventions in the Middle East and North Africa.

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