Former US national security adviser John Bolton warns that NATO could break apart if President Donald Trump wins a second term, as he expressed his hope the incumbent would lose in November.
Bolton also was sharply critical of the recent decision to pull US troops out of Germany, saying the move appeared to lack strategy and was designed to punish Berlin over the trade deficit and its failure to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence
"Those are not valid reasons," Bolton told dpa, ahead of the release of his book "The Room Where It Happened" in Germany this month.
"He is doing it because he thinks Germany deserves it, in effect," Bolton added, signalling it was punishment.
"I think the damage that Trump has done both domestically and internationally is repairable fairly quickly if he only serves one term," Bolton said.
"If he serves two terms, I think there would be more damage and it would be harder to repair. I think NATO is at risk in a second Trump term," he cautioned "I don't think people in Europe fully realise that, actually."
The former adviser - who either resigned or was fired last year, depending on who is telling the story - had few kind words for his former boss, describing him as lacking a coherent world view and prone to flip-flopping.
Perhaps harshest of all, Bolton says Trump, even as he nears four years in the White House, has failed to appreciate the gravity of his job.
"He's not fully aware of what it means to be president of the United States," Bolton said.
Australian Associated Press