not the onion
President Trump is meeting face-to-face with NATO for the first time later this month, and the 28-country alliance is planning accordingly. Worried about how Trump's "notoriously short attention span" will mesh with the meetings that one NATO official described as "important but painfully dull," NATO is apparently restructuring its schedule, Foreign Policy reported:
The alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to 2 to 4 minutes at a time during the discussion, several sources inside NATO and former senior U.S. officials tell FP. And the alliance scrapped plans to publish the traditional full post-meeting statement meant to crystallize NATO's latest strategic stance. [Foreign Policy]
NATO claimed the full statement is getting scrapped because it's "not a full summit," but a NATO official told Foreign Policy it's actually because "they're worried Trump won't like it." Trump repeatedly criticized NATO during his presidential campaign and has demanded since taking office that other NATO members pay their fair share toward defense.
The Pentagon's former NATO envoy Jim Townsend noted that it's "not so unusual that they strain to try to keep it interesting and short," but several people indicated to Foreign Policy that this is a whole new level of modification. "It's kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump," one person "briefed extensively on the meeting's preparations" told Foreign Policy. "It's like they're preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing."