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In a thinly veiled swipe at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former secretary-general of NATO, said on Sept. 29 that it is in the U.S.' best interests to be the world's "policeman," and it would be dangerous to condition the defense of allies on their financial contributions toward security.Such comments raise doubts about NATO's resolve to maintain collective defense, said Rasmussen, noting that Estonia is one of five countries in the 28-member Alliance that actually spends the required 2 percent of its GDP on defense.Trump's position on NATO has evolved from questioning the U.S. role in the Alliance to support for it.Rasmussen contended that the U.S. benefits from its participation in NATO. NATO's open-door policy has also strained its ties with Russia.Rasmussen said NATO should remain committed to its open-door policy for as long as nations want to join and that the integration process will not be complete until all Balkan countries have become members of NATO and the European Union. LibyaIn Syria, where a war has raged since 2011, Rasmussen ventured that the situation would be far better had the U.S. and NATO intervened early in the crisis.On Rasmussen's watch and following a U.N. Security Council resolution, NATO launched a successful air campaign to defend civilians in Libya in 2011 .
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