The Current

Trump wants Europe to do more in Middle East. It's in their interest to do so, says professor

U.S. President Donald Trump responded to an Iranian missile attack with a call for Europe to play a greater role in the Middle East. Political science professor Christian Leuprecht says it's in Europe's best interests to do just that.

Iran launched missiles at 2 Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops Tuesday

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on Wednesday, following the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. (Evan Vucci/AP)
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A political scientist says U.S. President Donald Trump expects "Europe to step up and to do more in terms of looking after its own neighbourhood," in the wake of Iran's missile attack on two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops.

"He's pointing out that it's in Europe's interest to do more," said Christian Leuprecht, professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen's University. 

"Because ultimately, instability in the Middle East  — in terms of migration and other consequences, such as terrorism — has more direct implications for Europe than for the United States."

Trump said he would ask NATO to become more involved in the Middle East on Wednesday.

He also reiterated his position that "Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon," and called for new negotiations to limit the country's nuclear capabilities.

Iran's attack on Tuesday was in retaliation for the U.S. killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week. No U.S. personnel were killed, and the country's foreign minister tweeted that Iran does "not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

International relations expert Janice Stein says there's a contradiction at the heart of Trump's call for more NATO involvement. 

"Our government was not notified in advance of the strike against Soleimani, and our forces were in harm's way," Stein, the founding director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, told The Current's Matt Galloway.

"No NATO ally was notified, which is unprecedented, they're always given a heads up. ... "And yet the same president walks out and says, I want NATO to do more."

U.S. President Trump says Iran's destructive ways are over, and he will reach out to NATO for help 1:10

Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Lara OBrien, Karin Marley, Julie Crysler and Joana Draghici.

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