Trump joins battle for the soul of the West — to a point

( CNN) President Donald Trump given a battle cry to protect Western civilization on Thursday — but his political perception for the alliance in the West is something that few of its other large leaders would recognize, much less embrace.

“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive, ” Trump said in Warsaw, Poland, quoting his legion nation’s long clashes against autocracy as an example of the tenacity needed to preserve Western values.

On the surface, Trump’s speech was accurately the kind of message Europe’s commanders have pined to discover. He reaffirmed NATO’s Article 5 principle of mutual security, albeit with a swipe at member countries over defense expend. He rapped Russia for “destabilizing the actions of Ukraine and elsewhere.”

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