As the wall came tumbling down in 1989 in Germany....you could sense that the Cold War was concluding. There are argument about when the final day came. Some say as the German unification pact was signed. Some suggest 1991. Some give it in the mid-1990s. The truth is...for almost twenty years....the Cold War has been finished. It is....no more.
How NATO continues on? There is this fake generation of threats....mostly from intelligence analysts who thinks Russia is a major threat....thus keeping NATO going and pinning hopes on some standing army. Without Russia, virtually everyone in Europe would cut their military budget by fifty percent or more, and just aim for a marginal force to exist.
What happens in the coming months with the Trump administration?
I would speculate that the US nukes left in Europe will be quietly removed....without much discussion with NATO partners.
I would also suggest that US troops throughout Europe will be lessened to some degree. It wouldn't surprise me if you see just one US installation left in Germany (Ramstein) in five years. US installations in the UK? They might stand around the same or take up some of the slack from troops being removed from Germany. There are several UK bases on some closure list, and it might make some sense for the US Army to evaluate those and maybe ask for reuse.
Redford Cavlary and Infantry Barracks in Edinburgh, and Fort George, near Ardersier are both on a Brit closure list, and could be reused.
NATO to disappear? No. I think you are about to see an evolution occur, where people finally admit the Cold War ended. There's no reason to keep the current strategy in place or waste tons of money.
How the Germans might handle in an election year? Badly.
If they'd come up with the idea....it'd be a great idea. Coming from a Trump administration? No....not acceptable. The Brits? Oh, they might like how this will evolve and some US German-based troops end up on some Brit bases.
The French? Well....we edge into an election year where Le Pen just might win, and some weird alliance between France, the UK, and the US might come to exist. As you might sit and think....it's a relationship that wouldn't necessary make the Germans thrilled. It would sit into dynamics the idea of a lesser EU, and therefore a lesser emphasis with Germany in charge.
So in the coming weeks, if you happen to notice Trump continually on German news and cast as a negative for Germany....you might see this French and Brit trigger pulled and NATO going down an evolutionary path. In the midst of summer and some hectic German political campaign.....you might be shocked just how far off the path that the campaign has fallen, and if NATO is recognized by the year's end.