Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trump & NATO: Not Sexy, But You Should Be Paying Attention


Donald Trump says sensational things that stir up the press and the people: that Ted Cruz's father played a role in the assassination of JFK, that Heidi Cruz is ugly, that Megyn Kelly is menstruating, that women who have abortions should be punished. On the first night of the DNC, Trump tweeted a cryptic insinuation that Cory Booker is gay.

By getting away with saying crazy things,Trump expands his power. And he draws free publicity to his campaign.

Recently Trump said dangerous things about NATO.

NATO is not as sensational as the JFK assassination or insinuations of homosexuality.

You should pay attention to this Trumpism, anyway.

Articles below inform you:

Trump doesn't understand NATO.

Trump didn't tell the truth about NATO.

NATO is vital to America.

Undermining NATO undermines America.

Trump may have selfish, ulterior reasons for undermining NATO.

The ibtimes summed up Trump's statements

"When asked by the New York Times late Wednesday if he would come to the aid of the Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – if they were attacked by Russia, Trump said he would only do so if the countries 'have fulfilled their obligations to us,' marking a sharp turn from decades of American foreign policy that has been a cornerstone of European security …

The New York billionaire hinted while campaigning in April that if elected president he would consider withdrawing the U.S. from the alliance. 'It's possible that we're going to have to let NATO go,' he said. 'When we're paying and nobody else is really paying, a couple of other countries are but nobody else is really paying, you feel like the jerk.'

He went on to say that he would 'call up all of those countries . . . and say 'fellas you haven't paid for years, give us the money or get the hell out.' I'd say you've gotta pay us or get out. You're out, out, out . . . Maybe NATO will dissolve, and that's OK, not the worst thing in the world.'"

So, what's wrong with Trump's stance on NATO? EVERYTHING.

From NPR:

"DEREK CHOLLET: U.S. commitment to NATO and our commitments to our European partners is not an act of charity. It's not a gift that we give to our European partners. It's actually part of our security, as well, and their security is our security.

NORTHAM: Derek Chollet is a senior advisor with The German Marshall Fund and a former assistant secretary of defense. He says NATO members, friends and colleagues in Europe are deeply alarmed about Trump's comments and worry about U.S. commitments to the alliance.

CHOLLET: Trump's rhetoric is undermining America's credibility, undermining America's leadership and strength in Europe, even without him being president. The rhetoric itself is very damaging. Obviously, if you were to try to implement any of that rhetoric as president, it would be catastrophic for America's interests."

In the Washington Post, Michael McFaul explained in detail why Trump's understanding of NATO is completely flawed. McFaul is former US ambassador to Russia, special assistant to the president on the National Security Council, and Stanford University professor of political science.

McFaul points out that NATO

Is in America's strategic interest, makes the world more peaceful and more amenable to American leadership, benefits the US economically, saves American lives, prevents the rise of extremists, and has contributed directly to American defense in both the lives and treasure of our NATO allies.

His op-ed is excellent and should be read in full; no brief excerpt here can do it justice. The apt title of McFaul's piece is "NATO Is an Alliance, Not A Protection Racket." It can be read here.

The Atlantic emphasized how Trump's words caused panic among Eastern European, former Soviet-bloc nations.

"Estonia, along with its Baltic (and NATO) partners, Lithuania, and Latvia, were until the early 1990s part of the Soviet Union. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania, were, likewise, member of the Soviet-allied Warsaw Pact, NATO's communist counterpart. When the Soviet Union collapsed, these former communist countries looked to the West for new alliances. All are EU and NATO members. Trump's remarks are causing jitters because the memory of the Soviet Union is still fresh in these states, and they are increasingly wary at Russia's muscle-flexing under President Vladimir Putin. (Trump on Putin: 'He's been complimentary of me. I think Putin and I will get along very well.')"

You can read the full Atlantic piece here.

A NATO official reminded Trump that NATO came to the defense of the US after 9/11, and soldiers from NATO countries died in US wars.

"Referring to the critical 'Article 5' of the treaty which deems an attack on one member state an attack on all, a NATO official told news.com.au: 'The only time Article 5 was invoked was after 9/11 in defence of the US, when NATO sent AWACS to patrol American skies and deployed a third of the troops in Afghanistan for over a decade, where over one thousand soldiers from non-US Allies and partners gave their lives.'"

You can read that full article here.

The National Review reminded its readers of what NATO is and what it has accomplished.

"For the past 70 years, U.S. presidents have recognized that defending our national interests requires using America's overwhelming economic and military power to support like-minded allies. This vision of a U.S.-led global-security order, perhaps best embodied by the NATO alliance, has not only prevented major state conflict since World War II, but has also supported a global system of trade that has led to unparalleled prosperity for all…

"Trump's comments betray his deep ignorance of Russia's aggression against the West. As retired Air Force General Philip Breedlove, former head of U.S. European Command, notes, 'Moscow is determined to reestablish what it considers its rightful sphere of influence, undermine NATO, and reclaim its great-power status.' Furthermore, he says, 'the foundation of any strategy in Europe must be the recognition that Russia poses an enduring existential threat to the United States, its allies, and the international order.'

It is even more important to note that the Baltic nations have, in fact, fulfilled their obligations to the United States. Despite their small size and limited military power, these countries were part of the U.S.-led coalitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, devoting hundreds of troops to each theater throughout the course of these missions. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania still maintain a presence in Afghanistan today, after the end of the coalition's combat mission at the end of 2014. Donald Trump should be celebrating the Baltic states' brave determination to stand with the United States — even when they were under no obligation to do so — instead of flippantly dismissing it.'"

The rest of this article is equally important. Please read it all here.

Who wins if NATO is destabilized? Inter alia, Putin's Russia.


Highly respected author Anne Applebaum lays out Trump's connections to Putin. Read her article: 'How a Trump Presidency Could Destabilize Europe.' 

2 comments:

  1. I doubt NATO's commitment to defend Poland--President Trump or no President Trump.

    Recall how President Obama removed the defensive missiles from Poland.

    How many Western European and American military and political leaders believe that Poland is worth dying for in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Russian peasants suffered just as much as Polish peasants in history. No war with Russia & USA. Hillary will put us against Russia.

    ReplyDelete

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