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Trump’s incendiary NATO remarks send very real shudders through Europe

Protest sign outside U.S. embassy in London. Courtesy, the Independent.

February 13, 2024

When the former president suggested on Saturday that he would let Russia do “whatever the hell they want” to any NATO member that doesn’t meet spending guidelines, the impact was acute and he put our oversea troops in danger.

He recalled what he said was a conversation with a “large” NATO ally – it was unclear who he was referring to or when the conversation took place – which, according to his telling, had declined to spend the 2% recommended equivalent of their GDP on defense, but nevertheless wanted assurances from the US that they would be protected if Russia attacked. Trump said he would not give such an assurance, as the ally was “delinquent,” and Russian President Vladimir Putin should feel free to have his way.

Trump’s opinion of NATO has been known for years – he thinks it is the epitome of everything he despises about of America’s allies, taking advantage of US strength without giving anything in return.

 As with much foreign policy, Dumb Donald misunderstands the nature and purpose of this relationship. NATO is not an alliance based on dues: it is the largest military bloc in history, formed to face down the Soviet threat, a principle enshrined in Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty.

It’s purpose suits the US profoundly: The White House invoked Article 5 after 9/11. 

NATO helps bolster the US’s ebbing position as the sole hyperpower. Strip away this vast alliance, and its diplomatic and economic might, and the US looks quite lonely on the world stage.

In short, Dumb Donald, the US will almost certainly always spend much more than anyone else on its military, regardless of its allies. 

Saturday’s misunderstanding considered, Trump’s comments come at a devastatingly bad time for Europe. 

The rogue idiots of the GOP which supports him is persistently trying to derail vital aid to Ukraine which  will have an irrevocably detrimental impact on Ukraine’s practical defenses at the frontlines.

Damage is already being done. And it is Donald’d BFF Putin who benefits.

It is still a mystery as to why Trump feels so inexplicably bound to Putin, a “bad guy,” a crush on Russia’s despot.

 This is certain,  the more the US bemoans its allies and their miserly neglect of NATO, and withdraw from it, the less powerful it is.

The softball Putin interview by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson fomented the projection of weakness

While the real-world impact of Trump’s comments are not yet clear, they could be catastrophic. 

European security hinges on Ukraine’s success, or at the very least its ability to hold back and weaken Russia’s continuing assaults.

If Moscow prevails, it could take years. Russian advances in Zaporizhzhia could lead to movement into Kherson, then Mykolaiv, and Odesa, putting Putin on the doorstep of NATO’s Romania.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels earlier this month.

NATO chief says Trump’s comments on abandoning alliance endangers US and European troops

The UK has recently switched its broader rhetoric in recent weeks to suggest the West is no longer in a post-war but a pre-war world. 

Finland and Sweden have urgently sought to join NATO. 

Germany’s foreign ministry responded to Trump’s comments with “One for all and All for One”. 

The European Council President Charles Michel slammed Trump’s “reckless statements”.

Trump is not simply saying the US won’t help NATO allies who haven’t paid. He is saying he would encourage Russia to attack, invade, inflict the horrors of Mariupol upon US allies. 

It was heard loudly, especially in European capitals and Moscow.

Part of Trump’s appeal to his supporters is his lack of presidential poise. But after Ukraine’s invasion two years ago, this is no longer a game of posturing. It is a moment that hopefully the history books will not have to look back and analyze as having been of grave consequence.

This story was originally published by CNN. It was edited for length, some word were added.

  • Linda Hernández says:

    Incredibly irresponsible and dangerous statements that will lower our worldwide stature, security and esteem!

  • Keith says:

    You call yourself a journalist???? Your TDS is showing and all you are is fake news. 1930s called and Hitler wants his propaganda machine back……