I would not get too wrapped up with the identities and history of the people being named as Trump’s foreign policy advisors. I think he was being totally honest in admitting that he is his number one advisor. And tonight we have seen the good and the bad of Donald Trump.
Let’s start with the “good.” He did something today that I find remarkable and promising. He called for a change in the U.S. relationship with NATO.
Donald Trump outlined an unabashedly noninterventionist approach to world affairs Monday, telling The Washington Post’s editorial board that he questions the need for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has formed the backbone of Western security policies since the Cold War:
“Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we’re doing all of the lifting,” Trump said. “They’re not doing anything. And I say: ‘Why is it that Germany’s not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of Ukraine, why aren’t they dealing? Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war with Russia.’ “
Trump said that U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington. “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” Trump said, adding later, “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”
You should be clear about one thing–this is the view of Donald Trump. It is not a position he has acquired by listening to some advisor.
Trump understands as his fundamental position that the United States cannot be running around the world intervening willy nilly. This position scares the hell out of a lot of people and corporations in Washington, DC who have become fabulously wealthy by making money off of wars overseas. It is despicable and evil. Trump, to his credit, is throwing the bullshit flag.
Trump is absolutely right about NATO. It is an anachronism. It is akin to insisting that every car must be equipped with a buggy whip. The countries of Europe need to accept responsibility for their own defense. We are not nor should we be their parent or protector. They should be partners.
U.S. policy should be refocused on building partnerships with countries on clearly identified bilateral benefits. I’m listening to Kasich insist that NATO is vital to our ability to fight ISIS. Is he delusional? Where are the NATO boots on the ground battling ISIS? Where are the NATO airstrikes pounding the ISIS positions? It is this kind of old thinking and stupidity that Trump is blowing up. Good on him.
Now for the bad news......