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Trump says US may abandon automatic protections for Nato countries

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  • Trump says US may abandon automatic protections for Nato countries

    Donald Trump has said that if he is elected president he may abandon a guarantee of protection to fellow Nato countries.
    Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Trump said the US would only come to the aid of allies if they have "fulfilled their obligations to us".
    Members of Nato have all signed a treaty that says they will come to the aid of any member that is attacked.
    Mr Trump will speak on Thursday at the Republican National Convention.
    In a preview of what he will tell convention-goers in his speech, he outlined a foreign policy strategy aimed at reducing US expenditure and involvement abroad.

    Mr Trump's comments hit at the fundamental basis of the Atlantic alliance; that an attack on one ally is an attack on all.
    Under Article 5 of Nato's founding treaty, allies are bound to come to the aid of a member under attack.
    The US has long been pressing its European allies to spend more on defence. That is slowly beginning to have an effect.
    But never has there been a suggestion that the US would renege on its responsibilities.
    Mr Trump's positions will be seen by Washington's Nato partners as at best eccentric and at worst alarming.
    At a time of growing tensions with Moscow, the idea that the US might become an unreliable ally is a nightmare for Nato's European members.

    Asked about Russian aggression towards Nato countries in the Baltic region, Mr Trump suggested the US might abandon the longstanding protections offered by the US to such nations.
    The divisive Republican candidate also said that, if elected, he would not pressure US allies over crackdowns on political opposition and civil liberties, arguing that the US had to "fix our own mess" before "lecturing" other nations.
    He said: "Look at what is happening in our country. How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?"

    The Republican candidate also said that he would reassess the costs to the US of longstanding defence treaties, potentially forcing allies to take on those costs.
    He said he would "prefer to be able to continue" existing agreements - but not if he felt allies were taking advantage of the US.
    Referring to what he said were US trade losses, Mr Trump said: "We are spending a fortune on military in order to lose $800bn [≈ Fortune 500 profits, 2011]. That doesn't sound very smart to me."
    He also suggested he would close US bases abroad. "If we decide we have to defend the United States, we can always deploy" from American soil, he said "and it will be a lot less expensive".
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36852805

    The more in-depth article referenced from the NYT
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/us...sues.html?_r=0
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 21 Jul 16,, 16:30.

  • #2
    Maybe they could all ramp up to that two percent minimum and exceed it if necessary. Not all that mutual at the moment.

    The article five appropriate step.might be to let.someone drown.
    Last edited by troung; 21 Jul 16,, 17:50.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    • #3
      his reasoning is idiotic, though-- he's connecting US military alliances with the trade deficit.
      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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      • #4
        Like all new Presidents without experience facing tough peer competitors, they all change their tunes once they meet a real thug. Obama's reset button anyone?
        Chimo

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        • #5
          ^ pretty big difference between announcing a reset and pre-emptively stating that article 5 is not sacrosanct.

          you can go back on the first fairly easily, and we have; but if you're stating up front that you're willing to ditch an alliance because of trade deficits, the erosion in trust is a lot harder to repair.

          for that matter Trump OPENLY ADMIRES dictators, look at the comments he made regarding Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Saddam Hussein!
          There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

          Comment


          • #6
            This is all just an exercise in mental masturbation. Seriously. The Man Will Not Be Elected.

            Why are we wasting our brain power on this??
            My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by astralis View Post
              ^ pretty big difference between announcing a reset and pre-emptively stating that article 5 is not sacrosanct.
              It isn't. The only time it was envoked was 11 Sept and it required all NATO capitals a week to commit. Everyone of them could have said no which meant the US also have the same choice. Hell, Article 5 was not even an issue during the Cold War as we would have been trading nukes long before any House in any capital got into a debate.

              Originally posted by astralis View Post
              you can go back on the first fairly easily, and we have; but if you're stating up front that you're willing to ditch an alliance because of trade deficits, the erosion in trust is a lot harder to repair.
              As bad as Jimmy Carter? All it takes is one strong President to re-establish confidence.


              Originally posted by astralis View Post
              for that matter Trump OPENLY ADMIRES dictators, look at the comments he made regarding Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Saddam Hussein!
              He hasn't been smacked in the head yet.
              Chimo

              Comment


              • #8
                Even invoking Article 5 does not mean a NATO state has to send any aid to an attacked party. "such means as they deem necessary".

                Unlike a certain other alliance that Eastern-Europeans could turn to. One that Trump doesn't particularly like. "with all means at their disposal".

                With that, if Trump ever gets elected NATO is dead.

                Last edited by kato; 21 Jul 16,, 20:18.

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                • #9
                  Still, Article V is at the essence of NATO...collective strength. That the only country which asked for it to be invoked....and having lived it first hand the Allied response was overwhelming...is the US. That as presidential candidate for the US would even say such a thing in public is, frankly, shameful.

                  And Joe, I disagree. It does do harm. At this very time there is ample tension in Europe...this undermines the resolve. Or it can also say to an opposing nation that NATO is not united.

                  As a side bar, a friend who is serving on the NATO staff in A'stan shared with me that many of his fellow officers from NATO countries were appalled and disturbed by this statement. Remember, they are there serving BECAUSE we invoked Article V.
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                    As a side bar, a friend who is serving on the NATO staff in A'stan shared with me that many of his fellow officers from NATO countries were appalled and disturbed by this statement. Remember, they are there serving BECAUSE we invoked Article V.
                    Minor quib. We, the rest of NATO, invoked Article V. The US didn't and she didn't asked for it. I remember it as somewhat of a welcome surprise to the US.

                    However, invoking Article V was a political statement. The military statement was made when NATO planes training in Canada and the US immediately cancelled their training and assumed patrols over North American skies.
                    Chimo

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                    • #11
                      ^ pretty big difference between announcing a reset and pre-emptively stating that article 5 is not sacrosanct.
                      It's not. A President Trump may determine a medical team with a restrictive ROE is warranted to rescue freeloaders.

                      you can go back on the first fairly easily, and we have; but if you're stating up front that you're willing to ditch an alliance because of trade deficits, the erosion in trust is a lot harder to repair.
                      I don't care all that much for spending money to protect socialist welfare states who don't care for military spending.

                      It's not a mutual alliance if much of NATO is dumping equipment and disbanding units yearly. Two percent is supposed to be a floor, not the cap. If George the Lesser and Obama the Great failed to get NATO nations to pay the floor, maybe they might need to get some tough love or just kick the damn thing to the side.

                      If Russian tanks rumbled into Estonia much of NATO would find a reason to stay home regardless of the Donald winning. Wouldn't be a Spaniard, Portuguese, an Italian, a Greek, and at this rate a Turk to be seen.
                      To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by troung View Post
                        II don't care all that much for spending money to protect socialist welfare states who don't care for military spending.
                        You know? This gets me. You and your politicians keep harping on that frigging 2 percent and ignored the fact we've answered America's call to arms with our own blood. We paid for our NATO membership at our funerals.
                        Chimo

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                          Minor quib. We, the rest of NATO, invoked Article V. The US didn't and she didn't asked for it. I remember it as somewhat of a welcome surprise to the US.

                          However, invoking Article V was a political statement. The military statement was made when NATO planes training in Canada and the US immediately cancelled their training and assumed patrols over North American skies.
                          You are correct, sir.

                          I knew that but in the haze of 15 years I conflated it. And I remember the patrols well. And I also remember Bundeswehr soldiers guarding US military installations in Germany with Luftwaffe fighters on air patrol over our bases as well.

                          As for the political versus military statement...NATO is a political as well as a military structure an dalliance. They are intertwined.
                          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                          Mark Twain

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                          • #14
                            I suspect the US doesn't really like an Europe taking care of it's own defence.

                            Especially when Europe would end up developing weapons that are more advanced than the US has and not sharing the info.

                            Would create a whole new set of headaches.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FJV View Post
                              Especially when Europe would end up developing weapons that are more advanced than the US has and not sharing the info.
                              In theory if Europe would act in concert for weapons development they might.

                              In reality, getting Europe on the same page for a big weapons program is like herding cats.

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