Donald Trump

Does Trump's Commitment to NATO Preclude Rethinking Relationships?

Based on everything seen on the campaign trail, no it doesn't.


Sipa USA/Newscom

President-Elect Trump is interested in maintaining "core strategic relationships" with NATO and Europe, President Obama said in a press conference today, also saying that while he had his concerns he was hopeful that Trump would "make things better" overall.

Obama heads to Europe later this week for his last trip there as president. He said at today's press conference he was happy to be able to tell European leaders Trump remained committed to U.S. relationships with Europe. Separately, in an interview with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini Obama said he believed the "best chance for progress" was "to resist the urge to turn inward and instead reinvigorate our shared values and work together."

"Europe is our largest economic partner and we have a profound economic interest in a Europe that is stable and growing," Obama said in the interview. European foreign ministers met formally in Brussels today and had informal, closed-to-media dinner talks yesterday about Trump's election. The European Union has indicated it takes Trump at his word on trade and believes the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would have to be renegotiated, according to The National. "There is strong reason to believe that there would be a pause in TTIP, that this might not be the biggest priority for the new administration," Cecilia Malmstroem, the EU trade commissioner, was quoted as saying.

After Trump's election, European leaders reached out to Trump. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called to congratulate the president-elect and invite him to the next NATO summit in Brussels next year. "We face a challenging new security environment, including hybrid warfare, cyber attacks, the threat of terrorism," Stoltenberg said. "NATO has responded with determination to the new security situation. But we have more work to do."

During the campaign, Trump stressed that the U.S. relationship with NATO would have to be revisited. His apparent pledge to maintain relationships with NATO and Europe doesn't preclude re-visiting the nature of U.S. obligations to NATO, a post-World War II Cold War organization that has not substantively reflected on its structure or even usefulness in a post-Cold War world. America would be richer and safer if Europe paid for its own defense, and it would be worth Trump pursuing that goal.

Meanwhile, Jean Claude-Juncker and Donald Tusk, the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council respectively, sent Trump a congratulatory letter where they invited him to attend an EU-U.S. summit "at his earliest convenience."

"Today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations," the two wrote to Trump. "Only by cooperating closely can the EU and the US continue to make a difference when dealing with unprecedented challenges such as Da'esh (ISIS), the threats to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change and migration."

Russia was a big topic at this week's summit, with European leaders reportedly, and understandably, concerned about how Trump's presidency would affect their own increasingly frosty relations with Russia over issues like Ukraine and pipelines. During the campaign, Trump repeatedly said he believed better relations between Russia and the U.S. were a good thing. Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone, and according to a Kremlin read-out, the two agreed that relations were "extremely unsatisfactory" and that they wanted to work to "normalize U.S.-Russia ties" and "return to pragmatic, mutually beneficial co-operation."

Trump often struck an anti-establishment tone on foreign policy in the campaign. It remains to be seen the kind of counsel he chooses now that he will soon be president, but the prospect that Trump could offer a much needed and overdue re-evaluation of the U.S. security obligations to Europe and around the world, for now, remains.

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  1. I searched = NATO freeloaders

    results ….

    Gates: NATO Full of Freeloaders…..aders.html

    Trump to NATO: Stop the Freeloading!

    1. OK, you get to search; links don’t auto-shrink.
      Saudi Arabia and Israel spend the most as a percentage of GDP. Why SA does is a mystery to me other than to offset the money from there that ends up in fundy-muzzie-thug pockets, while Israel is easy to understand.
      The US is 3.5% with those horrible threats from Mexico and Canada right next door. The Euros are close to, oh, less than 2% of GDPs that are pathetic by comparison and they have the bear right there over the eastern horizon.
      I’d suggest we cut US expenses to, oh, 1.5% (which total remains YUUUGE), and let the Euros find out what it costs to defend themselves and also pay for all that free shit.
      Reality may well gob-smack them and few things would make me happier.

      1. NATO calls for 2%. I’m good with cutting our contribution to that level.
        Only 5 other countries currently match that required minimum.
        Estonia is one of the ones paying up, so I support backing them. The rest?

  2. Thank God we elected Trump so that he can basically do what Obama told him to do in the meeting he held with him. You’re right guys. There’s no reason to freak out. TRUMP isn’t going to build a wall, isn’t going to change strategy in Syria, isn’t going to rip up the ACA, isn’t going to withdraw from NATO (don’t I wish). You’re right. I’m wrong. There’s really nothing to worry about– the next 4 years are kinda going to be like Obama’s last 4 years. Thank God!

    1. Considering you’ve gotten every just about prediction you’ve made over the past year wrong I’d be careful making pronouncements if I were you. If you predicted the sunrise tomorrow I’d start to get concerned.

      1. I think he’s on to something. Let’s face it, Trump is basically Obama for Peckerwoods, and as such, will be just as effective as his predecessor in living up to the unrealistic expectations of his cult of personality. Remember when people thought Obama was going to pay for their gas and mortgages?

      2. Ya know, if you feed rats, they keep coming back.
        Well that asswipe you just replied to should love to be as horrible as the rodents who brought the black death to Europe.
        What he proposes murdered millions more that that.
        BTW, did I yet mention:
        Fuck off, asswipe.

        1. I like Trump because he’s also proposing that my wife stop paying her student loans. She’s got 12 yrs in. TRUMP says 15 is enough. That’s more than I’d get with Clinton. TRUMP is a regular Bernie Sanders. Thanks for the free lunch, Donald!

      3. Actually I bet 200 bucks at 4-1 odds that Trump was going to win. You can look in the archives if you want.

      4. ‘If you predicted the sunrise tomorrow I’d start to get concerned.’
        +1 Aztec

    2. “You’re right. I’m wrong. ”

      Meds finally working.

      1. I don’t think there are drugs that improve a really low IQ.

  3. Regarding the article, Trump was never a libertarian candidate; as Obo was “not Bush”, Trump is “not Clinton”
    We got what was always a D until this year. It’s certain he will be better than Clinton, but then that’s true of a random pick off the street corner. Or shovel-full of stuff at the sewage-treatment plant.
    I’d be disappointed if I expected more.

  4. Now, will Reason start to take a more nuanced take on Putin and Russia?
    Russia just celebrated its own 4th of July – National Unity day. It celebrates the expulsion of occupying Polish army from Moscow in 1612. There were celebrations in Moscow, and yes Crimea. Folk dances with the colorful Slavic clothes and plenty of attractive blondes with flower garlands in their hair. Moscow and Russia have been invaded by West since then, but never conquered.
    Crimea, except for extremist ethnic Tatars, is happy to be reunited to Mother Russia. Will Reason support recognition of Russian Crimea? Will Reason accept that Russia is now a conservative Christian nation? That Putin is basically a good man in a corrupt system, who while not perfect, has done much good for Russia and the world?
    One can only hope…

    1. ^
      OK, sarc meter may need calibration. I’m saying “stupidity”.

      1. I’ma guess Russian nationalist.

        1. He seems to show up any time there’s an article about Russia, and only then, so he’s either a Russian nationalist or one of Putin’s paid trolls. Or both.

          1. Well, he’s got a decent point, from a certain* perspective.

            Scuttlebutt around the internet is that Russia has experienced a resurgence in Christian sentiment. Putin enjoys immense popularity in his own country in part because he is perceived as protective of Christians. IF what I’m gathering is accurate, that is a major, if not the main, reason given for Russian involvement in Syria – the Russian populace sees an obligation to their fellow Christians in the area, and they have zero interest in stepping aside to let US mold the region for the politician-in-favor du jour at the expense of religious brethren in need.

            Of course, Russia has historically maintained a deep interest in bordering countries, and has considered the area within its sphere of immediate influence for probably longer than we’ve had a country. But really, at some point Americans ought to be asking themselves why Russia sees the need to be involved and assume the answer isn’t necessarily that foreigners who have different goals than our politicians must be dicks.

            Not to say that Libertree is correct on all scores, or that Putin is a sweetheart, really, if we just understood him better. Merely that Americans who get their news from America probably ought to ask a few more questions about Russian motivations.

            Couldn’t hurt.

            1. And Groovus’ word on Crimean sentiment is going to have more pull, personally. I’ll wait until we hear from the doc on whether Crimea just loves them some Putin.

              1. I was thinking the same thing. What say you Groovus?

    2. Well, he’s certainly beloved so Hillary acting like a pseudo-tough war hawk talking shit about Russia was misplaced and irresponsible given his immense popularity in Russia. Rule of engagement 101 (to me anyway), don’t fight a popular leader.

      “…President Obama said in a press conference today, also saying that while he had his concerns he was hopeful that Trump would “make things better” overall.”

      His concerns don’t matter but I love how he positions himself as though he’s leaving behind a situation that can’t be touched. I think there’s a fair argument to be made that the EU step up its game where its military is concerned particularly with their spending in NATO.

      America protects them and America has every right to ask them to kick in more money; which until now in the post-war era they’ve been able to, in part, lavish their populations with all the luxuries a welfare state can offer.

      1. You pay a suspiciously high amount of attention to America’s political goings-on, Rufus. Blink once if five eyes is using you to keep an eye on us.

        The most fucked up thing about that joke is that it actually makes some sense. With how America’s gone, spying on one of the only groups left who actually gives a shit about what remains of our freedom seems like just the sort of twisted thing they’d do.

    3. US reports on Crimea have been scarce…but the last I heard (given it was several months ago) my uncle was mailing canned food to his mother in law in Crimea because she was afraid to leave the house. Just to put that out there

      1. Pretty sure Groovy is posting from Crimea; haven’t seen any suggestion that those around him are longing for mother Russia.

        1. I thought Groovus was in some other Eastern Euro place, is it Crimea? Sorry, regular reader, not regular caller.

          1. I could be wrong also; that’s my recollection from one of his posts after he re-surfaced.
            Regardless, I didn’t detect any love for ‘mother Russia’.

            1. I think he posted though on his in-laws and the training of the Estonian Defense Force. But who knows. We’re all Tulpa anyway.

        2. No,he’s somewhere in Ukraine proper. And living there, he has not much love for Putin, no.

          1. I don’t see how anyone posting here, besides amsoc and the other socks would.

            1. Ukraine always get what you want.

              So, Crimea river.

              1. *Looks around for Swiss, doesn’t see him*

                *Narrows gaze in his stead*

                1. Swiss is trying to be neutral.

                2. Thanks WW.

                  *joins narrowed gaze*

              2. So, vast apology needed.

    4. Tragic day. The Commonwealth shall rise again.

  5. Bolton sucks.

    I’m also concerned about Trump’s apparent relationship with Sessions.

    It’s weird that we heard about Giuliani in reference to the Secretary of State job. Most thought he was in the running to be Attorney General. If Giuliani is up against Bolton for Secretary of State, that must mean another heavy hitter is up for Attorney General.

    Sessions is a hardcore drug warrior. He’d love to run the DEA. That’s Department of Justice.

    If Sessions were AG, would he raid state legal, recreational marijuana outlets?

    I bet he would. Sessions loves the DEA.

    1. Hmm. So, say Trump accidently appoints a really good supreme justice, that hack Roberts dies, and Colorado sues the federal government on 9th or tenth (i can’t keep them straight) amendment grounds?

  6. So, was just over at Cato. Much better writing. No comments, though, and who the fuck reads the articles?
    I like this Ed guy, have for a while. No bullshit qualifiers, no signaling, none of Robby’s “to be sure”‘s (which you know he just throws in to troll us, right?), not even a starting position that Trump must be, by definition, the very worst person ever.

    1. I might be inclined to call it dog whistling, but I don’t know who it is intended to reach.

      I’m going to go with “high on huffing hair care products.” It might even kill enough brain cells that SJWs start to make some sense and maybe even enable being able to relate to them. I mean, it ought to take a lot of abuse to get there, but have you seen his hair?

  7. Are there any countries that the US has actually withdrawn all troops from in the last 100 years?

    Maybe just a few, like Russia after the revolution.

    1. Detroit

  8. apparently rudy giuliani is the favorite to be secretary of state.

    1. At least Trump will have a conciliatory, smooth talking diplomat in charge at State.


    2. It will be interesting to see what Stop-and-Frisk looks like at the international level.

  9. When can the United States join the Holy Roman Empire?

  10. NATO is to Europe what the border is to Mexico. A font of American-paid free shit that lets them fritter away money on other stuff.

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