Donald Trump

Donald Trump Is Such a Skeptic of NATO He Just Approved Montenegro Joining the Alliance

Trump embraces USA as world policeman.

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NATO

President Trump approved the accession of Montenegro into NATO today after the Senate voted 97-2 last motnh to ratify Montenegro's membership, further solidifying the Trump administration's commitment to a status quo where the U.S. subsidizes the defense and military aspirations of the rest of the West, a sharp departure from Trump's pre-presidency rhetoric.

The only no votes in the Senate came from Republicans Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.). A 2016 poll of Montenegrans found that support for joining NATO had "risen" to 47.3 percent.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump's flippant remarks about the U.S. relationship to NATO were interpreted by many observers as a signal that, at best, Trump would support long overdue NATO reform or, at worse, that he'd pull the U.S. out of the alliance, perhaps even during an invasion of a Baltic state by Russia.

Respectful and diplomatic efforts by Defense Secretary James Mattis to relay to European NATO members the importance of increasing their contributions rather than relying on profligate U.S. spending were outright dismissed by European leaders. And why shouldn't they be? President Trump's opening offer of a massive increase in U.S. military spending certainly offered European leaders little incentive to push for an increase in their own military spending.

Then last week, Trump ordered missile strikes on Syria after blaming the Syrian government on a chemical weapons attack on civilians, acting as the police wing of the Office for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), entirely of his own volition. Trump spent much of the campaign insisting U.S. allies should pay for the defense the U.S. provides—yet the first military engagement he can call his own involved enforcing international law unilaterally and out-of-pocket.

It's hard to look at these developments and not conclude that the Europeans have totally clowned Trump—in exchange for refusing to seriously consider increasing their defense spending they have been rewarded not just with Trump's support for NATO expansion despite any clear commitment to reform, but also with Trump's willingness to commit the U.S. to act unilaterally as an enforcer of international law. Trump the candidate would've probably demanded the U.S. be paid for such enforcement. As president, he hasn't even questioned the assumptions underlying such a U.S. role.

Trump is scheduled to attend the NATO summit in Brussels next month—by then he will almost certainly be largely indistinguishable in form, if not in style, from his predecessors. On foreign policy, he is becoming largely indistinguishable from his campaign rival Hillary Clinton.

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  1. Trump is scheduled to attend the NATO summit in Brussels next month?by then he will almost certainly be largely indistinguishable in form, if not in style, from his predecessors. On foreign policy, he is becoming largely indistinguishable from his campaign rival Hillary Clinton.

    Goddamn, and after i plum wore out my shocked face.

  2. For good or ill, American foreign policy is made by the foreign policy establishment, which is why it has all looked so similar for so many decades (the exception being the post-9/11 freakout). It’s not all bad considering the possibility, remote I’m sure, that an insane moron with no relevant understanding whatsoever could get elected president.

    What is terribly fun is watching Trump get steamrolled by such establishments as well as moderate voices elsewhere (including his family), leaving him with no real constituency.

    1. (the exception being the post-9/11 freakout)

      The one that was supported by Hillary, Al Gore, and Madelyn Albright?

  3. Obviously the Deep State got to him.

    1. I realize this is probably sarcastic, but the whole “the establishment got him” line is a bit rich. It’s kind of like the old Russian thing, “if only the Tsar’s ministers didn’t hide the truth from him” or “if only Comrade Stalin knew about our troubles.” Trump is a pig, his whole conception of foreign policy is based around the idea that nations are in competition with one another and that the US needs to win, whatever the hell that means. I won’t judge anyone badly for voting for him based on the idea that he was less heinous than Clinton (or vice versa) but anyone who felt that he deserved support from libertarians was sorely mistaken and anyone who was paying attention could have told them before the election.

  4. I don’t blame anyone for voting for Trump in the election. I still say he’s better than Hillary, who would have invaded Syria on week 1 and possibly put together the most ghastly cabinet in American history. Plus I understand most everyone is still drinking the Two Party Kool-aid.

    But if you voted for him in the primary, you can lick a shitty ass hole. The fact that America had to chose between the lying New York Democrat and the lying New York Democrat, who both wanted to start WWIII, is fucking bullshit.

    1. Agreed. Also, Two Party Kool-aid was my nickname in college.

  5. President Trump approved the accession of Montenegro into NATO today after the Senate voted 97-2 last motnh to ratify Montenegro‘s membership

    A 2016 poll of Macedonians

    Are these related or errors?

    1. Who gives a shit what half-assed country starting with “M” we are talking about?

      I think Ed’s just trying to piss off the Greeks.

  6. This has to be the worst choice next to Georgia or Ukraine. It does NATO no good. It pisses off Russia. It’s “president” is basically a tin pot dictator, much worse than Putin. They have a population comparable to the Boise, ID metro area. They don’t even have a military to speak of. It’s just one big dumb move with no upside.

    1. Why would Russia care if a small country on the Adriatic joined NATO?

    2. Why would Russia care if a small country on the Adriatic became part of NATO?

  7. what’s a montenagro?

    1. Populated by Macedonians, apparently, according to polls.

    2. what’s a montenagro?

      What a “woke” white person calls it- because you’re not allowed to say negro anymore…

  8. Trump embraces USA as world policeman

    What’s a strongman to do?

  9. It’s been quite a “motnh”.

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