Trump Thinks NATO Is a Country Club

Trump is ranting about other NATO countries not “paying their bills” again. The BBC:

Donald Trump has said he would “encourage” Russia to attack any Nato member that fails to pay its bills as part of the Western military alliance.

At a rally on Saturday, he said he had once told a leader he would not protect a nation behind on its payments, and would “encourage” the aggressors to “do whatever the hell they want”. …

… Addressing crowds during the rally in South Carolina, Mr Trump said he had made his comments about Russia during a meeting of leaders of Nato countries.

He recalled that the leader of a “big country” had presented a hypothetical situation in which he was not meeting his financial obligations within Nato and had come under attack from Moscow.

Mr Trump said the leader had asked if the US would come to his country’s aid in that scenario, which prompted him to issue a rebuke.

“I said: ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’… ‘No I would not protect you, in fact I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You gotta pay.'”

He’s been going on about this since he was running for POTUS in 2016. He seems to think that NATO countries pay dues (to whom, I wonder?) and that some countries are behind on their dues. At least he wasn’t claiming these NATO countries owed the U.S. money this time, This is from 2018:

“Many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back, where they’re delinquent as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them. So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you’ll just add it all up, it’s massive amounts of money is owed.” …

… “There is no ledger that maintains accounts of what countries pay and owe,” says former Obama administration National Security Council staffer Aaron O’Connell. “NATO is not like a club with annual membership fees.”

But it’s obvious that Trump thinks of NATO like a club with membership fees, and he thinks, or at least he thought for awhile, that the U.S. is stuck making up the difference if some countries fall short.

NATO countries make a commitment to spend X percent — 2 percent, I think — of their GDP on defense, which means they’re supposed to be putting that money into their own militaries. They aren’t paying the U.S. They aren’t paying some NATO homeowners association. It’s true that some of the countries may not have reached the commitment, but that’s something NATO countries have to deal with among themselves without threatening to break the alliance over it. Especially now, when most of the world’s economies are struggling a lot more than the U.S. is struggling, and facng higher inflation than we’re facing.

In other news, I’m seeing that Trump has ordered Senate Republicans to not pass foreign aid bills.

Donald Trump spent the weekend telling senators they should not pass more unconditional U.S. foreign aid. More than a dozen Republicans ignored him Sunday, moving forward on a bill to send $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

The Senate voted 67-27 to advance the foreign aid supplemental spending bill that doesn’t include border provisions, moving it another step closer to passage. That still isn’t guaranteed, as leaders haven’t yet reached an agreement on GOP-demanded border amendments. …

… “From this point forward, are you listening U.S. Senate (?),” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “No money in the form of foreign aid should be given to any country unless it is done as a loan, not just a giveaway.”

He doesn’t grasp that most of the time, “foreign aid” serves U.S. interest in some way. It’s not doled out just because of the goodness in our hearts. The only “interest” Trump understands is money. He thinks the U.S. should be a for-profit enterprise, I guess. But the only way Trump knows how to make a profit is to cheat on his taxes.

4 thoughts on “Trump Thinks NATO Is a Country Club

  1. tRUMP to NATO:

    'Pay-up.
    Or else!'

    Poor Irony…

    Sweet, sweet, Irony…

    Dear Irony went to Amazon and purchased a throat just so she could slice it wide-open and hemorrhage to death. 

    Irony is now truly dead.

    Dead, by her own hand (which she also purchased on Amazon)…

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  2. Maybe I'm in the minority but I think Trump is still Putin's puppet. Why is open to debate – pee-pee tapes or other blackmail? Maybe Trump's wet dream is the tallest building in Moscow, named after him? Putin's "interview" consisted in large part of a lecture on ancient history, mostly the convoluted rationale that allows Russian expansion. 

    When you get into Russian expansion, there's a limiting force called NATO. Without confronting NATO, there's Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia. If Putin harbors visions of  grand conquest, he's got to dismantle NATO. Russia can't handle Ukraine if they are armed – they're certainly no match for NATO. But if NATO failed to live up to its charter, Russia could start with the smaller countries that border Russia. 

    So what's the game here? Is this another "Russia, if you're listening…" moment when Trump is publicly sending Putin a message? Russia's election interference in 2016 helped Trump – is this an offer to interfere with NATO for Vlad if Trump is elected? EVERYTHING with Trump is transactional – he just tweeted that Taylor Swift would be "disloyal" to back Biden when he (Trump) made her a lot of money. 

    I doubt if a majority of High School grads could remember what  the acronym NATO stands for or how they came into being. Two world wars in the first half of the 29th century decimated Europe. To prevent any more sweeping wars of aggression, the US, Canada, and most of Europe (including Germany and Italy, the aggressors in WWII) signed a "deal." Everybody was going to respect everybody else's borders. If/when any NATO country is attacked, everybody else is obliged to come to the aid of the victim. The principle is powerful – you may be able to assimilate your smaller neighbor, but you can't win if you'll have to fight every other country on the continent simultaneously.

    I know this audience *gets* it. We get that NATO isn't perfect but in the last 80 years, there hasn't been a major conflict in Europe. (When the states signed the US Constitution, war was the normal state of European affairs.) The nation most likely to be the next aggressor in Europe was Russia – still is! Germany and Italy became allies because the countries, both with leaders who inspired the worst in people, embraced fascism. In the US, we're burdened with a fascist movement that's adopted an authoritarian leader who aspires to be Putin in wealth and power – beyond the reach of accountability. 

    How Trump continues to be Putin's puppet won't get media attention, I'm afraid. The cause-effect link of weakening NATO to strengthen Putin will be ignored in most of the media. If Putin goes after Europe, millions could die as things spiral out of control. The US should be a force for stability in Europe as we have been for eight decades! The proof that NATO works can only come from weakening it to the point of failure. When war breaks out and spreads, it's a little late to observe that a few billlion to NATO was money well spent.

     

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  3. It makes you wonder whether Trump doesn't understand how the concept of how NATO works, or if he's banking on the dolts not understanding how it works when he spews his nonsense. When he talks about only giving foriegn aid in the form of a loan, I wonder whether he's talking about a secured loan where the country in question will have to provide collateral and what would the proposed interest rate be?

    Like all of Trump's policy ranting he proposes some hairbrain idea and never details the mechanics of how it is supposed to be implemented. Remember his claim of repealing Obamacare to replace it with something so much better, but never presented a plan for what so much better would be. He's just selling wolf tickets and his MAGA base of dolts are gobbling them up.

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