Donald J. Trump took time out Wednesday, while polishing his “Thousand Points of Bullshit” nomination-acceptance speech, to talk with the New York Times news-paper about foreign policy. It went about as well as you might expect.
Trump said that as president he would toss all out old-fashioned notions that have underlain American foreign policy for the past 75 years, dumb old ideas like “adhering to treaties,” and “meeting commitments to allies” and “not being a complete back-stabbing weasel at all times.”
Trump told the Times that America needs a fresh, new approach, the sort of tough-minded negotiating that made the Trump name a byword for avoiding taxes and stiffing business associates. Basically, everything’s up for renegotiation, from deterring nuclear proliferation to defending the Baltic states from a Russian invasion.
For example, asked about Russia’s threatening activities that have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”
He added, “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”
Time for a little background. SKIP THIS PART IF YOU PASSED AP HISTORY; IT HAS VERY FEW DICK JOKES IN IT.
The first half of the 20th Century was a mind-boggling hellscape of death and destruction, because western democracies failed to successfully deter the ambitions of autocratic military governments. After World War II, America led an international effort to prevent a repetition of this sort of thing, creating the United Nations to help turn war-war into jaw-jaw.
But one of the United Nations was the Soviet Union, a member of the militarist dictator’s club with an economic and political system that scared the hell out of the so-called free world. So western Europe, the U.S. and Canada formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to deter the USSR and its allies from spreading godless Communism at bayonet-point.
After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, and was succeeded more or less by a democratic government, NATO expanded right up to Russia’s new borders, taking in former Soviet allies and “Soviet republics” that wanted avoid future reabsorption into Greater Russia. Russia did not like that expansion one bit, and under Vladimir Putin has been prowling about on the borders of these new NATO states, especially Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. There are 28 NATO countries now.
OK, did everyone get that? There will be a test on this on Tuesday, Nov. 8 THAT IS MANDATORY.
NATO’s Article 5 policy, that an attack on any member is an attack on all, has been the basic cornerstone of American foreign policy, but Trump is all, yeah, you know what? Boring and expensive, so why bother?
One of the many, many brands of conspiracy-theory bullshit that Trump believes is that NATO countries don’t pay enough money into the alliance, so the U.S. should threaten to abandon them as a negotiating tactic until they pony up.
The president of Estonia hopped on the Twitter last night to pwn Trump about that:
Two percent of GDP spent on defense is considered the acceptable standard for European nations that don’t have the global ambitions and oceanic trade requirements of the United States, which spends about 3.3 percent (excluding foreign aid and veteran’s benefits).
Anyways, now you will know what he’s babbling about tonight when he sneers about Poland during his “America First” speech to the nation. Where have we heard that phrase before?