Monday, January 30, 2017

The Ultimate Putin Payoff?

I'm trying not to make the same comments everyone else is making about Trump, but here is an issue that has not received much attention:  Trump's threats to abrogate the NATO treaty, if other NATO members don't cough up unspecified amounts of money.  Here's a report from a little while ago, from the Atlantic:

"Donald Trump’s apparent rejection of the cornerstone of global security after World War II has stunned U.S. partners in the alliance...America’s NATO allies may be on their own after November if Russia attacks them.

At issue is NATO’s Article 5 on collective defense, which states that an “armed attack against one or more of them [members] in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all...”

Well, the interpretation of this position of Trump's has mostly involved the implicit extortion of money from NATO allies by threatening not to aid them if they are attacked, but it has occurred to me that the actual truth might be the exact opposite.

What if Trump's real intention, as the ultimate gift to his master, Vladimir Putin, was to end the commitment of all the other NATO allies to come to our own country's defenses in the case of an attack?  And don't even pretend that this would not be totally in line with Trump's sabotage of our intelligence capacity, his removing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council, leaving it without military input, his apparent attempt to end sanctions against Russia, and everything else he has done to further the power of Vladimir Putin.

This would be a betrayal of our country beyond even the imaginations of his fiercest opponents, isolating us from our allies and leaving us to stand up to any Russian behavior alone.  Well, think about it, because I believe it is all too likely that this is not a conspiracy theory, but true.

1 comment:

Magpie said...

I do not reckon that is the intent - Trump betrays everyone for his own interests and that would include Putin - but I do think it could loosely describe the outcome.

The issue re NATO and other alliances has received plenty of attention outside America. I'll be repeating previous remarks in part here but that's fine because this shit is important. TO AMERICA.
 
Trump doesn’t know history, he doesn’t understand the world, and he thinks the biggest gun wins, in common with his other obsessions about size. To him global alliances are like mob shakedowns 'what have done for me lately?’
 
He shares the idea common among the ill-informed that America goes around having military assets spread all over the globe out of the kindness of its heart, rather than in co-operation with allies in pursuit of America's own interests.
In common with much of the buffoonish American Right he does not understand multilateralism and he does not understand that permanent victory requires a permanent co-operative peace.

The cost of American pre-eminence and thus security is those alliances and the muscle to hold them up.
It's not a favour to the rest of us.
Yes we could go spend more on military ourselves, but that would dilute US influence and give rise to more competing technology.

The long term hazard to the US is forcing the rest of the free world to count America out in long term planning.
What does he imagine, that we’ll all just wring our hands? No no... we love our kids too - even if don’t imagine dating them.
Other arrangements will be made.
And in a world where a whisper shared could prevent the next 9-11 that will have immediate consequences.
 
The spending gap between the US and everyone else is huge but Russia and China are both rapidly closing the technology gap and future wars won’t look the same as past wars. Lots of guns alone isn’t going to do it, like lots of bombs didn’t do it in Vietnam.

Throwing insane proportions of GDP at it won’t do it either, and on that: for the 500 odd billion dollars a year that goes on the military budget only 10 of that goes on overseas bases and 7 of that is in Japan, South Korea and Germany and if the troops weren't there they'd be costing the same or more on US soil because tens of thousands of personnel don't just turn sideways and disappear when not abroad, they have to be stationed somewhere.