Kevin D. Williamson at National Review is worried about America’s commitment to NATO if Trump is elected.
I rather hope there is something to worry about here. Back when it had a purpose NATO was more useful then annoying to the United States. Much like the UN from 1947 to 1953. Things changed with the UN and they are changing with NATO.
It is gradually becoming far more hindrance then help. It’s membership is expanding past any reasonable bounds of usefulness for a military alliance. Hell there was a brief period in the late 1990s when it looked like Russia would eventually join NATO.
But here is what Kevin has to say on the subject.
Donald Trump is indeed a new kind of presidential candidate: one who is making the world worse — and more dangerous — long before being elected, before his nominating convention even has concluded. Trump, whose nickel-and-dime gestalt could only have come from a repeatedly failed casino operator, is a creature in search of petty advantages and small paydays. As such, he suggested yesterday that the United States might forsake its commitment to NATO — our most important military alliance — because he believes that our NATO allies are not carrying their share of the expense. Trump’s mind processes information the way a horse processes oats, and the product is exactly the same.
Okay keywords here, “our most important military alliance”. Against what? Against whom?
The Soviet Union was an existential threat to the United State of America. And although it is now extinct, it is quite possible that it will yet succeed in destroying America from beyond it’s grave. Take a good look at our universities and see what seeds Communism has planted.
Regardless, the USSR is no longer an active player. The Russian Federation is clearly and obviously not an existential threat to the USA unless they launch a surprise nuclear attack, we really don’t need NATO to deal with that. China on the other hand...is not covered by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. None of their members will back us against them. Not that that really matters since the Middle Kingdom doesn’t really give a fuck about anything outside it’s backyard. The big thing to remember about Chinese culture is that war is not glorious for them It’s something you avoid or take care of with the minimum of force necessary because almost all of their wars have been civil wars.
So what the hell is the purpose of NATO? We didn’t use it all during the Global War On Terrorism (read Operation Iraqi Freedom) The EU Six are now planning to dissolve their separate militaries and create one EU Army. That will be more then sufficient to keep the Russian bear at bay.
Call me reckless, but I’d be willing to wager an amount equivalent to Jonah Goldberg’s annual pants allowance that Trump has no idea how NATO actually is funded, which turns out to be the sort of complex question that leaves him baffled and sputtering.
NATO funding or Jonah’s pants allowance?
(Short version: Common costs are funded by a longstanding proportional-financing agreement based on gross national income, while countries directly bear some other costs, as when military assets are volunteered for NATO use.) NATO has provided an excellent return on our investment.
First; do not take investment advice from National Review writers.
Second; what does NATO actually do? What has it ever done?
When the Soviet Union fell, the NATO members should have popped a cork on some champagne (the good stuff) toasted themselves, made a few speeches and then auctioned off their real estate and gone home.
Separate military alliances on a national case by case basis would have served the interests of the United States far better then continuing to fund and support NATO. But the Bush family was in the saddle and being good globalists, the thought of a useless transnational organization being shut down was utterly abhorrent to them.
Then came the Clintons, who after a public failure to lift the Gay Ban decided to let the military do whatever it wanted on a shoestring budget.
The military for its part was desperate to find any kind of job to do. For a while we were doing a shitload of pointless drug interdiction missions.
Thanks to Trump, the heads of government and defense ministers of the other NATO powers must now consider that the United States will welsh on its obligations the way Donald Trump welshes on his debts. He isn’t the president yet, of course, and he probably won’t be. But the chance isn’t zero, either. If you are, say, Lithuania, and you suspect that the United States will not actually have your back — a suspicion fortified by Trump’s man-crush on Russian strongman Vladimir Putin — what do you do? Maybe you try to get ahead of the curve and go voluntarily into the Russian orbit. Maybe you notice that nobody seriously messes with the psychotic state of North Korea and do what you can to get your hands on a few nuclear weapons. They don’t know what we are going to do. As a consequence, we don’t know what they are going to do. And that’s how Trump makes the world a more dangerous place — even before he’s elected.
They were already doing that. They can see the writing on the wall because Obama was the one doing the writing. They started making long range contingency plans that didn’t have a United States in them about six years ago. They were right to do so. If we elected one Obama we might easily do so again.
This is 2016. Not 1947. Not 1963. Not 1982. This is the world we live in now. The only enemies we now face are in the shadows. A massive European bureaucracy that rivals the EU is not in America’s best interests.
It’s time to pull out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and let it become what it needs to be. A European military organization.