It can be said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would want nothing more than for NATO to disappear, because then he would have the ability to attempt, and likely succeed, to take over all of Ukraine as well as the Baltic states.
Now, Donald Trump is playing right into Putin’s hands.
Trump just said in an interview:
“I said a long time ago that NATO had problems…Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago…Number two the countries weren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying.”
Trump clearly doesn’t recognize the value in keeping our allies safe and free from oppressive dictators who want their land for natural resources.
Keeping NATO strong means keeping Europe strong. If Trump wants to disband NATO and get rid of Russian sanctions, as he has suggested, it leaves the door wide open for Putin to make severe power plays in Eastern Europe which could affect the economy of the entire continent.
Trump seems to think if he lifts sanctions to Russia they’ll cut their nuclear arms, which is frankly wishful thinking. In actuality, lifting sanctions helps folks like his potential Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s company Exxon-Mobil secure oil drilling.
News of Trump calling NATO obsolete is not being well-received by European leadership.
#BREAKING Europe's fate 'in our own hands', says Merkel after Trump criticism
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 16, 2017
According to the Independent:
“German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, speaking ahead of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting, said Mr Trump’s view on Nato and criticism that allied members weren’t paying their fair share has “caused astonishment”.
His French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault added that the best response to such an interview was simple – Europeans uniting.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Mr Trump’s positions have been “long known” but added: “I think we Europeans have our fate in our own hands.”
“I’m personally going to wait until the American president takes office, and then we will naturally work with him on all levels,” she told reporters.”
If Trump isn’t willing to work with our European allies, you can best be certain it will cause geopolitical turmoil not only with our NATO partners, but potentially worldwide. That thought should terrify everyone.
Europe seems to be hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. A safe and strong Europe is in the best interest of a safe and strong United States.
Hopefully, he thinks twice before doing what his pal Putin wants him to do, and sides with sanity.
Featured Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images