Trump's foreign "policy" is both clumsy and dangerous

The Tweeter-In-Chief needs a time-out in the corner:

Trump’s public appearances with Merkel betrayed an awkwardness between the two leaders, including during two widely remarked upon appearances in the White House. In one, the leaders failed to stage a handshake for cameras in the Oval Office, and in another Merkel looked baffled by comments made by Trump during a joint press conference. Before the visit Trump had repeatedly called Merkel’s policies “insane” and a “disaster” for Germany.

Trump’s second tweet accused Germany directly of not paying enough to the security alliance. In a joint press conference on Friday, Trump expressed “strong support” for Nato but reiterated his belief that member nations do not contribute a “fair share”. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years and it is very unfair to the United States,” he said. “These nations must pay what they owe.”

Welp, this is apparently what a whole lot of Americans wanted, a "leader" who speaks his mind, even if what he says has little roots in the truth and will very likely drag us into multiple military conflicts before his next State of the Union address. What Trump doesn't understand could fill a supertanker, but one of those things is this: The effectiveness of NATO as a deterrent has always been the unflinching support of the United States for its treaty partners. If that support is called into question, especially by the US President, the deterrent itself evaporates:

In an interview with the New York Times editorial board, Trump implied that US defense of a Nato ally would depend on whether the country was contributing proportionally to the alliance’s defense spending.

Asked whether the US would provide military defense to Baltic countries if Russia were to attack, Trump said: “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”

Pressed on what course of action he would take if the answer were no, Trump said: “Well, I’m not saying if not,” he said. “I’m saying, right now there are many countries that have not fulfilled their obligations to us.”

Pay up, or you're on your own. That's not what an ally says, that's what an insurance company says, or a utility company, or any other private-sector business that provides a service for a fee. The laughable irony in this attitude can be easily revealed by a simple perusal of all the lawsuits filed against Trump for failure to pay workers, sub-contractors, business partners, etc. He doesn't pay, so he's exceptionally sensitive to others who don't pay. In other words, you know. He's crazy.

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