If Trump wins, what happens to U.S. relations with its traditional allies?

Politico reports: It was a strange day for Estonia when the tiny Baltic nation became the focus of intense debate in the U.S. presidential campaign.

At issue: Would the United States honor its NATO obligation to defend Estonia in the event of an attack by Russia? Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized small NATO members for “taking advantage” of the United States, hedged his answer. “Have they fulfilled their obligations to us?” he told the New York Times. “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”

Hours later, Trump backer Newt Gingrich doubled down on the Republican candidate’s skepticism toward NATO duties, saying: “Estonia is in the suburbs of [the Russian city of] St. Petersburg … I’m not sure I would risk nuclear war over the suburbs of St. Petersburg.”

For Estonians, and all other NATO members in the region, that was a chilling message. “All of a sudden the issue closest to our skin — the defense of Estonia, of all things — becomes an issue in this campaign,” Jüri Luik, former Estonian ambassador to Russia, said. “It’s a totally unexpected development, and a gloomy situation for all of Eastern Europe.”

“NATO’s deterrent power depends in large part on the U.S. president’s position. If he is unsure … that weakens the deterrent immensely.”

Beyond regional security, the Estonian episode raised a bigger, more troubling question for Europeans watching the U.S. presidential campaign: If Trump wins, will he feel any obligation to uphold his country’s historical role as defender and guarantor of the West? [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebooktwittermail

1 thought on “If Trump wins, what happens to U.S. relations with its traditional allies?

  1. de teodoru

    The neocons– servants of the perspectives of a Middle East faction– who have abandoned their shift to the Bush camp when he, ON THEIR ADVICE, needlessly attacked Iraq– have now switched their vociferous support to Hilary Clinton, no doubt expecting to give her advice in the future to even further entangle America in the same Middle East chaos that has to date so badly shed American blood and treasure on their past advice. While I decry their determined entanglement of America into foreign interests, I in no way question their right to hold and disseminate their views and use of the levers of persuasion to do exactly as they are now doing and as they had done before, no matter what remuneration they were or were not promised in exchange. EVERY AMERICAN HAS THE *ABSOLUTE* RIGHT TO HIS/HER POINT OF VIEW AND TO EXPRESS IT, WHATEVER THE MOTIVE AND WHATEVER THE VIEW. There is nothing “un-American” and out of bounds in the neocons’ effort to make their case by any means, no matter how deceptive and the arguments and nefarious the means. Indeed I call for MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE and responsible debate so the opposing views can contend in the public arena; I in no way wish to question or limit their right to express their views; nor would I ever question the propriety of their motives for those views. In fact, I salute their courage for exposing themselves to the sanitizing light of the public arena as that takes courage and not only tests the metal of their views but the strength of their motives. Since the 1930s, as believers in class authoritarianism, then advocated for academic freedom in the 1960s and ideological partisans to the Middle East crisis, they have laid themselves open to scrutiny; though they often sought to squash debate by dishonestly imputing the motives of their critics, they stayed in the arena when their slander was rejected and now, no matter how spurious their arguments, remain in the arena, holding fast to their views, even after their dirty tactic of slandering the motives of their opponents are rejected by their audiences. Light is indeed the best anesthetic and neocon self-exposure of the light of public scrutiny is a helll-of-a-lot better than the unscrupulous secret tactics of the Democratic National Committee’s PAST– not present– leadership, trying to paint Sen. Bernie Sanders– born of a Jewish Holocaust survivors lineage– as an anti-Semite. This tactic, unfortunately, is “in the genes,” so to speak, of the neocons; ad homonym is a long tradition in the brand of Communism from which they emanate, carrying it with them as they drifted to the right. Nevertheless, however disingenuous, deceptive and mendacious I may think their strategy of persuasion to be, I recognize that they have always willingly come out into the light in response to every challenge to debate the legitimacy of everything they advocate; for every slander they inflict on others, they willingly face the music when exposed as intellectually dishonest and ideologically blinded. I salute their courage and therefore salute their continued courageous self-exposure to the light of public scrutiny. They do only because, simply, that’s what “public intellectuals do.” I ca’t say it enough: for that I salute them and deem them as deserving of careful attention and open-minded consideration because every single damned time that I was outraged by their filthy tactics of deception and slander, in the end, I came to judge them redeemed by their intrinsic appreciation of ethical standards and the common good. It is, therefore, a dialectic: they make me mad as hell when I confront them, but in their absence I worry because, even when at their most deceptive, they have always advocated for and contributed to MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE. America’s gain form their perseverance in the arena– now as in the past– is, therefore very welcome. But I must confess that this conclusion is biased by my personal experiences with them as lovable people who are, in the final analysis, very well intentioned and champions of human progress through collaborative efforts, meaningful dialogue and public education. When all is said and done, I value their presence and participation in public arena essential and a definite plus, despite everything that one might put on the negative side of the ledger. And, in my view, all their advocacy is totally within their rights as full and honorable Americans and as legitimate as any other honorable point of view. I, therefore, enthusiastically look forward to their participation in the current Presidential Campaign.

    ON THE OTHER HAND….

    Recently a number of ex-spooks, spooks at the top of that massive US National Security behemoth, collectively put forward a denunciation of Presidential candidate Donald Trump, They decried his competence and invoked the fatal danger they think his election would bring on America. WHILE I TOTALLY SHARE THEIR EVALUATION, I denounce their right to issue it as a group manifesto in public. Though I fully believe in the right of any and all citizens to express their views and make public their collective judgement, I do not think that these shadowy spooks who foisted on helpless Presidents, too naive and too inexperienced to challenge the fake windows on the world that they painted on the walls of the Oval Office. History will without a doubt establish the imbecility or genius of the illusory visions they painted into the heads of a sequence of naive and intimidated Presidents, all in waaaay over their heads on national security issues. But then again, that’s said about these “eminences grises du pouvoire” of all world leaders from Cardinal Richelieu (for whom that term was coined) dominating French King Louis XIII’s view of the world to Barak Obama who came to the Presidency with very little government experience. And indeed, of all the briefings given a President, the most consequential are the Security Establishment’s very insular State of the World daily briefings. Unlike the Cabinet members that debate ideas with the President, the Security Establishment puts in his/her head the the most consequential one, a scaffolding for every presidential decision. All other inputs are placed within that context . How that Security Establishment acquires information; how it composes information into their “estimates,” put before an insular President who has to weigh the opinions of his Cabinet against that imaginary “window on the world,” pained on the Oval Office Wall by the Security Establishment’s artists, backed up by “THIS IS IT!” commentary drilled drilled into his/her naive head by the Chief of Intelligence, we will never know because, no matter how much is leaked and how much becomes declassified for historians decade later, there will always be “redactions”– whiteouts and blackouts that last forever– protecting the vast “INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY” from personal identification and liability. “Intelligence personnel” ARE ABOVE THE LAW, free of accountability, because these constitute a number of bureaucracies that not only hold the record but also make the record. And long after these people are dead, the record continues to live on as their desired self-justification through classifications and redactions. People like Gen. Hayden are covered by a classification stamp and a redaction blackmarker like no one else– certainly not the President. He thus held two leading positions, not only above the law, but also guaranteed to be beyond the scrutiny of History. Yet, this man whose personal stink of bad judgements to this day reeks out between the slick tiles of deception laid down on his behalf bespeak his hubris in assuming that he’s protected from legal, social and historic judgement by the Secrecy Act, brazenly denouncing a Presidential candidate. From that position, above judgement and beyond History– more so than any President– he has the audacity to make campaign commercials AGAINST a Presidential Candidate and FOR THE OTHER– all while secure that he is safe from the most basic scrutiny by which we might judge his personal credibility. No, Gen. Hayden was never appointed Pope, yet he is better protected from light that the oldest Pope in the deepest of the Roman Catacombs. It is from that position as KING– not Prince– OF DARKNESS that this little man marshals whatever factors lie behind his career’s assumed prognostic expertise, despite the disqualifying trail of facts attesting to his deception and incompetence. Whatever they may be, immense or minutia, they lie hidden, buried under opaque secrecy laws and black ink redactions, so this “Cool-hand-Luke” pontificates against the personal competence of one Presidential Candidate in the COMMERCIALS on behalf of the other.

    NO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, GEN. HAYDEN, WE DON’T NEED YOUR OPINION AS THE WIZARD OF OZ SPEAKING FROM BEHIND A GIGANTIC STATUE REPRESENTING THE GOD OF FEAR YOU INFLICTED ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, ALL THE WHILE DEVOID OF SCRUTINY AND LIABILITY. NO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, MIKE MORELL (FORMER CIA CHIEF) EITHER, SO LONG AS YOUR “SERVICE” IS GUARANTEED BY YOUR SUCCESSORS TO BE SCRUBBED CLEAN FROM THE EYES OF YOUR VICTIMS SEEKING JUSTICE AND THE PRYING EYES OF HISTORY!

    You, Mr. Morell , former shaddy chief of the CIA, may trust Hilary Clinton, but many of we the voters who REALLY trust Hilary Clinton, DO NOT TRUST YOU…….AND, SHOULD HILLARY CONTINUE TO RECKLESSLY AND INDECENTLY FLASH BEFORE US GEN. HAYDEN’S AND MR. MORELL’S “TRUST” (sic) IN HER, THEN SHE WILL SURELY LOSE OUT TRUST IN HER AND THEN, SUDDENLY, WE MIGHT REMEMBER AGAIN HOW SHE TRIES TO KEEP SECRET HER SPEECHES TO WALL STREET. FOR SHE SEEMS TO WANT TO KEEP SECRET HER WALL STREET SPEECHES JUST AS HAYDEN AND MORELL KEEP HIDDEN THE NEFARIOUS “ANTI-TERROR” KILLINGS OF THEIR CAREER.

    MRS. CLINTON, YOU CAN’T ON ONE HAND FLASH MUSLIM GOLD STAR PARENTS AT US DENOUNCING TRUMP’S PORNOGRAPHIC DENIGRATION OF MUSLIMS WHILE FLASHING AT US IN YOUR COMMERCIALS THE ENDORSEMENT OF MEN WHOSE AL CAPONE-LIKE KILLING OF MUSLIMS ARE KEPT SECRET IN THE CATACOMBS OF THE CIA TO EVADE THE DAMNATION OF THE WORLD FOR SUCH INDISCRIMINATE KILLING OF HUNDREDS OF INNOCENTS SO AS TO EXECUTE ONE ASSUMED GUILTY.

    Presidents come into the White House dumb and naive and leave gray, stooped and exhausted. But the Intel Establishment honchos just go from one lucrative gig to another. All those lucrative gigs giving them plenty of time for self-promotion, but never allowing the true record, like a long clumsy tail, to see the light of day. Bill Clinton was one of those Presidents who brought us blinding BS on the Evening News. But he was mortally injured by private encounters in his private quarters. These did not prove that he was an incompetent President but that, despite his incredible brilliance, his immense cerebral cortex is distracted and humiliated by the force of his posterior pituitary, just like any male rat running across the White House floor chasing female rats without taking into account the presence of the White House Press cat. When caught, he squealed like a desperate helpless rat, but it was too late, he was caught by the cat. That doesn’t mean that, as President, he was not a great rat. However, as the Media made clear, once caught in the White House, a rat is eaten by the White House Press cat. As a result, many of us still alive today remember Bill being eaten by the cat, live on TV. But still, though Bill was a great rat, most remember him as the rat that didn’t get away from the White house Press cat. Hayden and Morell fear not the great Press cat, for unlike Clinton, they are accountable to no one. And that immunity goes on long after they move on to bigger and more luxurious gigs. Should they, therefore, either stand in judgement or judge not?

    Hilary is obviously different, and her “standing by her man” speaks well for her. Noe that we are all desperate for a President capable of loyalty to those who brought ’em to the dance,. we all obviously take not of her loyalty in the face of disloyalty, assuming that she will be so loyal to a fault to those that make her President. But if she pollutes our faith in her by allowing her campaign staff to foist on us the likes of non-accountable Hayden and Morell, whose courage stands on the shoulders of their immunity, then she just might end up as the female rat eaten by the Presidential Campaign Press cat. If anything is clear to date is that her “trustability” wobbles on the edge of disaster. So, does she really think she can afford the liability of guilt by association with such shady spooks?

    People who are not accountable for their services, as a rule, should have the decency not to impose on us opinions we don’t know whether self-serving or just plain nefarious– and we have no way to find out because, unlike our computers, their dubious records are truly secure by the force of law. Let the light shine on all your professional files, Gen. Hayden and Mr. Morell and we’ll gladly listen to you to a level commensurate with your record. Otherwise, so long as you are protected from all prying eyes but God’s, keep your damned mouth shut, rather than return to the trough once more. Be modest, gentlemen spooks, like most of your predecessors, and express your gratitude for freedom from justice with silence. Otherwise, with the books open before the American people– your employers– face the music and only then will we take serious what you have to say!

    Make your files OPEN and we will all gladly appraise your able professional views. But so long as you are immune from Justice, allow the American people to be immune from the injustice of your self-serving assertions……TO BE SURE I FULLY, ABSOLUTELY, AGREE WITH YOUR EVALUATION OF MR. TRUMP’S ADEQUACY FOR THE PRESIDENCY. BUT SO LONG AS YOU ARE ABOVE THE LAW, PROTECTED BY OFFICIAL DARKNESS, HAVE THE DECENCY TO KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOUR SELF, FOR IT IS NOT THE OPINIONS OF HAYDEN AND MORELL THAT YOU ARE FOISTING ON US BUT THE AUTHORITY OF THE OFFICES YOU TWO HELD. AND THERE IS THE RUB, FOR WE KNOW NOT IF YOU ARE JUST BIG RATS LIKE BILL WAS OR GIVING US “EXPERT OPINIONS” AS YOU ARE BEING TOUTED TO DO.

Comments are closed.