As Robin Wright notes, just since this past Friday Trump has made the world a far more dangerous place. He has:
1. Lauded Britain’s departure from the European Union as a “great thing,” and predicted—and implicitly welcomed—the dismantling of the entire E.U., a bloc backed for sixty years by the United States as the key to healing the divisions that sparked two world wars. “I believe others will leave,” he said. “I do think keeping it together is not going to be as easy as a lot of people think.”
2. Called NATO —the centerpiece of trans-Atlantic security—“obsolete.” He charged that it “didn’t deal with terrorism,” even though its first deployment outside Europe was to Afghanistan after 9/11. From 2003 to 2014, NATO commanded the International Security Assistance Force, which, at its peak, included a hundred and thirty thousand troops from fifty-one NATO and partner countries. It was the longest and toughest single mission in NATO history.
3. Put German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of America’s half dozen closest allies, in the same category as Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, seized the Crimea from Ukraine, and has warplanes bombing the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. “I start off trusting both, but let’s see how long that lasts,” he said. “It may not last long at all.
4. Warned the German company BMW and other foreign automakers they’d face a tariff of 35 percent if they tried to import cars built at plants in Mexico to the United States.
5. Said that the long-standing “One China” policy—initiated by President Nixon in 1972 and a cornerstone of U.S. policy ever since—is no longer guaranteed. “Everything is under negotiation, including One China.” (Shortly after he won the election, Trump had a telephone conversation with Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen—ending a protocol in place since 1979 that froze communication between American and Taiwanese leaders.)
Trump has already disparaged the principles, institutions, and alliances central to U.S. foreign policy. Some date back to the Republic’s founding, while others have been adopted since the mid-twentieth century to prevent global conflagrations. Even before becoming president, Trump is a clear and present danger to America and the world.
What do you think?