Sunday, March 27, 2016

Trump Wants to 'Restructure' NATO

It is a mistake to think Donald Trump wants to dismantle NATO, pack up and go home. At times, he, for sure, has called NATO obsolete, but this seems to be in the context of who is financing NATO and at other times the focus of threats the US and Europe face. From his interview with  Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger of The New York Times:
HABERMAN: Mr. Trump, I also want to go back to something you said earlier this week about NATO being ineffective. Do you think it’s the right institution for countering terror or do we need a new one and what might that new one look like?

TRUMP: Well I said something a few days ago and I was vastly criticized and I notice now this morning, people are saying Donald Trump is a genius. Because what I said – which of course is always nice to hear, David. But I was asked a question about NATO, and I’ve thought this but I have never expressed my opinion because until recently I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve been a very successful entrepreneur as opposed to a politician. And – I’d love to ask David, Maggie, if he’s a little surprised at how well I’ve done. You know, we’ve knocked out a lot. We’re down to the leftovers now, from the way I look at it. I call them the leftovers.


So anyway, but the question was asked of me a few days ago about NATO, and I said, well, I have two problems with NATO. No. 1, it’s obsolete. When NATO was formed many decades ago we were a different country. There was a different threat. Soviet Union was, the Soviet Union, not Russia, which was much bigger than Russia, as you know. And, it was certainly much more powerful than even today’s Russia, although again you go back into the weaponry. But, but – I said, I think NATO is obsolete, and I think that – because I don’t think – right now we don’t have somebody looking at terror, and we should be looking at terror. And you may want to add and subtract from NATO in terms of countries. But we have to be looking at terror, because terror today is the big threat. Terror from all different parts. You know in the old days you’d have uniforms and you’d go to war and you’d see who your enemy was, and today we have no idea who the enemy is...

TRUMP: I’ll tell you the problems I have with NATO. No. 1, we pay far too much. We are spending — you know, in fact, they’re even making it so the percentages are greater. NATO is unfair, economically, to us, to the United States. Because it really helps them more so than the United States, and we pay a disproportionate share. Now, I’m a person that — you notice I talk about economics quite a bit, in these military situations, because it is about economics, because we don’t have money anymore because we’ve been taking care of so many people in so many different forms that we don’t have money — and countries, and countries. So NATO is something that at the time was excellent. Today, it has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror. It has to be changed from the standpoint of cost because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO.

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