Saturday, January 28, 2017

Circuitous,devious #OyVeyDonaldTrump treats NATO like A Jealous girlfriend

President Trump has pointed out that many of our NATO allies don’t pay enough for the collective defense. (Associated Press/File) more >

I’ve written a great deal about how Donald Trump is a master negotiator, always three or four steps ahead of the party sitting across the table. He plans out deals before the other side even knows he wants one. He prepares the battlefield, the negotiating landscape, to ensure an outcome to his liking.

I was reminded of our president’s impressive bargaining skills once again when I opened an email just this morning from a successful and influential conservative friend of mine, who wrote, “I finally figured out Trump and NATO. He is treating the alliance like a jealous girlfriend. He wants them to pay more and just showing the consequences if they don’t.”

I thought about that for a while before writing this column — and I have to say it is insightful analysis.

Many of our NATO allies don’t pay enough for the collective defense. The U.S. has obviously footed a disproportionate share of the burden for some time now. When the Baltic nations and Poland became deathly afraid of Russia after the annexation of Crimea and the initiation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine, they didn’t appeal to Germany for troops. They called the U.S. military.

I understand there are historical and political issues with German troops on the Russian border, but I believe the Germans have been hiding behind this excuse for too long. They could spend much more to make the alliance credible, and Chancellor Angela Merkel knows it.

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