Recent reports say that Trump plans to pull out of NATO if certain demands aren’t met. Americans worry about what that means as they eye another potential Trump presidency.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
Former President Donald Trump wanted to leave NATO during his presidency but was talked out of the idea multiple times. Now, as the frontrunner for the Republican party, he’s plotting how to go about it if his demands aren’t met.
According to recent reports, Trump wants “non-American members to further and steeply increase their defense spending.” As well as “a reevaluation of the bedrock principle that an attack on one member is tantamount to an attack on all.”
Doesn’t Have A Clue
Several people pointed out that Trump’s plan shows a lack of understanding. “Trump has no idea what this would actually mean,” one commenter noted. ” He thinks NATO is an American protection shake-down and that European countries owe the US millions of dollars for protecting them.”
Defeating the Point
“Trump really knows nothing about how NATO works,” another echoed. “The attack on one being an attack on all is a center pillar that drives it.”
Next World War
Some went as far as to say leaving NATO would lead to WWIII. “The whole attack thing is literally the only reason it [NATO] really works,” one user pointed out. “You will think twice about invading Belgium if you know every other military will be there to whoop ass. Otherwise, we have a Hitler invading Poland situation again.”
Many thought that Trump’s statements were further evidence he was on Vladimir Putin’s side. “NATO is a formidable defensive alliance. It multiplies the potential strength of every nation involved in it. Putin wants the USA to break with NATO. Therefore, Trump wants the USA to break with NATO. It’s very simple,” one person explained.
Others noted that NATO’s expansion could be a real issue. “I looked up the 31 countries and found one I don’t remember ever hearing of and several that I haven’t thought about in years,” one person said. Some fear having so many within the alliance leads to unnecessary military spending and possibly war.
Look at Russia
“Russia shows the world exactly why we need NATO,” another commenter said. Others went on to say that if Trump had pulled out of NATO before the war in Ukraine, Russia may have pushed further and harder into Eastern Europe.
Just Doing Business
A few people noted that Trump looks at NATO like a business person rather than a politician. As one person asked, “Trump wants to walk away from 75 years of US leadership in the world to save some money?”
A few people noted that Trump’s stance on NATO is old news. “Trump has been anti-NATO since the 1980s,” one person pointed out. The Republican party, however, is almost evenly split on whether or not the U.S. should be part of NATO.
Alternatively, Biden has been a champion of NATO for almost as long as Trump’s been against it. In response to Trump’s plan, Biden’s campaign stated, “The only person he [Trump] cares about is himself,” implying Trump has ulterior motives, namely ties to Putin.
Not His Job
A few people implied that Trump’s statement was nothing to worry about, noting that “the president alone has no authority to withdraw the US from the North Atlantic Treaty.” Senators reintroduced a bipartisan bill to prevent a U.S. president from leaving NATO this past July.
However, even without congressional support, Trump could render the treaty less effective. “He could make the decision that no incident will merit responding with US troops, funding, or weapons,” one person noted.
Several people thought Trump should stop thinking about his potential presidency and start paying attention to the issues right in front of him. “Will someone remind him he’s a civilian with 91 different charges against him who spends all his time in trials? Quit playing president,” one commenter said.
Who He Is
“It perfectly aligns with how Trump thinks,” an unsurprised person said. “All he cares about is what you can do for him, and he doesn’t contribute personally. He thinks the tiny countries can’t contribute anything to him, so he would never lift a finger to help them.”
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