It’s generally not a good idea to visit allied countries and insult their leaders. But the question to those in the political class concerned with Trump’s behavior in Europe is this: At what point does an ally cease being an ally? At what point does the hypocrisy, self-destruction, and sabotage of U.S. interests at the hands of the Western European powers cross a red line in our relationship, especially when we are shouldering most of the burden for NATO? Until the political class has answers to these questions and provides alternative solutions, the diplomatic chemotherapy being administered by Trump will prevail as U.S. policy. And perhaps that’s exactly what we need at this point.
The spat between President Trump and the top European powers at the annual NATO summit in Brussels this week wasn’t just about Trump’s contention that America pays for most of NATO’s operation and provides almost all of the deterrent to back up the original purpose of the alliance. We recognize our role in the world and providential status as a superpower and are usually more than happy to be the big brother to those countries that are true allies, that consistently help and not hinder our actions, and that work to fight the united threat to the alliance rather than aiding and abetting the very powers against which the U.S. will be called upon to fight.
This is why Trump enjoys robust relations with the Eastern European countries. They do not work with Russia, import Islamists, promote Iran, and condemn Israel. And Poland, unlike Germany, actually spends the benchmark NATO requirement of two percent of GDP on its military.
Generally speaking, it’s not prudent for a foreign leader to travel abroad and talk down the domestic policies of the host country that is considered an ally. The media and political class here and in Europe are up in arms about Trump’s interview with the UK Sun criticizing Great Britain’s leadership on Brexit and immigration. But Europe’s suicidal immigration policy is not some internal affair that is immaterial to our alliance. It cuts to the core of what is threatening these very Western countries that will most likely leave America on the hook for when the boiling kettle of jihad spills over. It is in that context that Trump has every right to criticize their open-borders policies that empower both Iran and Turkey as well as the Sunni and Shia terrorist groups they both support – and to demand that they beef up their own military spending in the alliance.
The Europeans can’t have it both ways. Ultimately, the alliance is about protecting the sovereignty of the West, but if the Western European nations don’t respect their own sovereignty, what do they want from us? This is why Trump’s comments about Brexit and Western Europe’s immigration policies were fair game.
Let’s review what the Western European nations have been doing:
Trump is not destroying NATO. The Western European countries are destroying NATO. They are coddling, importing, and allying with the most robust Islamic threats of our time to sabotage the very leader of NATO, and in the process, they are empowering Russia, the original antagonist catalyzing the NATO alliance. The only way to try to salvage the NATO alliance is to finally call them out for their perfidy and duplicity and make these countries understand that our patience and indifference to their treachery will not last forever.
Opponents of the president’s diplomatic hardball cannot articulate why exactly the NATO alliance exists. While Russia is still a big problem, it’s not the threat it was when the alliance was formed, and to the extent it poses a problem, it is by propping up the very Iranian regime these Europeans seek to preserve.
We have our own problems with sovereignty, gangs, drug cartels, and Hezbollah in Latin America. We need to focus on a new Monroe Doctrine in our own hemisphere, focus on our own immigration policies, aggressively shut down terror financing, and secure our borders. To do this, we need to cultivate new alliances with real allies who share our interest in combatting today’s threats. We need a new alliance of mutual respect and cooperation for each other’s sovereignty, not a double game of globalism to subvert each other’s sovereignty. That means fostering closer ties with Eastern European countries and some of the Sunni Arab countries that have changed their ways and working closely with some of the promising governments in our own backyard, such as Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Guatemala to counter the pro-Iran and anti-American threats from the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, El Salvador, Mexico, Cuba, and some other Caribbean islands.
We also face threats from China and Russia both in their own rights and in their insidious empowerment of Iran and other jihadists. NATO either is impotent in dealing with those threats or downright collaborates with them. What’s in it for us? Out of 29 member nations, the U.S. accounts for 74 percent of the military spending. What do we need it for? To get bogged down in Afghanistan and Syria until the end of time, while all the member countries import the terrorists to their shores and allow them to form cells and fund the wars in those very theaters from the “safe haven” of the West? To commit to Article V of NATO’s charter to protect all member nations in case of attack, which would include Turkey?
Now, Turkey has come under Russia’s influence and is building a Russian-sponsored nuclear power plant in the southern province of Mersin. Like many conservatives, I’m not happy with some of Trump’s rhetoric regarding Putin and some of the continued inconsistent policies on Turkey from the DOD and State, held over from previous administrations. But in most of Trump’s actions, he has been tough on Russia, most particularly with the Iran deal. Meanwhile, the Europeans who complain about Trump’s sweet talk to Putin empower the Russian strongman at every turn.
It’s a new world with new threats, yet our old allies won’t even cooperate with us on the old threats, much less the recent and emerging threats. The only way to salvage these alliances is to use our financial and military leverage while forging closer ties with other countries. The minute the Western European powers know they can no longer coddle our mutual enemies while relying on us for protection from those very threats, they just might change their tune.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.