Trump’s Blunt Talk is Just What NATO Needs

Bruce Thornton has been writing about the problems with NATO for many years — here he is today at

And what our president’s quarrel with the military alliance really reveals.

At last week’s NATO meeting in Brussels, Donald Trump took the European members to the woodshed. Using his customary blunt straight-talk abhorred by diplo-sophists, he accused the “delinquent” allies of treating the U.S. like “schmucks” and America like a “piggy bank” by not paying their fair share of NATO’s costs. And he shocked them further by saying they shouldn’t wait till 2024 to reach the goal of spending 2% of GDP on their militaries, but get it done now. Then he literally doubled-down by saying they should be paying 4%.

Our free-riding allies need this straight talk. But more important, everybody needs to recognize that the received foreign policy wisdom about the “rules-based international order” built on transnational institutions is a tottering paradigm well past its sell-by date.

Back at home, Trump’s scolding provoked the same howls that followed his remarks on this subject during the campaign. Forget the hysteria from the Dems. Their over-the-top reactions to Trump’s every syllable are so lunatic and banal that they have become a political dog-bites-man story. But Republican NeverTrumpers need their feet kept to the fire so everybody remembers a pique so incoherent and politically suicidal that they would have preferred a corrupt harpy running our country rather than a president who has delivered a have a booming economy and two originalist Supreme Court Justices.

. . .

The real significance of Trump’s quarrel with NATO is how it reveals the growing weakness of the international order, which has become a haven for thuggish dictators, duplicitous allies, and transnational political and business elites. America’s interests, America’s security, America’s political order, and America’s laws that give us freedom and rights, should be the foundation of our policies and actions in the world, not the “vague internationalism,” as Churchill called it, and its “promise of impossible utopias.” In a fallen world of flawed human beings, America’s power––checked and balanced and accountable to American citizens––has been the last best hope.

Read more: Front Page Mag

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