Did Trump finally go too far by saying he might not automatically support NATO allies?

21 July 2016   
Did Trump finally go too far by saying he might not automatically support NATO allies?

As the Republican National Convention proceeds in Cleveland, it seems as though more and more controversies continue to arise surrounding the presidential nominee and higher-ups in the GOP. There was Ohio Governor John Kasich’s outright absence from the first day of the convention, Melania’s plagiarized speech, Ted Cruz being booed for not formally endorsing Trump, and several more. Despite the media’s attention to these blunders, Donald Trump’s latest comments on global politics might create even more of a stir than all of those incidents combined.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump discussed America’s position as a global leader. As it pertains to civil liberties and spreading Western values to foreign nations, Trump said that it is not America’s place to “lecture” countries such as Turkey, seeing that “people are shooting policemen in cold blood.” In quite Libertarian fashion, Trump argued that we must “fix our own mess” before mingling in the politics of foreign powers and addressing human rights abuses in other countries. This strikes many as odd, seeing that Trump’s firebrand conservatism is filled with calls of American supremacy and global hegemony.

Furthermore, Trump went on to discuss the country’s role in NATO. This is where controversy will follow, as the nominee said that he would not immediately support our NATO allies if they were in jeopardy. “For example, asked about Russia’s threatening activities that have unnerved the small Baltic States that are the most recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.””

While it is one thing to evaluate the need for military engagement on a case-by-case basis when it only affects your own nation, it is entirely another to dismiss the treaties and protocol that bind the NATO countries together in the world’s strongest allegiance. For Trump to make this comment, especially after already securing the nomination – meaning he does not need to pander to the far Right with calls for entirely reclusive federal government – it shows a disregard for global politics at large.

What do you think about Trump’s controversial comments on NATO and America’s role in global politics?