GOP presidential candidate and “Contrarian Commentary” columnist Andy Martin analyzes Donald Trump’s views on the future of NATO and Europe in light of the latest Brussels terrorist attack
ANDY MARTIN /2016
Republican candidate for
President of the United States
“Make America Great Again”
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
GOP presidential candidate and “Contrarian Commentary” columnist Andy Martin says “Donald Trump has identified a foreign policy challenge that needs a fresh approach”
Andy says “Europe,” i.e. the European Union, cannot survive in its current form
Andy says nations that want a national security blanket from the United States will have to invest more in their own defense
Andy says NATO has achieved its original objectives and, surprisingly, those objectives are still reasonable
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BULLETIN: Due to an unplanned development Andy is still in his South Florida war room, able to observe the Trump campaign and celebrate Easter with family and friends
(Palm Beach, FL) (March 22, 2016)
This is my seventeenth letter to the American people from the 2016 campaign trail (# 14 is still in progress, coming in hours). Due to a fluke, my return was delayed so I am still in Florida.
The world shudders at the latest terrorist attack in Brussels earlier today. Civilians killed, lives disrupted, a society on the verge of dismemberment. And yet, our political leaders know precious little about “Europe,” or how the European Union came into being, or what the future looks like if the EU fails to adjust and adapt.
While I am going to gleefully support the Republican nominee, I still keep my finger in the presidential pie until there is one, and for a special reason. I am the only Republican presidential candidate with real foreign policy experience. I first went to Brussels over 50 years ago; I have edited several books on “Europe” and the European Union (“EU”); I speak French, and have also studied German, Spanish and Greek. So I am conversant with European culture and politics. No other candidate has that background and experience as a resource to draw on.
In today’s letter, Part One, I will explain how Donald Trump and his views are going to affect the future of “Europe.”
Why the quotation marks around “Europe?” Because Americans usually think about going to Europe as a trip or junior year of college abroad. We know little of the EU and its origins or workings, little of what President Barack Obama has done to reverse seventy years of post-World War II political stability. Europe will always be a delightful place to visit; the political future of the continent is less positive.
Two weeks ago a group of conservative foreign policy “experts” attacked Donald Trump and said he was unqualified to be president (please see link #1 below). Yesterday Trump questioned the value of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and our involvement in Asia (please see link #2). Today ISIS struck again, in Brussels.
Trump’s frustrations are not new. For decades military leaders have fretted about the imbalance in financial commitments to national defense by the United States as compared with Europe or Asia. As Trump correctly claims, we spend to defend foreign nations. And we don’t always receive a “thank you.”
Where is NATO headquartered? Brussels. Where is the EU headquartered? Brussels. In a city and nation that is unable to defend itself, and unwilling to make the commitment to defend itself, serious questions are raised. The EU, moreover, is constantly at war with U. S. tech giants for violating EU “security” protocols. Unwittingly, the EU has created an environment that is favorable to terrorist organizations and operations. The attacks in Paris and Brussels prove my point.
Trump seems to embody the aphorism “it’s better to be lucky than be smart.” Every time he makes what appears to be an outrageous foreign policy claim, within days his unorthodox view is vindicated by events. He questioned NATO yesterday: today a terrorist attack on the doorstep of NATO. Timing is everything.
So does Europe have a future? Not in its current form. Today I discuss what Obama has done to weaken “Europe” (Obama actually favors the concept of “Europe,” as an excuse for American abdication); next, I will explain Trump’s impact on “Brexit,” the United Kingdom vote in June on whether to leave the EU. Finally I will offer my own unorthodox (“contrarian”) views on how the EU should deal with the nation of Turkey.
After America bailed out Europe and won the war against Nazi Germany in 1945, leaders were concerned that the United States would recede from a leadership role as it had previously done in 1918. In the words on one British diplomat, NATO was created to “keep the Americans in (Europe); to keep the Russians out (of Europe); and to keep the Germans down, so that Germany would never be able to launch a new continental war (please see link #3 below).
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, no one believed a new Russian dictator such as Vladimir Putin could arise. No one believed that Russia would attack peaceful nations and attempt to redraw borders by force. And so Americans elected the African-American flower child, Barack Obama, to dismantle our commitment to Europe. Joseph Stalin is said to have contemptuously asked, “How many divisions does the pope have?” Well, today, we can ask, “How many divisions does NATO have?” The reality: close to none. NATO is a paper tiger and Putin is aware of that fact. Europeans have lost the will to defend themselves and Donald Trump questions whether we should shed American blood in place of a local commitment.
Obama has withdrawn armored divisions from Europe, closed facilities and pursued a foreign policy that is, ironically, almost a carbon copy of Trump’s (without any of the protests from the foreign policy “establishment” that criticize Trump).
The result: chaos. Russian continues to be a military threat. Radical Islam is attacking. And the EU is paralyzed. NATO? Don’t ask.
So is Trump right? Or wrong? Or, as I believe, right and wrong?
First, United States taxpayers are not going to continue to defend Europe while Europeans refuse to defend themselves. Trump is right. Solution: NATO must amend the Charter to mandate a common level of defense expenditures by all signatories. We should not promise to defend nations under Article 5 of the NATO (Washington) Treaty that will not spend equally on their own defense. We need to develop a financial formula that minimizes our financial outgo for European defense while still retaining a robust presence there (Poland is asking for more American forces).
Second, I do not believe a US withdrawal from Europe is in our national interest. Since our own troops are likely to fight overseas, and not at home in Ohio, positioning military resources overseas makes excellent sense and strategy. Trump is therefore wrong that withdrawing troops improves our own national security. Almost seventy years of safety and stability before Obama arrived on the scene contradict Trump. And Obama’s (i.e. Trump’s) policy of withdrawal has failed to meet our own national security needs. Obama is now forced to reinforce our garrisons in Europe, the same ones he emptied out years ago.
Third, Europe is going to have to take terrorism and collective national security much more seriously. Trump is right. Nations that refuse to defend themselves, and allow hostile Muslim populations to fester in their midst, are doomed. The solutions will not be easy, pleasant or cheap.
Finally, just as this is being written, Trump has created a new kerfuffle today over the identities of his “foreign policy” advisors. Surprise. Realistically, the media establishment and the foreign policy establishment are going to make every effort to create “issues” with anything and everything Trump says. Ironically, as an “outsider,” Trump’s “fresh start” and “clean sheet of paper” approach to national security and international security is essential and valuable.
While I generally support the seventy years of stability that my family shed blood to defend, we must always be open to new ideas, new approaches and new solutions. Trump is an unabashed nationalist. But, what have the “internationalists” given us, other than the messed up world created by Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama?
Europe cannot continue in its current form. Whether consciously or unconsciously, Trump has identified a problem that needs fresh thinking in Washington. Ironically, despite the relentless criticism directed at DT, he is the only one open to considering new approaches. Trump may not always be right, but he is equally not always wrong.
Until Easter you can reach me in, or read me from our war room in South Florida.
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ANDY MARTIN – A BRIEF BIO:
Andy Martin is a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. With forty-eight years of background in radio and television and with five decades of investigative and analytical experience in Washington, the USA and around the world, Andy provides insight on politics, foreign policy, intelligence and military matters. For a full bio, go to: www.AndyMartin.com; also see http://www.BoycottABC.com/executive_director.htm
Andy has also been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years and is executive director of the National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute. See also www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com.
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and produced the Internet film “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” blogging at www.contrariancommentary.wordpress.com and www.ContrarianCommentary.com.
Andy’s family immigrated to Manchester, New Hampshire 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River and he lives around the corner from where he played as a small boy. He is New Hampshire’s leading corruption fighter and Republican Party reformer.
Andy’s columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com
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