Boots & Sabers

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0744, 21 Jul 16

Trump Suggests Pullback From Foreign Military Obligations

One always has to assume that Trump will change his mind at any moment, but, at face value, this is interesting.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump says the United States under his leadership might not come to the defense of some NATO members if Russia were to attack them.

Trump said he would decide whether to protect the Baltic republics against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

He made the comments in an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, a night before he is to formally accept the Republican nomination for president.

Trump’s remarks about U.S. obligations under NATO to come to the aid of other members of the 28-nation alliance are in line with his views questioning the United States’ global role.

Americans have long chaffed at getting involved in foreign conflicts and isolationism is nothing new. But we finally learned after WWII that we are not isolated and the refusal to get involved early in foreign conflicts can result in a much larger involvement later on. In our current world of integrated economies and multilayered alliances, this is even more true.

But there must be some balance and restraint. We are a nation of vast resources, but they are not unlimited. Our allies must not consider our obligations to them to be a blank check, nor should they consider those obligations to be completely decoupled from their obligations to us.

At the very least, perhaps we can have a substantive debate about America’s role in the world this election cycle and not talk about stupid stuff. I know… I’m asking a lot.


0744, 21 July 2016


  1. Jerry

    We spend more on defense than China, Russia, France, England Germany Saudi Arabia and India combined. Our Marine Corp is larger than the entire British Army. Our Navy equals that of all the navies in the world combined. We have 4% of the world’s population but we account for 42% of global defense spending. We can still stand behind our allies but with a far leaner military/industrial complex! Unfortunately Trump prefers to saber rattle and defines allies as “what have you done for me lately” which will only result in more anger towards us than good will. We must cut military spending as $610 billion a year is breaking the bank and we haven’t won a war since 1945!

  2. Steve Austin

    If you read the entire interview, part of this is Trump ignorance, part is Trump simply doing plain talk that frankly most Americans would side with. There was a part in there where he said we’ve got a lot of problems here, including people shooting police. Hence we can’t solve the world’s problems. I think a substantial segment of the electorate would concur with this.

    One part I haven’t seen discussed nor am I thinking Trump himself has linked in his mind (or maybe he has) is the US relation with Russia as it relates to Islamic terrorism. Has Russia historically caused us problems in the Middle East? Yes.

    At the same time, if an ISIS or Islamic cell were to blow off a nuke or dirty bomb in the US or Russia, I have a feeling we’d be friends and allies very quickly along the lines of what happened in WWII.

  3. Jenn Donath


    Please no slurs. I know we’re a hyper-PC world, but those words hurt too much.

    Thanks and have a great night!

  4. Jenn Donath

    I’m totally cool with that, Paul. We definitely need saving!


  5. Mark Maley

    Trump is an isolationist and a Nativist and he scares the hell out of our allies in a fearful way , not the yokel ” he’ll shake things up way

    It’s more Charles Lindbergh than Ronald Reagan , more Huey Long than Ike

    All bluster , no shining city on a hill , making promises he can’t fulfill and acting like the fake tough guy he is when he is , in fact the ultimate daddy’s boy .

  6. Mark Maley


    New shorthand for board response to your posts under any name

    Be well little guy


    Annonymous Tiny Dick From Mom’s Basement Responds Again

  7. Mark Maley

    Sorry , response to TFA from another post

    I’ll direct him here

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