Sunday, February 11, 2024

Trump's latest on NATO

  1. Trump still has no idea what NATO is. Way back in 2016, before he was elected president, I noted that Trump seemed to think that NATO obligates other NATO countries to pay the U.S. It's one thing when he is a semi-joke of a presidential candidacy based on his history as a reality TV start and with no previous political experience, but once he has actually severed as president, he really should know better. But he still clearly thinks that NATO is some mafia-esque protection racket (where the U.S. requires members to pay them in exchange for protection) as opposed to a mutual defense treaty.
  2. The U.S. news media is remarkably uninterested in stating the obvious, that Trump's claim that NATO members owe the U.S. money has no factual basis at all. That this NYT article, which spins Trump actual's remarks that clearly indicate that Trump believes NATO allies are supposed to pay the U.S. (when he talks about NATO allies being "delinquent" or brags that when he was president "hundreds of billions of dollars came flowing in" from NATO allies), into Trump saying that members were not meeting the alliance's unofficial goal that each member states should spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense.  That's clearly not what he was saying. If a NATO ally spends 2% on defense, that money would go to pay their soldiers or to their domestic arms industry. No money would "come flowing in" to the U.S. They are just distorting what Trump is saying to make it more coherent than it is.
  3. I think this is a much bigger indication of dementia than mixing up the names of a leader. It's not a simple mix up (the kind that everyone does sometimes and older people definitely do more often), it shows real detachment from reality.