As Putin Marvels, Trump Continues to Weaken U.S. Alliances Around the World

NATO Summit, Followed By Putin One-On-One Place Global Order in Question

James Stavridis:”The NATO alliance is in a state of high tension heading into the Brussels summit…”

“Indeed, reports on the decline of NATO have been constant over the decades, especially immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

“What is different now, however, is the obvious personal antipathy of the U.S. president toward the alliance in general and some of the key leaders in particular. Donald Trump’s open dislike of Germany’s Angela Merkel, the U.K.’s Theresa May and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, for example, feels deeply rooted and intractable.”

“This personal animosity between the alliance’s most important national leaders comes at an especially infelicitous time, with Vladimir Putin’s Russia applying pressure around NATO’s periphery, using ‘hybrid warfare’ techniques to destabilize the Baltic and Black Sea nations, and employing cyber operations to undermine democracy as far away as the U.S.

“The fear is that Trump will conduct another slash-and-burn mission at the NATO summit, then follow it up with a warm and chatty engagement with Putin a few days later in Helsinki.

What makes it particularly hurtful is the evident personal affection and admiration Trump has for Putin. This seems inexplicable given the Russian leader’s support for the war criminal Bashar al-Assad in Syria, his illegal invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, and above all the Russian intrusion into the U.S. political process in 2016 and since — which Trump refuses to recognize.

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