Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mr. Miracle Opposes The Unsustainable Orthodox Neocon Team-America World Police Fantasy

WaPo |  “At what point do you say, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves?’ ” Trump said in the editorial board meeting. “I know the outer world exists, and I’ll be very cognizant of that. But at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities.”

Trump said U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington. “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” he said, adding later, “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”

Trump praised George P. Shultz, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, as a model diplomat and, on the subject of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, said America’s allies are “not doing anything.”

“Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we’re doing all of the lifting,” Trump said. “They’re not doing anything. And I say: ‘Why is it that Germany’s not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? . . . Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially, the third world war with Russia?’ ”

While the Obama administration has faced pressure from congressional critics who have advocated for a more active U.S. role in supporting Ukraine, the U.S. military has limited its assistance to nonlethal equipment such as vehicles and night-vision gear. European nations have taken the lead in crafting a fragile cease-fire designed to decrease hostility between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Trump sounded a similar note in discussing the U.S. presence in the Pacific. He questioned the value of massive military investments in Asia and wondered aloud whether the United States still is capable of being an effective peacekeeping force there.

“South Korea is very rich, great industrial country, and yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do,” Trump said. “We’re constantly sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games — we’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.”

Such talk is likely to trigger anxiety in South Korea, where a U.S. force of 28,000 has provided a strong deterrent to North Korean threats for decades.

Asked whether the United States benefits from its involvement in Asia, Trump replied, “Personally, I don’t think so.” He added: “I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country. And we’re a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation.”