Elder Patriot – President Donald Trump is busy cleaning up the messes left by his predecessors. In this case it’s former President Barack Obama and his fecklessness at the hands of our NATO allies.
These so-called partners had walked all over us by expecting us to foot the bill for their defense while they expanded their welfare states. And the European Union, of which they are members of, stripped $151 Billion in wealth from the United States in lopsided trade deals last year alone, while Obama did nothing to ameliorate our losses.
Enter Donald Trump. Trump let NATO know that the status quo would not be tolerated as far back as 2016 while he was campaigning for president. Last week he peppered our NATO partners prior to and during a meeting of the member states in Brussels for refusing to meet their financial obligations to the organization.
The emergency session had been called in response to Trump’s criticism and his willingness to let our European partners know they need us more than we need them:
“Yesterday, I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening, and they have substantially upped their commitment. I told people that I’d be very unhappy if they did not up their commitments very substantially.”
When you turn your defense systems into the sisters of the poor you really don’t have much leverage, do you? Trump used his leverage to play hardball with the deadbeat members – only 6 of the 29 members are fully paid up – and he extracted commitments to pay their past due amounts.
“Tremendous progress has been made. Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before. Commitments were made. The commitment was at 2 percent, ultimately that’ll be going up quite a bit higher than that.”
“Everyone in the room thanked me. There was a great collegial spirit in that room. . . . Very unified, very strong. No problem. NATO is much stronger now than it was two days ago.”
President Trump, the master of the art of the deal, knew exactly what he was doing. Now, with his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin slated to take place on Tuesday, the member nations of NATO had little choice but to agree to his terms or risk driving Trump closer to the Russian president.
He now sits down with Putin with a massively strengthened hand.
Even the New York Times editorial board had to agree:
“Trump Got From NATO Everything Obama Ever Asked For. Now that the smoke has cleared from the NATO summit meeting, the most tangible result is apparent: President Trump advanced President Barack Obama’s initiative to keep the allies on track to shoulder a more equitable share of NATO’s costs. Mr. Trump even signed on to a tough statement directed at Russia. For once he saw eye to eye with his predecessor.”
Yes, we realize that the Times couldn’t resist trying to give some credit to Obama but all they accomplished by referencing the Manchurian president was to remind everyone just how badly he failed.