Saturday, February 2, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lied about whether America's military allies supported his move to blow up a major nuclear arms treaty.

Trump announced today that the United States would begin the legal process of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by President Reagan in 1987. Ostensibly a warning shot at Russia, which the United States has long suspected of violating the treaty, Trump's withdrawal is likely to give the Putin regime a much freer hand in a less stable European theater. 

The territory of the United States is not threatened by the land-based, medium-range missiles prohibited by the treaty. Rather, it is the United States' European allies in NATO that will be directly impacted. For that reason, Trump, or whoever drafted the statement he released explaining the move, repeatedly insisted that those allies supported the move. "Allies have supported the United States at every step, because they understand the threat posed by Russia’s violating missile system," he wrote.

This is a lie. Military and political leaders from NATO members Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, as well as non-NATO allies Finland and Japan, and representatives of the European Union, all spoke out against the move. Only Poland openly supported it.

Trump, who appears to genuinely believe that NATO and other military alliances are a sort of for-profit protection racket, has repeatedly pitched the idea of pulling the United States out of NATO, which would effectively destroy it. 

Why does this matter?

  • Lying about the United States' military allies weakens the United States' national security.