Since announcing his bid for the presidency in 2015, Donald Trump has been slaughtering many sacred cows, none as precious as those in foreign policy—a category dominated by what former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes accurately described as “The Blob.”
That is why the Blob went along with former President Barack Obama’s hapless quest to besmirch Trump’s name by falsely accusing him of being Putin’s patsy. Everything for the Blob has to be framed in the context of Obama’s great lie about Trump and Russia. Therefore, anything Trump does on foreign policy is suspect (unless it’s bombing more Mideast countries or killing 200 Russian mercenaries in eastern Syria, as he did two years ago).
For instance, the president has been in an ongoing spat with Germany, a key NATO partner. For years, Trump has sought to coax Germany (and other NATO countries) into paying the minimum 2 percent of their national GDPs on defense, as the North Atlantic Treaty requires. But these European states have opted to pay the bare minimum for NATO membership while redirecting their money into massive welfare states.
Europeans assessed that the Americans would do the fighting and dying against any potential Russian invasion while they would live comfortably, thanks to all of the money they saved from not having to pay for their own defense. At a time when the traditional NATO members, such as Germany, are obsessed with the threat of a resurgent Russia, these same European states are welching on their commitments to the alliance.
More galling is Germany’s unapologetic reliance on Russian natural gas, a key strategic lever that Moscow routinely uses to impose its will upon Europe. President Trump has been understandably irate by the blasé attitude Berlin takes toward its supposedly sacrosanct commitments to NATO while America remains on the hook for everything.
This summer, President Trump decided that he needed to change the calculus.
Trump ordered nearly 12,000 U.S. forces out of Germany. After this “stunning” announcement, suddenly, unconfirmed sources within the intelligence community leaked to the press that those pesky Russians had placed bounties on the heads of U.S. troops fighting the Pentagon’s hopeless and endless war in Afghanistan.
Supposedly, a particularly vicious unit of Russia’s intelligence services paid elements of the Taliban to kill U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan. It was all very salacious. On top of that, these unnamed sources within the Blob accused the president of refusing to discuss the matter with Putin.
And, just like that, the media narrative shifted. It was no longer about how Trump was trying to hold Germany’s feet to the fire to be a better NATO partner (which, of course, is precisely what Trump was doing). The narrative now was about how dangerous Trump is as president in that he clearly wants to do Putin’s bidding. That, these unknown sources deep within America’s elephantine defense community claim, is proof that the removal of U.S. forces from Germany is to benefit Russia . . . or something.
As for the “intelligence” that Trump ignored Russian bounties on U.S. forces in Afghanistan: it was unvetted. Remember, the last time a U.S. president acted upon raw intelligence, America ended up invading Iraq in a quixotic search for weapons of mass destruction. It is, therefore, rare for raw intelligence to be passed on to the president. Even if it had been, as some sources claim, it was hardly actionable. And the idea that Trump would float such uncorroborated claims to Putin is an absurd expectation.
What you haven’t heard is that the bulk of U.S. forces being removed from Germany are moving to newer bases in Poland and will be fully funded by Poland.
So, not only has Poland been living up to their NATO commitments, but they will be paying the Americans for their time (unlike Germany)!
Trump isn’t weakening NATO at all. He’s rewarding the few states, such as Poland, for being strong and reliable allies and punishing those deadbeat members, like wealthy Germany, for skimping (as any landlord would do).
Neither is Trump serving Russian interests by removing U.S. forces from Germany. By moving the bulk of those forces out of Germany and into Poland, the new frontier with Russia, Trump is complicating Russian designs for that region.
Since many of the former Obama Administration’s lackeys remain firmly enmeshed in the Blob today (they are likely the source of these leaks aimed at President Trump), it is important to remember that one of Obama’s first acts as president was to remove the ground-based ballistic missile defense system that former President George W. Bush had promised to Poland.
In effect, Obama neutered Poland and actually weakened NATO in the face of a militarily resurgent Russia.
Trump is now moving large numbers of Americans into Poland with an implied threat to Moscow: any move on Poland will risk a direct U.S. military response.
And unlike the Germans, the Poles will have America’s back. So the last thing that Putin wants is to have American tripwires just a few hundred miles away from his border, as will be the case once those forces have moved fully into Poland.
We’ve all been the victim of an information operation directed at us by the Blob in Washington. They don’t care about the lives of U.S. service members who’ve supposedly been targeted by Russia and the Taliban in Afghanistan. If they truly cared about those lives, they wouldn’t be supporting the continuation of the wasteful American war there. In fact, this has been an example of provocation: these unnamed insiders have attempted to provoke the ire of the American people against Trump (as well as Russia). And they’ve done all of this just so they can protect their little fiefdom—even at the expense of actual U.S. defense and economic interests.