Donald Trump
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If Donald Trump has the goal of destroying American power, breaking up the European Union, dismantling NATO, lifting Russian sanctions, and helping to elect a bunch of Russian-aligned far right fascist parties in Western Europe, at least he’s willing to tell us exactly that. There’s very little subtlety about it at this point, and the only fig leaf he’s going to offer is the prospect that Putin will agree to some kind of reduction in our respective nuclear arsenals.

Is that a fair trade?

I don’t think so.

Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would follow the U.K. in leaving the bloc…

…Trump predicted that Britain’s exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination designed with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he’s fairly indifferent to whether the EU stays together, according to Bild…

…The Times quoted Trump as saying he was interested in making “good deals with Russia,” floating the idea of lifting sanctions…

“…[NATO is] obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Trump said in the Bild version of the interview. “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.” The Times quoted Trump saying that only five NATO members are paying their fair share…

…With Merkel facing an unprecedented challenge from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany as she seeks a fourth term this fall, Trump was asked whether he’d like to see her re-elected. He said he couldn’t say, adding that while he respects Merkel, who’s been in office for 11 years, he doesn’t know her and she has hurt Germany by letting “all these illegals” into the country.

Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov makes a couple of obvious observations.

That Trump is doing all of this without any embarrassment in the midst of widespread accusations that Russia intervened to get him elected and that they have him under their control is maybe the most astonishing thing of all.

The Reaganites are supposed to go along with it because Trump will reprise the iconic 1986 anti-nuclear summit Ronald Reagan had with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavík, Iceland. Or, maybe, this last bit is just a little too obvious since both the Kremlin and the Trump team are now denying that it is in the works.

A real move to reduce nuclear stockpiles would constitute a massive pivot for a candidate who has shown more interest in building more nuclear weapons and suggested that Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia should get their own nuclear arsenals rather than relying on the United States to provide them with security.

Of course, weakening the American relationship with its allies in the Far East is a goal that an ordinary Russian president would see as unattainable, and breaking the alliance between Washington and Riyadh would also serve Putin’s interests.

It’s hard to believe that Putin has struck this much gold.

Are Republicans really going to go along with this?

All in the name of white ethno-nationalism and petro politics?

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at