Alleged discussions between US President Donald Trump and his aides about a US withdrawal from NATO have been making headlines recently.
The New York Times in an article titled, “Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia,” would claim:
There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.
Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.
And while the division or dissolving of NATO most certainly would benefit Russia – removing a malignant and aggressive rogue institution from its borders and the toxic atmosphere of perpetual confrontation it creates – it would also most certainly benefit each and every NATO member many times more.
Despite the many myths surrounding NATO’s role in “protecting” its individual members, nothing has undermined the security of NATO member states more than NATO itself.
The Myth of NATO’s Purpose
The reality-show that is American politics has increasingly depended on institutionalized reverse psychology – where a notion that fundamentally appeals to Americans of all political persuasions is passed through “Trump” to create automatic and irrational aversion in at least some segments of the public.
A US withdrawal from an expensive, antiquated, and repeatedly abused military alliance allegedly created to keep in check a Soviet Union that no longer exists is one such universal notion. To polarize debate around the otherwise clear-cut benefits of reducing or dissolving America’s role in NATO, “Trump’s” alleged desire to withdraw from the alliance has been emphasized, and specifically within the context of “Trump” being an alleged agent of “Russian” influence.
But the truth of NATO’s actual purpose and the very real threats it poses to global peace and stability is independent of one’s like or dislike of US President Donald Trump.
Far from confronting a Soviet – or now “Russian” threat – NATO instead is used to leverage and abuse Europe’s collective political and military power to augment US wars of aggression far beyond the North Atlantic where NATO was supposedly created to protect.