Our prevaricator-in chief has made a fool of himself again, regarding NATO and the extent of commitment to defense made by its members. Mr. Trump, a failed capitalist, thinks only in terms of dollars. Having never served in the military, he does not realize, or perhaps he just doesn't care, that money is not the only currency that nations expend in a mutual defense pact when its members are called on to exercise their mutual defense responsibilities. The blood shed by the military personnel of NATO countries — the "butcher's bill" — is the most important factor when determining commitment to NATO.
Had the "balloon gone up" in 1986, or if it should go up today or tomorrow, the vast majority of the fighting, killing and dying done in any conflict involving NATO forces and the Russians in Europe will be by the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of the European NATO members — who contribute by far the largest number of boots on the ground and planes in the air. Such was the case when the Cold War was at its peak and such is the case today. I can only shake my head in wonder, as our bumbling president does the will of the Kremlin and shakes the foundations of a time-tested organization. One can only wonder: whose side is he on?
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.