By Dan Calabrese
What really strikes me about this clip is the weakness of the response. You can quibble if you want about the substance of Trump’s complaint or whether it was the right forum for bringing it up, but he goes off in exhaustive detail about it and his counterpart offers nothing more than mealy-mouthed platitudes about how “we’re stronger together” or some such thing.
It sounds like a Hillary campaign slogan, because it was, and it’s about as substantive too.
To break down Trump’s point here: If Germany expects NATO to protect it from threats from Russia, then Germany is acting at cross-purposes with itself and with NATO by giving Russia so much control over its ability to acquire natural gas. It’s certainly not new that nations trade with their geopolitical rivals. We trade with Russia too. But Vladimir Putin is trying to establish Russia as the dominant player in energy markets – particularly natural gas – in order to give Russia strategic advantages that he can use for geopolitical purposes.
All you have to do is look at NATO’s reluctance to stand up to Putin in Crimea and recognize that many NATO nations are worried about pissing Putin off and having to find themselves with new energy sources. Germany is one of the worst offenders, and here Trump calls them on it – and won’t let the issue go when others at the table try to dismiss the subject and move on to something else:
One of the reasons it’s important for the U.S. to ramp up its own domestic energy production is that it makes us more free to stand up to geopolitical rivals like Russia, or any number of Middle Eastern countries, when it makes sense to do so and we don’t have to worry about them taking away the oil we need. Another reason is that when we import the energy we produce here, it gives us a geopolitical advantage just like the one Putin is looking for with his aggressive approach to the natural gas market.
Trump will be criticized for “attacking our allies,” but he’s right here. An alliance only works if all the allies act rationally to honor the commitments expected of the others. If the Germans want to play into Putin’s hands by relying on him for natural gas, then Trump has every right to point out how that impacts America’s ability to protect German’s security through NATO.
And if the NATO summit isn’t the place to do this, then I don’t know what is.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!