Why Should Our Allies Believe Us?

simpsons question

N.Y. Times, U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump

The New Republic, Trump’s staff tricked him into signing a pro-NATO agreement:

The idea was to reach an agreement that was strongly pro-NATO,and could counteract the president’s tendency to criticize the alliance and to call for greater co-operation with Russia. …

Key to the success of the whole plot was that Trump would be kept in the dark about what he was actually signing. As The Times reports, “Mr. Trump was presented with only the broad outlines of what the meeting would deliver — not details of the document of 79 paragraphs, running 23 pages.”

The thinking behind this strange manœuvre is that the document Trump signed would counteract his own words. “The new agreement has given American national security officials the ability to assure the public, and skittish allies, that the country’s commitment to the alliance remains intact — no matter any anti-NATO tweets or interviews or statements from Mr. Trump,” The Times claims.

It’s by no means clear that this manipulation of the president will in fact work. After all, if the President continues to deride NATO, as he has in interviews, why should anyone believe that in a crisis he’ll abide by words that he hasn’t even read?

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Greetings to this morning’s readers in Australia. Gday, mates. Sorry, but you’re on your own.