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Donald Trump and the Rest of the World

November 11, 2016
Plain English Version
Leaders of NATO. Susan Walsh, AP.

Leaders of NATO. Susan Walsh, AP.

The Middle East seems to be the biggest problem. There are battles going on in Syria and Iraq. There are hundreds of thousands of migrants trying to get out of those counties.

There is a new big problem facing the world. What is US foreign policy under a President Trump? For world leaders that is a more important matter than the Middle East.

Since World War II, the United States has been the protector of the world order. First, it confronted the Soviet Union. It was the cold war. The standoff was between Russia and the countries in Europe. It was the reason for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). America’s strength kept the Soviet Union from exp anding its empire. The West won that war. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is gone.

Citizens look to their leaders to protect their nation. The leaders all over the world have looked to the US to back them up. If they sense the US is no longer reliable, they will have to take steps.

An example is what taking place in Eastern Europe. Vladimir Putin is the President of Russia. He wants to restore Russia’s influence in the region. Latvia and Ukraine are two countries that lie along the Russian border. NATO’s job is to protect those counties. Will a President Trump continue to make good on NATO’s pledge? He has said he wants NATO countries to “spend more.” What does “spend more“ mean? How will Russia read his remarks? Will Germany and other countries wait to find out what his remarks mean?

The Far East is another matter. Japan and South Korea are our allies. Can they rely on the US?  They may ask whether to start to arm themselves. Should they include nuclear weapons in their arsenal? North Korea is showing off its nuclear power and making threats. China is watching for any advantage.

Here is what we know. Donald Trump has no coherent foreign policy. The lack of one is making it dangerous for all. The certainty of US support gave the free world confidence.

That confidence is gone for now. If it is every country for itself, we are all in harm’s way.

Source: The New York Times November 9, 2016

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