Trump’s First Foreign Trip A Disaster

This past week Donald Trump has been on a disastrous first foreign trip as President of the United States. In addition to failing to recognize Israel’s geographic position in the Middle East and attempting to down play his controversial sharing of classified intelligence with the Russians, Trump also attended the NATO summit where he not only shoved another head of state but also called one our strongest European Allies, Germany, “very bad.”


This visit is being lauded as “the single least effective visit by an American President to NATO in 68 years.” Instead of showing the United States’ commitment to global and national security, Trump’s behavior on this trip and at this summit have been an embarrassment. Here are all the ways Donald Trump is compromising the United States’ standing with its allies, all while making our country and the globe less secure:


  • Failing to Emphasize the US’s Commitment to Article 5: “The allies had hoped to hear a robust endorsement of the NATO Treaty’s Article 5, which commits them to a one-for-all, all-for-one principle that has been the foundation of the alliance since it was established. What they got instead was a vague promise to never forsake the friends who stood by our side after the Sept. 11 attacks, and assurances from Sean Spicer, the press secretary, of a 100 percent commitment to Article 5.” – The New York Times


  • Embracing Authoritarian Leaders On First Foreign Trip: “The question is made all the more pressing in view of Mr. Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of countless autocrats, among them Vladimir Putin of Russia and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, where he just paid a deferential visit and assured Sunni Arab leaders that “we are not here to lecture” despite their abominable records on human rights.” – The New York Times


  • Insulting NATO Allies After Leaking Intelligence To Russia:  “Trump’s lecture was particularly striking because his administration has spent the past few weeks weakening the U.S. alliance with other NATO states through non-financial means. For instance, the president himself leaked classified intelligence about ISIS to the Russian government, NATO’s primary antagonist…” – ThinkProgress


  • Refusing to Address The Russian Threat to NATO Allies: “And while Trump addressed the threat of terrorism, he didn’t harp on the Russian threat to allay allies’ fears, in another swing-and-miss. Baltic countries, in particular, are worried about massing Russian military forces that could overwhelm them, and were hoping for the typical, ironclad U.S. commitment, but left disappointed.” – Foreign Policy


  • Continued Closeness with Vladimir Putin and the Russian Government: “That Mr. Trump and the allies were unable to agree on a common approach toward Russia was also worrisome. Moscow has become increasingly aggressive as Mr. Putin annexed Crimea, waged war in eastern Ukraine, meddled in the American and European elections and intervened militarily in Syria. The most that emerged from a meeting between Mr. Trump and Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, was that the two shared the same line on Ukraine. All told, Mr. Trump’s commitment to NATO and America’s tradition of leadership remain very much up in the air. Should the president abdicate both, no one would be happier than Vladimir Putin.” – The New York Times