Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper discussed that fact that Trump would likely undermine more than just our NATO allies following his dangerous remarks that he’d “encourage” Russia to attack NATO allies who don’t pay their bills.
After discussing Trump’s affinity for dictators and strongmen, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Esper whether he believed Trump would “essentially give Putin the greenlight to invade a NATO country” if he gets back into the White House and whether “that a real prospect that Americans should be worried about.”
“I wouldn’t say it that way. I am concerned,” Esper replied. “I think it’s likely that if he returns to the White House, he will completely cut off support for Ukraine and that will begin the slow collapse of the alliance behind Ukraine and lead to their increased vulnerability against Russia.”
Esper then explained what would likely happen next:
Further, I think at some point fairly soon, he would threaten that if our NATO allies don’t live up to their financial commitments that he would be begin withdrawing troops out of their countries as he ordered me to do with Germany in the summer of 2020.
And so again, that will undermine the alliance itself and really signal weakness and vulnerability to Vladimir Putin, so whether that leads to a conflict or what, I don’t know. I hate to hazard a guess.
But look, he will proceed along those lines and it won’t just be in Europe, I think he has concerns and deep reservations about our alliance and other relationship with other allies like Japan and Korea.
So he’d just hand the keys to the kingdom to Putin. Esper is no longer in government and even he was tepid in his response to just how dangerous Trump’s rhetoric is. I’m not holding my breath for any Republicans in Congress to speak up.