The following is an excerpt from The Editorial Board | July 23, 2016 | Nytimes.com |
The next American president will inherit a world of complex and growing challenges, including terrorism, an increasingly aggressive Russia and a Europe fracturing under economic and security stresses.
How might American national security and foreign policy change under Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, or Hillary Clinton, who is set to secure the Democratic nod this week?
Mr. Trump is pushing radical nationalist and isolationist ideas that do not square with his own party’s platform. He has a fallacious view of America as a nation in decline and disrespected abroad, and his plans to disengage from the world, tear up trade deals and use bullying tactics would be irrational and dangerous.
Mr. Trump said last week that under his leadership, America’s seven-decade-long commitment to NATO would be conditional — dependent on his conditions — an approach that would threaten the nation’s international role and put at risk a Western-led world order.
In an interview with The Times last Wednesday, he said his willingness to defend Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, all NATO members, against Russia would rest on whether they have “fulfilled their obligations to us,” presumably by spending more on defense. NATO’s commitment to defend its members against an attack is supposed to be sacrosanct; Mr. Trump’s approach would play into the hands of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, who is eager to have NATO unravel, since that would allow him more freedom to expand Russian influence.
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