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Trump Questions NATO, Asia Nuclear Weapons Ahead Of Washington Summit

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Trump Questions NATO, Asia Nuclear Weapons Ahead Of Washington Summit

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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he leads the news media on a tour of the construction site of the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Building in Washington, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday doubled down on his criticisam of NATO, a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy for decades, and called for the alliance’s overhaul days before world leaders convene in Washington.

President Barack Obama will host the Nuclear Security Summit on Thursday and Friday with 56 delegations in attendance. While preventing nuclear terrorism will headline the discussions, Trump’s views could be a topic as well, particularly behind the scenes.

In another sharp departure from historic U.S. policy, Trump said in an interview published on Sunday by The New York Times that he would consider letting Japan and South Korea build their own nuclear weapons, rather than rely on America for protection against North Korea and China.

The billionaire businessman, vying to win his party’s nomination for the Nov. 8 presidential election, also said he might halt U.S. purchases of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies unless they commit ground troops to fight Islamic State or pay the United States to do so.

“NATO is obsolete,” Trump said on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

The 28-country North Atlantic Treaty Organization was set up in a different era, Trump said, when the main threat to the West was the Soviet Union. It is ill-suited to fighting terrorism and costs the United States too much, he added.

“We should readjust NATO … it can be trimmed up and it can be, uh, it can be reconfigured and you can call it NATO, but it’s going to be changed,” he said.

On March 21, Trump said the United States should slash its financial support for NATO, which was formed in 1949 after World War Two and became a bulwark against Soviet expansionism.

Russia will not attend the upcoming nuclear summit, but China’s President Xi Jinping will.

Obama said the United States will review international efforts to combat Islamic State militants during the summit in the wake of the Brussels attacks.

Trump’s chief rival for the Republican nomination, Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the real estate mogul’s views on NATO “catastrophically foolish.” Speaking on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Cruz said Trump is “out of his depth.”

“Abandoning Europe, withdrawing from the most successful military alliance of modern times, it makes no sense at all,” Cruz said. “It would hand a massive victory to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, a massive victory to ISIS,” the militant group also known as Islamic State.

Cruz said if he were elected president, his approach to Islamic State would be to “carpet bomb them into oblivion.”

 

(Additional reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Mary Milliken)

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he leads the news media on a tour of the construction site of the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Building in Washington, March 21, 2016.   REUTERS/Jim Bourg

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13 Comments

  1. itsfun March 28, 2016

    If I am right, the treaty with Japan, says they can’t make nuclear weapons. I know the President cannot make treaties without the approval of Congress, can the President change the terms of a treaty without Congress?

    Reply
    1. I of John March 28, 2016

      Trump is an imbecile. Japan is not allowed to build nukes by treaty. Beyond that, they have zero ambition to do so. Trump propbably insulted the Japanese just by suggestion it.

      Reply
      1. itsfun March 28, 2016

        My question was can a President change a treat on his/her loneself.

        Reply
        1. I of John March 28, 2016

          He could break one, easily enough but not change one without congress.

          Reply
    2. FireBaron March 28, 2016

      Nope. Interesting about Japan. While they will probably never make a nuclear weapon, they are proponents of nuclear power – or at least they were.

      Reply
  2. yabbed March 28, 2016

    Trump is just repeating the litany of crazy stuff the GOP nutters have been saying for years. None of it is workable or right for this country, all of it would remove the USA from its position of world leadership, and almost none of it is even possible.

    Reply
  3. Eleanore Whitaker March 28, 2016

    Oh how wonderful….More nukes…just what we need increasing proliferation for a planetary radiation meltdown. The reality is that Trump is the worst possible candidate who has zero foreign affairs knowledge or experience and who will deal with his perceived enemies as he does in business…destroy them by pitting them against each other.

    Reply
    1. johninPCFL March 28, 2016

      See, if he were smart he’d apply the new “Mexico Rule”. We’d build and supply them, and make Korea and Japan pay for them.

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker March 29, 2016

        There are two adorable little kids who live next door I would not like to be incinerated by control freak men. Time to put the war machines in Republican states out of business.

        I’m so fed up with our tax dollars making profits for ONLY Republican states who lap up more than 65% of every budget with prison industry tax subsidies, phony SSDI for Mutton Chops and Corn Pones on unemployment, the Corn Pone $200 billion every year in Agri insurance, the cost of Republican state pollution and their fines they never pay and dump on the rest of the states as if we are their plantation slaves.

        Trump is just one more control freak asshat who can’t keep his Mr. Man mouth shut.

        Reply
  4. bobnstuff March 28, 2016

    Trump would ally with Russia if he had his choice. Just one more proof that he is clueless. It is frightening that Cruz is the saner one and he is crazy. How is it that a man running for an office doesn’t understand the powers of the job? Trump believes the President can do anything he wants.

    Reply
    1. iamproteus March 28, 2016

      Bob, you didn’t finish your last sentence…..”if the president’s last name is Trump”.

      Reply
  5. johninPCFL March 28, 2016

    “he might halt U.S. purchases of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies unless they commit ground troops to fight Islamic State or pay the United States to do so.”
    So Trump would push the US towards communism: in a communist state the government tells you where you can or cannot buy the raw goods for production.
    “The Petrodollar: Under this new arrangement, any country that sought to purchase oil from Saudi Arabia would be required to first exchange their own national currency for U.S. dollars. In exchange for Saudi Arabia’s willingness to denominate their oil sales exclusively in U.S. dollars, the United States offered weapons and protection of their oil fields from neighboring nations, including Israel.”
    So, we have an agreement with the Saudis to denominate oil in dollars (for all buyers), which forces everybody else to own some dollars to trade for oil (good for us.) The Saudi Kingdom is under considerable pressure to devalue the riyal against the dollar to make its internal social programs more affordable (devalue = they get more riyals per barrel.) Crashing the agreement would give them US permission to devalue their currency (good for them) but would make the dollar stronger internationally, making all of our exports more expensive (bad for us.)

    Reply
  6. Dominick Vila March 28, 2016

    Dismantling NATO, and withholding funding, at a time when Russia invaded the Crimea, has been supporting attacks against the Ukraine and Chechnya, and engaging in military adventurism in Syria (Putin just ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from that country, after inflicting tremendous damage to rebels fighting Assad), is naive and dangerous.
    NATO was not created to fight terrorism. It was created to defend Western Europe against potential Soviet expansionism.
    The organization may have to be revamped, but Trump’s approach is not the way to go. If nothing else, because it will demoralize NATO, and because it may encourage some of our allies to withdraw. If that happens, we may find ourselves alone fighting and paying for Russian adventurism. No wonder Putin loves Trump!
    The last thing we need is nuclear weapons proliferation. Allowing Japan and South Korea to acquire nuclear weapons is a huge mistake. The USA has enough nuclear warheads, and ICBMs to fend off any attacks against these allies, and the entire world is well aware of that.
    A more pressing concern is the expansion of nuclear weapons capabilities in Pakistan. While we were worried about Iran building a nuclear weapon; Pakistan, the home of some of the most radical and dangerous religious zealots is on track to have as many as 250 nuclear warheads within a few years. That’s what the upcoming nuclear weapons meeting should address, and that is likely to become one of the worst headaches for the West in years to come. If nothing else, because of the likelihood of those weapons, and delivery systems, falling in terrorists hands.

    Reply

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