Trump takes on NATO, for better or for worse

Newell Normand
Thursday, July 12th
Newell talks to CATO Institute VP for Defense and Foreign Policy Christopher Preble about Trump's moves at the NATO summit in Brussels. Is he right on the issues, wrong on delivery? Or, do you believe talk is cheap?

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning all lens and we've got a great show lined up for you today in the last hour we're gonna talk about. An NBA draft rule change that's being proposed as to whether or not. Kids should be drafted right out of high school. Is that a good thing is that a bad thing or. What are your thoughts on it we'll talk to some folks about that the CO why's that happening now on what's called on relative to that issue. And the second hour we're gonna have just opened lines you wanna talk about health care crime prevention short term rentals so many different issues somebody breaking news stories across the country that are a consequence. So when it here which you have to say in your opportunity calling in way you know there's issues. India first are we talk about president strong. Guess his performance. And NATO and whether or not. His straight forward. Plain talking. Is not well received overseas and now we have mainstream media trying to say that he doesn't know what he's talking about you know and understand the funding and financing and things of that nature I think those of smokescreen to I think he knows exactly what he's talking about the case that up. And I think he believes that talk is cheap and they've been talking about this financing formula for a long time. It's not a question about whether or not you human nature of that Nutten Denton amount of money it's about a whole lot of things and joining us on line. Is Chris to pull preamble of vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute Christopher welcome to the issue. You so Christopher there seems to be. A lot of misunderstanding about what's going on but there also seems. That there may have been some movement in a positive direction and listen to this cut Chris. There are probably worried because the United States was not being treated fairly but now we are because the commitment has been up so much. So now they are and I was very firm yesterday. You have to understand I know a lot of the people in the room I was here last year I let them know last year. Any less firm manner but pretty firm and there is an additional 33 billion dollars. So it seems as though it's happening and in fact the Secretary General himself has said that there's been significant improvement as it relates to financing of their military operations and each individual country. Living up to the mandate. What are your thoughts. Well I'm afraid that. This little misleading us on several doubles first of all that the court we have to remember that that NATO countries don't pay the United States or even pay NATO they each own defense budgets and I think occasionally the president mislead by. Suggesting that people lost money. But the more important point is why is this. Why do European countries feel like they don't really need to spend more on dissent and answer seems fairly obvious to me that they don't feel great for. Apart every little secret threats to the United States has been good defender and then since the end of war to effectively and and you know a little history is important here this was what we intend this is what the US government US policy makers intended it was different for European countries to. To a certain it's going to be dependent upon US military power precisely because we didn't want them to go off and girl so my argument has always been sort of reaping what we so. And it it the president was actually committed to present at trump was actually committed to doing what he eats it Chia. Then we we the United States of America shouldn't be spending more arm military we should be spending lat. But for him to lecture the Europeans for not spending more while we're spending more again that they look at that they why would spend more money when when. The increase. That the United States just push through on its defense budget is greater than in higher UK defense budget hole thing. They can't possibly make up the difference and so you know party here inquirer to be partly not vote member parliament European country. I would I would say lots of nice things you have an immediate commitment to have a potential to us. But isn't that the the issue in and of itself a mean when you think back to the Afghanistan war. There were a number of Conde yachts that that were missed because. Of some of the countries that were involved in in that. And NATO endeavor we're not able to fill the bill of the the the needs of the US and UK and others. Because they haven't spent the money they haven't kept their military defenses current they don't have the same level. Of competency relative to the technology that we have and and the armaments that we have so when there's a particular mission there requires certain types of equipment they're very few countries that can fit the bill. And why would that. They look at the US military and they in the US military's so much more capable than anything we could possibly Jerry. Why would we ever do that the answer is because the United States for decades been telling European countries. That we will defend view. And that you will help us when we asked but when the time comes they don't have the capability to do anything about it but Mike Mike great concern watching this play out is. Is where are the alternatives being discussed where are your European countries and we understand that we can't expect the United States Pavel about all the time under all circumstances. We need to develop some alternatives. Related to the the end situation I'll be here honestly I'd look at the year after that that situation as to why would European country wannabe in Afghanistan the United States shouldn't wanna be and a Afghanistan and seventeen years and counting. That's but that's a hold separate unit. Conversation for the day I mean they did they may that they made the choice to go and I think what president trump is saying when they owe us money it's kind of like. I have to put up more assets and resources in these times of conflict that you do because you don't have. Brian and you know and and part of the problem with Emmitt harder but hear me out once second part of the problem with the US is that even in spite of the increase military spending. We have an antiquated military. By by the United States by any study when they look at it. We are faced with significant shortages in it in our equipment antiquated. A lot of it from World War II still we're still you know re engineering some of that stuff and they say that is. Good money after bad and we continue to have these issues whereby and a threat as it relates to Russia and China. Is that they have the latest and greatest from a technological standpoint in the air warfare. And that is what the perceived threat is supposed to be. Yeah I don't think that's accurate I think US military is far away at the most people military on the planet that our technological. Advantage still prodigious. The fact is we spend an enormous amount of money and our military far more one and adjusted for inflation than we did during the Cold War fight the Soviet Union. The reason why we have failed to achieve our objectives in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. It's not because of the weakness of our military it's because things will go after military to do probably can't be done by military means that is nation building. So I I don't agree with that argument and as for it if you know we really should talk about what's the greatest threat to the United States if there is one in Russia or China. It seems to me that Russia's declining power China's rising power we should be much more focused on agent Pacific and we are in the Atlantic. As a transatlantic relation. So let's talk about the pipeline because he brings up the pipeline as well. And you know there seems to be a lot of misgivings about the fact that he's even mentioning this but if we. Continued to say that gruden is the gavel. And you know strange things happened in diplomacy. We're we're putting ourselves up with a heavy reliance. On natural gas energy sources. With a double. And it seems to be counter intuitive. Well I was very surprised that the president brought that up to be honestly because. After all look the president campaign managers in jail right now for questionable business dealings including the business dealings Russians. His national security advisor has pled guilty to. To you know offenses associate with his involvement with a Russian. So it's weird to me that he brought it up but he brought twenty the point the Germans have chosen. To develop and he you know to expand their access to natural gas from from Germany. And I think it tells you that they don't see the nature of the threats from Russia. The same way that we do allow the same way that some people in the United States do more accurately. Anyway I thought it was period he brought it up there are certainly some people would have been very animated about this. For me it just sort of makes logical sense they're trying to access group energy resources in the past where they can the most logical most of most economical ways from rush. And right now there's no doubt about that but that. It I mean when we come back on our domestic land and we talk about what's going on politically here. There are those that are heavily criticizing. The president for saying. You know Russia is somebody. That we need to talk to we needed to develop a relationship with our own allies are strongest allies are doing the same thing hell they're hooking up a pipeline. But we don't ever talk about those issues and in their seems to be this. Political stream that just wants to beat down beat down beat down on this issue and I agree with you I don't think the threat of Russia think that the British China. And as you know and. I think we China's courts all sorely in trading partners of their as. I understand I don't understand I understand it the complexities of all of position as well. But the facts of the matter is is where were floating around in mainstream media would all kinds of misinformation for the sake of whatever that political messaging they desire to be. And it's not true. I mean it you know it's just there's so many that these these issues are so complex you just can't pull one detail out and say this is the end Dalton and well right. I I I think you are correct that. Good bit these issues are complex my concern is the president has boiled down to too simplistic. Talking points. And the simplistic talking point that is working for right now very much so. Is telling the American people he's convinced the European governments to pony up additional money to the United States that misleading that's not accurate. And so I would like us to how to be reasoned. Debate. About the purpose of US military power the purpose of NATO the purpose of US security guarantees to allies. But that's not what we're doing instead the president is making it sort of it's it's very personal to sort of things like I got the Europeans to spend more money on defense. And I don't think that's it that's useful in terms of looking at the long term future for European security did in fact. They are less. They can towel on the United States last reliably than they have in the past. They need to have some alternatives just calling on Uncle Sam whenever they get in trouble they're not developing alternative to. Yeah I would agree with you I think a lot of what he said should not be set out to open should be setting corn closed door sessions and they can be down around. But they need to come out of their room with a unified fraud. And you know them in it if you when you think about it that would be the whole motivation for an alliance right. Right of course the differences between temporary alliance and hormonal it's NATO become a permanent alliance. It's become an end in itself but we should ask ourselves too wordy original purpose it would be ritual for the NATO which is keep the Russians the Germans down the American men. Famously. Whether those are still that the goals that we should be seeking. Yeah I think. Based on those terms is the NATO alliances worked. Quite well. But it's really in our best interest of the United States that pitchers and frankly Europe's that's it for so long term. Fully for the United States to be the dominant security player in it in Europe but I don't think that that certainly connect. Christopher do you believe that there is some of the policy issues of the individual countries within NATO looks for example. Immigration open borders the issue with brags that now that the conflict and and the friction there. That that heightens the necessity ordered diminishes and there has no effect at all and the importance of NATO. I think it. Well it depends on how a plane out to be perfectly honest with you so I think there's there are definitely things that bind the European countries together including not merely their security relationship through NATO also there are there economic ties which art. Are beneficial in the hole for for European countries it is better for them but they're able to trade. With fewer barriers. And whatnot that's that's a process that goes back to you know also ran afterward to. And I think we should be concerned about rising nationalism in in Europe to next candidates are pulling these various countries apart. But I don't think we should look at NATO's the only thing that's holding them together and I think there are other things too so. Yeah I mean I didn't mean to imply that but I mean do you do it does no I doubt that I'll tell you I've heard that are on the human relations. Are you about a lot Washington were not for NATO. Europe would would spiral out of control I just don't think it's true. Colorado Christopher approval thank you so much for joining us vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute appreciate your insight your time is always. I all right we'll be right back of your own hole stale and old to 601870. Or Texas at 8787. Inning. Let us so what you think about the manner in which president trump has handled this situation. Is actions speak louder than words talk is cheap you tell me we'll be right back after the break. We're back we'll go to line one talk to Janice in New Orleans would say you Janice. Yes hello I did get on the morning. OK now I would be picked. The president should have done. I really wanna feel that last night. I love it at DePaul you know when they had done on Hannity tell them as my disabled with tank and and what we've gotten out of these countries need to become responsible step up to the play. And and put more money on the line to protect themselves. I don't know who haven't decided that the United States of America. Have to be responsible for protecting every pot. Need to be responsible. And and we need to look out for us out there and feel like China and not just say I'm still look and that country. I think twelve point he shook hands. With that little guy area. And they kind of piece of paper through them immediately. And then he comes back he's trying to say we don't we hope really that worried about him anymore. I can't we have to worry about him very much. You know he's not play into trump I don't have any chance for about Kim Jung on what's that. Now and I think you're right I think that things are very complex and I I'd I don't agree with. The expert that I that I had on totally I do agree that the original mission that NATO was the US had an interest in com. Controlling. These allies in dealing with the challenges that were being presented in. Post World War II obviously at that in Korea and in others for the first time that they actually held themselves. Of some of the benefits thereof. But times have changed. And I think that's the point previous presidents have made albeit in a much more diplomatic way than the way president trumps approached it. But. You know talk is cheap and it seems to me that the the manner in which is a brought this is he's actually. Had. And I had a call we had a call to action and in their ponying up the money and I think the importance there is that everybody stand ready. That collectively collaborative Li together that we're gonna have the best technology the best equipment the best trained men and women. To defend whatever the challenges are and so that we can get to mission accomplished in a much more ordered construction and efficient way. I don't see any downside. To that I do believe it's in the Europeans interest to do so. Got to get to a break thanks so much for Colin and we'll be right back we wanna hear from you. Rebecca and only blue running opinion poll. Trump takes on NATO is he right on the issue wrong and a delivery or do you believe talk is cheap meaning that he's just trying to move them past the chatter and more into action. On on these particular. Issues. So you know that these these issues continue to present themselves one of the issues that he's talked about is. This. Pipelines in this is something that was said earlier this year. Like all in the United States opposes the north streams through pipelines. We citi's undermining Europe's overall energy security and stability. And it provides Russia's yet another tool to politicize. Theater with the energy as a political tool. So what's happening is there's a deal of 800 mile long planned pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea that runs from the northern coast of Germany. That you Saint Petersburg. In Russia and add that pipeline is designed to provide natural gas. And you know so what's happening is there are many in the west the US included in many members of NATO was well that are very concerned. That we are going to become that we've been Germany's going to become very relied upon. This very important energy source. From Russia not to mention you're creating huge profits for them and financing a lot of what they do in their. It it has been shown that their intention is to pump the peace profits back in two there. Military development. So I think. The president is right task I understand why it's being done is probably. The cheapest way in the most expedient and efficient way to get natural gas to Germany. A lot of the natural gas fields in the North Sea are gradually disappearing. Britain Norway in an avalanche. Our northern Europe's biggest producers and they rely on North Sea feels so they have to find an alternative source I get that understand that. But we couldn't. Ten you do talk about the double in Vladimir Putin so why would we wanna go do a deal with a double and I think that's the point that president trump is making. Is that if we're looking at our national security interest will collectively collaborative league together under the NATO umbrella. Why is it that we would not have had a Franken a conversation about whether or not we're gonna start to do these purchases in inhabit pipelines to Russia. As you just heard Rex Tillerson talk about. When he was in position. Two opined. About that did the frailty of that in our thinking and in allowing that to a car. The US stands ready obviously we have our own. Is selfish interest stands ready to export. Natural gas to Germany I doubt very seriously we can provide a for the same price that they would be buying it for. From Russia as sell as I said before I get that but it highlights the complexities. Of the issues that we're trying to deal with. In Europe. And I think a number the other eastern bloc countries are of concern as well because they don't want to be beholden to Germany. Because Germany may be may become. The primary distributor of natural gas through that pipeline is a very efficient way of doing it once it hits the shore as soon Europe and to be able to disseminate that. Throughout. The southern part Europe as well. So there's any number of issues here and there are those that think. That. You know that that this is not a good idea and the previous administration president Barack Obama was opposed. To this pipeline. True. And and I think it seems to me that we have become increasingly frustrated. And in typical diplomatic talks. Of you know this playing the niceties and not understanding and being blunt. And bold. And decisive on some of these issues. It may be in I don't know this for a fact and I'm not defending the president but. It may be that he wants to try different tack here. You know it's like guys this isn't working we we need to kind of self reflect on what it is that we're trying to accomplish here. And go about it a different way because we can't continue to do these things and engage in duplicity. That is not working for the overall best interest. Of all of us that as allies under the NATO umbrella. And when you and you dates and I asked the our guest on the show about whether or not wrecks it didn't. The open borders and the economic centers in in Europe. Where the all of this was driving a lot of the friction were inside of NATO and and there are some because I've heard the same rumors that believe. That the strength of NATO's the only thing that's been able to squelch a lot of that Boortz. And if that's going to be the continued role in NATO. I don't think he's he's those sorts when he tries to get NATO to clean up their act. And not be so duplicitous and what they're doing. L on any number of fronts now that may be a very simplistic view. And maybe the president is engaged in a simplistic view as well I would agree with Chris before pre will from the Cato institute on that. But the other views the complex. Diverse. Way of of trying to move this these issues along and worked we've been dealing with this for the last three presidencies. And it ended hasn't gotten off the dead center. And at some point in time Russia and China are not gonna have the level of respect that they otherwise would have for NATO. Because NATO's not taking care of their own business. In the strength of Russia and China is that they can act unilaterally. And we do. Chews on many fronts to do so collaborative glee with our allies. Give us a call 260187. Near Texas at 87870. 65% of the respondents say that president trump is right all and the issues will be right back after the break. I. Talking about the NATO. Meet England on attacks on don't know why you keep supporting this idiot Russia and China both are not a threat we as a nation love to create an enemy so we go in. Fighting in I don't know how you can say that this is not about me defending trump under trying to figure out what he's doing and and trying to make some sense south it. If you don't think that Russia and China. Are threats to the United States then. Why we have a Russian collusion investigation. Why are we constantly compact complaining about. A patent infringement by China theft of intellectual property by China. The fact that China is. Behind. Probably does breakdown in the North Korean negotiations. And that they're always trying to play miss direction with the US on any number of issues the same way that prudent to us. You can't have it both ways. You've got to give credit where its where credit's due. I would suggest that maybe we should be more cheerleaders for the country forget about the leader as a country is not. Donald Trump. Nor was it Obama. Norwood is it bush. Nor was it Clinton. Nor was it the first bush nor Ronald Reagan or any of them. It's us. We're the country knocked down. They're not the country we. We elect them to be the representative of the country. Whether you like what he says or doesn't like what he says in the end you need to be the cheerleader for the country in my view Russia small humble opinion. But to say that we should not fear China and Russia that there are not a threat than what do we have all of his goal won't. Why do we have to hear from all of these intelligence officials saying that they are. And that would trump does say that he doesn't think that that rushes as big a threat as everybody says they are he gets. Chastise in and blistered and in and blasted for that for that statement. It it is just more and more hypocrisy. If we stop focus in on who the leader was in stark focus at all what's in the best interest of our country and cheerleading part country. And if we decide that the issue is important. We should be wanting to succeed. On the issue. In my view. And those were some of the points that I was trying to make with. The portion of pull in the being in the Yang. On NATO in that everybody's got their own best self interest and obviously Germany. Has expressed one I have in this. Pipeline. With Russia. Now the only thing that makes. That the German. Situation. A little bit different. Then most others. Is that in Gerhard Schroeder of the social Democrats who actually lost the election. Went Angela Merkel came in he ended up and he championed this gas connection. Within weeks he ends up being and head of the commission to build the pipeline. And shortly there afterwards it's called norte string. Two and shortly there afterwards she's a member of the shareholder committee and now he is a board member of several consortium in which Russian government controlled energy company gas prom. Is the majority shareholder. So he's in bed. With the Russians most recently he became chairman of rosneft which is Russia's largest oil company and controlled by the Kremlin. He's the former leader of Germany. Now they don't wanna talk about. That but there's seems to be some political. Considerations. That are that are here as well. In this country that we probably would have had a special counselor appointed and we would have had they paid massive investigation. Into that kind of situation happening. But not in Germany and in fact many Germans on the left and the right of the political spectrum over there believe. That they would rather engage Russia and then to be opposed. To Russia. So there are a lot of divergent. Points of view in NATO at the present time. And just start expert that we had had come on Christopher. Doesn't believe that Russia is anywhere near the threat that they once were that they believe that it's China. And I think the only thing that that president trump is trying to two. Make a point of his that. We're not gonna dance around these are the issues we're not gonna tiptoe through the tulips. Let's take a more let's take a Moline straight up let's talk a bottom water we have to worry about whether or not we're gonna offend somebody. Let's bring them up let's talk about a let's get them off the table let's say we got X saying let's move all. And figure out what's in the best interest of all of us as we move on. Instead it just couldn't constantly administration after administration after administration talk around the issue. What are here for you give us a call 260187. If Texas 87870. This is normal and every video. Scuttle on one talk to Brian engine Tilley what's so you Brian. And read quote from a new Yorker. Obama pretty interest being in regard to Russia. You know our intelligence. Pretty much. Think about Russia that Russia regain influence. In foreign countries but operating. Suddenly impatient. Exert different energy. A bridge over different kinds of people and uses of being too cute blackmail but all exploitation of greed. Stupidity. Ego and sexual. All which is tree Tropez. In abundant. Have a nine. All right hey Brian thank you for that there's no doubt that that's a good tool that used in the intelligence gathering world and you know and then that's that's what you use you you look you prey upon the weaknesses of individuals in order to gain leverage in order to gain. Information. I dare say that trump is not the only person that exhibits some of those weaknesses across this country I think actually probably most people do. And that's why they invest in things and schemes that are too good to be true and it turned out to not be. True. So I'm not sure that that's an earth shattering revelation it's something that the Chinese the Russians and and the US engage in daily we'll be right back.