History buffs will remember that Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s failure to explicitly include the Korea Peninsula within the defense perimeter of the United States was believed by many to mean that the U.S. would not defend South Korea from attack. This belief was seen as contributing to the decision by the North Koreans (with the active support of the USSR) to invade South Korea in June of 1950. Fast forward to 2016: Donald Trump has just enunciated his intention, if elected, not to honor our collective defense obligations under Article 5 of the NATO Founding Treaty unless he’s personally satisfied that the country under attack has fully met its financial or other membership obligations. Rather than projecting a strong signal of unity amongst NATO member states in the face of possible aggression by Mr. Putin, Mr. Trump now wants to signal a highly conditional relationship in which an attack on one member might be met with a military response by the U.S. if, after checking the records and books of account for NATO, Mr. Trump concludes that all the dues are in fact current and that there are no deficits, etc. that might render their membership “unsatisfactory” in his mind*. In other words, just as in the Korea situation, Mr. Trump has signaled to Putin that our commitment to respond to an attack against a NATO ally is no longer certain or dependable. Trump now invites Putin to test the limits of Trump’s willingness to confront force with force after so clearly implying that he’s reluctant to do so. This is what happens when a man who knows nothing about international security affairs and foreign policy thinks he can apply his limited intellect to serious matters of state. And because he’s too narcissistic to admit his limitations or his mistakes, he can never reverse course or make corrections (or accept the counsel of true experts).

Speaking of which…James Baker, George Shultz, and Condoleezza Rice: how can you, by remaining silent, not accept some culpability for legitimizing this man’s quest to sit in the Oval Office? This is not an issue of Party. This should be a matter of principle and of conscience. Being unqualified for the office of president would be bad enough, but it’s now self-evident that Mr. Trump would endanger the vital national interests of the United States were he to succeed in becoming the president. Speak out! Your voices matter now more than ever.

*This would be the equivalent of paying for subscription fire services from the Trump Fire Department. If your house catches fire, you call the Trump Fire Department and they put you on hold while they check the status of your account. No fire-fighting equipment will be dispatched until and unless your account is deemed to be in “satisfactory” condition. Great service concept from a “master” businessman. Calamitous public policy. An arsonist’s dream come true.

The Instigator

Original Article can be found here!