There is something to look forward to in the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.
He has scared the hell out of the international community and opened the door to re-think all of our foreign entanglements.
British lawmakers have considered banning Trump from England. A former Australian prime minister said the prospect of Trump winning makes him “tremble.”
This is positive.
Many years ago I attended a meeting of the House Republican Policy Committee chaired by the sainted Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois. The speaker that day was a former high-ranking State Department official with expertise in arms control.
Our Arms Control and Disarmament Agency was on the verge of signing an international agreement that would limit the speed of anti-missile missiles to the current speed of the missiles we were developing and which we were sharing with Israel.
I asked why we would agree to stop advancing our defensive capability until the world catches up with us.
Henry smiled his gentle smile and said sadly, “Bureaucratic inertia. Their job is to get agreements and this one seems doable.”
A few years later President Bill Clinton asked Congress for support of his intervention in the civil war in Bosnia. One of his arguments was that this action was necessary “to save NATO.”
I responded, “It’s time for us to admit that NATO’s mission expired in August of 1989 and it deserves an elegant state funeral with full military honors.”
After World War II the Soviet Union threatened much of Eastern Europe. Stalin’s 1948 blockade of West Berlin caused political leaders to respond and NATO was organized in 1949.
Originally, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom agreed to consider attack against one an attack against all.
That security provision has moved many nations to seek entry. An additional 17 nations have been added as members.
To ensure defensive capability NATO requires that member nations commit to spending at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Today only four of 28 member nations comply with that provision. NATO has morphed from a security alliance to a political one.
The reason for NATO’s formation, the Soviet Union, no longer exists. NATO exists to exist.
It is not possible to adjust the course of a 70-year-old bureaucracy. NATO should be totally abolished. A new alliance should be built directed at new threats by terrorist organizations that have no state to confront. It should be established in the Middle East with totally new people so the old doesn’t infect the new.
As NATO has been stultified by its bureaucratic morass, so too has the United Nations been burdened by bureaucratic stasis.
What was begun in 1945 to provide a peaceful setting to talk through disputes between nations has become an antagonistic setting for 193 nations to reward tyrants and punish freedom.
O'Sullivan's Law states “any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.”
The expressly left wing position in world affairs today is that Palestinians are oppressed and Israel is the oppressor. The U.N. exists to punish Israel.
The United States funds 22 percent of the U.N. ‘s two-year budget of $13.9 billion. We also pay 26 percent of their peacekeeping budget as well as large amounts of money for their various “cost centers.”
I have a modest proposal for President Trump: The buildings of the United Nations are over a half-century old. They are full of asbestos and lacking in the necessary improvements to accommodate the technological changes of the last two decades. The U.N. remodeling bill is well over $2 billion and climbing.
We should buy the U.N. facilities in New York for $3 billion provided that they use the money to build their new facilities in a developing nation. We would then auction the buildings off.
We will remain as a member of the U.N. and pay dues proportionate with the rest of the nations on the Security Council.
If the U.N. were located in, say, North Africa, the setting would be less appealing for media attention or long work sessions by ambassadors.
With declining attention by the media, nations will begin to treat the U.N. less deferentially and some will drift away as the U.S. refuses to play “Sugar Daddy” to the world.
In due course the U.N. will become an old-folks home for senile diplomats to send out ponderous press releases that will be studiously ignored.
If a Trump presidency creates an opportunity for the United States to re-think these monuments to the past that would be a propitious beginning.
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