Today I’m writing about another interaction our President has had with international leaders because it seems like drama is created every time.
Trump attended the meeting of NATO Leaders yesterday and critics are having a field day regarding his behavior and mannerisms. He was reported as being very cold and aggressive towards members – and there is a video of Trump shoving the PM of Montenegro. Overall many people are classifying these as extremely embarrassing for the US. I agree with them on that aspect. I understand he is trying to crack down on NATO members but there’s no reason not to still be diplomatic. We still want positive relationships with these countries and the U.S. is currently operating under the assumption that we are too powerful to be made an enemy. I don’t think this is the way to make any political friends though, which is extremely important in our current global climate.
I’m also extremely curious to see how the US’s relationship with Russia and Saudi Arabia plays out. I don’t want to see us giving out exceptions or turning a blind eye to human rights violations. Religious intolerance, oppression of women, girls, and the LGBTQ community, and decriminalizing domestic violence are just some offenses on a long list. I understand the importance of good relationships with such influential countries but I hope we don’t prioritize economics or the military over the rights and lives of people in these countries.
I think that many people do agree with Trump on pressuring other NATO countries to increase their financial contributions. Records show that the US has been disproportionately paying for all of the NATO operations and only 5 countries met the 2% (of gdp) promise. My ICDG group discussed last semester how the US could be using their disproportionate contribution as political leverage. I’m hoping that we will still be able to maintain positive, cooperative relationships with these countries and I’m curious to see where the world will go from here.