What has happened to the foreign policy that Americans voted for on Nov. 8 with the election of Donald Trump, to include peace with Russia, an end to U.S. wars in the Middle East, and having rich allies pay for the cost of their own defense?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
“The senator from Kentucky,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), speaking of his colleague Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), “is working for Vladimir Putin . . . and I do not say that lightly.” What did Paul do to deserve being called a hireling of Putin? He declined to support McCain’s call for a unanimous Senate vote to bring Montenegro into NATO as the 29th member of a Cold War alliance President Donald Trump has called “obsolete.”
Bordered by Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania, tiny Montenegro has a population roughly that of D.C., and sits on the western coast of the most volatile peninsula in Europe.
What strategic benefit would accrue from having Montenegro as an ally that would justify the risk of our having to go to war should some neighbor breach Montenegro’s borders?
The vote that needs explaining here is not Paul’s.
It is the votes of those senators who are handing out U.S.-NATO war guarantees to countries most Americans could not find on a map.
Is no one besides Paul asking the relevant questions here?
What vital U.S. interest is imperiled in who comes to power in Podgorica, Montenegro? Why cannot Europe handle this problem in its own back yard?
Has Trump given McCain, who wanted President George W. Bush to intervene in a Russia-Georgia war—over South Ossetia—carte blanche to hand out war guarantees to unstable Balkan states?
Did Trump approve the expansion of NATO into all the successor states born of the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia?
Or is McCain hijacking U.S. foreign policy on NATO and Russia?
Trump should tell the Senate: No more admissions to NATO, no more U.S. war guarantees, unless I have recommended or approved them. Foreign policy is made in the White House, not on the Senate floor.
Indeed, what happened to the foreign policy America voted for—rapprochement with Russia, an end to U.S. wars in the Middle East, and having rich allies share more of the cost of their own defense?
It is U.S., not NATO defense spending that is rising to more than $50 billion this year. And today we learn the Pentagon has drawn up plans for the insertion of 1,000 more U.S. troops into Syria. While the ISIS caliphate seems doomed, this six-year Syrian war is far from over.
With the death of Communism, the end of the Cold War, and the collapse of the Bushite New World Order, America needs a new grand strategy, built upon the solid foundation of America first.
Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority and Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?