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Trump's NATO Debacle: Elephants on Glass Flooring

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Why Trump's Refusal to Commit Unconditionally to Article 5 is Such a Blow to the Alliance
In international politics, talk is cheap, deception is a virtue, naiveté and missed opportunities cost dearly. These are among the lessons I learned years ago from my professor of IR, John Mearsheimer of University of Chicago. Certainly, Hobbes or Machiavelli would agree with such statements. But, unlike in the anarchic balance of power world, the micro-cosmos of collective security systems and is built on unconditional common commitments and mutual trust. Security alliances’ deterrent power rests, among other things, on the Musketeerian doctrine of “all for one and one for all,” as well as on the mutual resolve to apply it. NATO’s Article 5 plays that precise role and it has been the cornerstone of the alliance’s deterrence power for near seven decades. That is why Donald Trump’s speech on May 25th in Brussels to the heads of the member-states of the alliance, and his failure explicitly and …

Trump's Gorbachev Moment

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“I couldn't wait to get to the most powerful position because I thought then I would be able to fix problems that only a leader can fix. But when I got there, I realized we needed a revolutionary change.” These are not the words of the just-inaugurated President Trump, even though they could easily be mistaken for his. These words belong to another president, long fallen into oblivion: the last Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and its first and last president – Michail Gorbachev. Unlike Trump, Gorbachev presided over a true “empire of evil”, driven by ideological fanaticism, economic determinism, and political oppression – in a way, a complete opposite of the U.S.: USSR was a communist dictatorship, U.S. is a capitalist liberal democracy; Gorbachev was a career apparatchik and a sincere believer in the virtues of communism, Trump is a businessmen with no prior political experience, whose belief in capitalism is perhaps the only certain characteristic of…