Christiane Amanpour Explains That Trump's “Frightening” NATO Position Makes America “Less Safe”

Amanpour: “This Is In America's Interest, In The World's Interest, And It's Not About A Business Deal”

From the July 21 edition of CNN's New Day:

Video file

ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): Christiane, the Trump Doctrine, as he outlined in this New York Times speech, seems to be there are conditions, now, he would put for NATO and for whether or not the U.S. is going to defend the NATO allies. Basically, whether or not they pay up and carry their fair share. 

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Well, basically in that 45 minute interview, he upturned decades and generations of American, particularly Republican, foreign policy. He went into the isolationist mode, he talked about trade protection, things that people like -- he says his mentors are Henry Kissinger and James Baker -- have said mustn't happen. But the most, most frightening thing was what he said about NATO. And he used the NATO alliance almost as a transactional business alliance, saying, "If you don't pay up, you x number of NATO members, then we're not going to come to your support. So that's a complete break with American policy, because NATO is an American-led alliance, a security alliance, the trans-Atlantic security alliance, that was never about a marriage of equals. America is the biggest, most powerful economy and military in the world. And to think that the Baltics, or even Czechoslovakia or whatever, could pay up that kind of money for protection is simply, was never in the cards. Why does America want NATO to exist? Because, since World War II, it has stopped a war in Europe. Why does America want those alliances in Asia, Japan, Korea? To stop any further war on that continent. So this is in America's interest, in the world's interest, and it's not about a business deal. 


AMANPOUR: If I might be so bold, Nigel Farage is espousing a certain policy that Donald Trump agrees with as well, which is that it's -- I do believe that you believe that there are spheres of interests, that Russia should have its way in its traditional sphere of interest, and that certainly Donald Trump views leaders like President Putin, even President Erdogan in Turkey, as strong and doing their thing, and we should not interfere in what they do, right? So it's this sort of authoritarian, autocratic bent towards letting other countries do what they think is best in their interest, and America should stay out of it while America, quote-unquote, “cleans up its own house.” America is the leader of the free world. The leader of the free world, which wants to bring democracy, which wants to aid freedom, obviously, which wants to aid morality and values, all the kinds of things that we've grown up with and we believe are the right way. America first cannot be America first, if America is absent. That I think is the take away from this. 


AMANPOUR: Let's pick that apart. NATO is a defensive and, if necessary -- an attack on one is an attack on all. 

CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): Article 51.

AMANPOUR: Article 5 of NATO. So NATO was created, and let's be very clear because this is important for American foreign policy going forward, that this is the American-led security guarantee for all of Europe. And anything that messes with that and treats that as a purely dollars and cents transactional deal, which it was never envisaged as, and you're right, some countries have started to come forth with paying up the two percent of their GDP, but to break up NATO is -- and to say we're not coming to our allies' defense unless they pay us the money is a complete break. And it retrenches America into a less safe America. So America is going to retrench, what, behind fortress Atlantic and watch the rest of the world go to hell? It's not possible for American security. 


“NATO RIP”: Journalists Horrified By Trump Waffling On Security Guarantees

NBC's Mike Murphy: Trump's “Fly By The Seat Of His Pants” NATO Proposal “Can Be Deadly”

Jake Tapper: Trump’s NATO Stance Shows, “Essentially” He Doesn’t Believe The US Is “A Shining City On The Hill”