Asked about Russia’s threatening activities, which have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”Every reporter on national security should have to read Thucydides because they have totally forgotten history.
“If they fulfill their obligations to us,” he added, “the answer is yes.”
Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be the first time that a major candidate for president had suggested conditioning the United States’ defense of its major allies.
As for Trump's statement. In a vacuum, it is stupid to condition protection within NATO because it is a mutual defense pact. If a country is in NATO, it has to be defended as a matter of fact, otherwise NATO falls apart. Trump should kick member states out of NATO immediately if they are seen as not contributing, not refuse to defend them.
The bigger issue, which has gone down the memory hole, is that the United States cannot afford the empire:
He said the rest of the world would learn to adjust to his approach. “I would prefer to be able to continue” existing agreements, he said, but only if allies stopped taking advantage of what he called an era of American largess that was no longer affordable.Trump critics don't want to deal with any of the substance behind his 4th grade reading level statements. They can't win rebutting Trump with "Wow Just Wow," but they also don't want to debate the issue. The debate, as they say, is over. The established powers know they are running a highly unpopular foreign policy.