Former Trump Advisers Warn of Possible US Withdrawal from NATO in Second Term

Insights from former Trump administration officials shed light on the potential consequences of a second term for the former president and his stance on NATO.

Former advisers to Donald Trump have revealed that the former president may seek to formally withdraw the United States from the NATO alliance if he wins a second term. As US allies express concern over Trump’s recent comments encouraging Russia to attack European allies, the revelations from these former officials provide further insight into Trump’s disparagement of US security commitments and his skepticism towards NATO. In this upcoming book, “The Return of Great Powers,” multiple sources shed light on Trump’s views on NATO, South Korea, Japan, Ukraine, and Taiwan, highlighting the potential implications of a second Trump presidency.

Trump’s Disdain for NATO

According to the book, Trump’s disparagement of NATO extended beyond his public criticisms of member countries’ defense spending. Former senior US officials, including John Bolton and John Kelly, revealed that Trump saw no value in NATO and even considered withdrawing the US from the alliance during his first term. Kelly noted that Trump believed that without NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin would not engage in aggressive actions. These revelations raise concerns about the future of US-NATO relations under a potential second Trump term.

The 2018 NATO Summit

The book recounts a critical moment in US-NATO relations during the 2018 NATO summit in Brussels. Former officials described how Trump expressed his desire to withdraw the US from NATO, prompting then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper to prepare for the withdrawal. Bolton recalled the fear and uncertainty surrounding Trump’s intentions during the summit. Ultimately, Trump pulled back from his decision, but the episode highlighted his willingness to consider such a drastic move.

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Potential Targets: Ukraine and Taiwan

The book also explores the potential consequences of a second Trump term for US support to Ukraine and Taiwan. Former officials warned that Trump’s approach to international relations, driven by his transactional mindset, could result in the end of US support for Ukraine. Bolton cited Trump’s comment about ending the war in Ukraine in one day if reelected, suggesting that the former president may prioritize making deals over supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Similarly, Trump’s dismissive attitude towards Taiwan raises concerns about the future of US-Taiwan relations. Bolton recalled Trump’s analogy of Taiwan as a small tip of a pen compared to China, indicating that Trump may not prioritize defending Taiwan against a potential Chinese invasion.

Conclusion: The insights from former Trump advisers in “The Return of Great Powers” paint a concerning picture of a potential second Trump term and its implications for US-NATO relations, Ukraine, and Taiwan. The possibility of a US withdrawal from NATO, coupled with Trump’s transactional approach to international relations, raises questions about the future of global security and US alliances. As the book’s publication approaches, these revelations serve as a reminder of the importance of US leadership and commitment to international alliances in maintaining stability and peace in an increasingly complex world.