EU president, Jean Claude Junker, delivered a one-liner to Donald Trump in advance of this week's NATO summit.
"Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don't have that many."That must have gotten under the Mango Mussolini's skin. As he boarded Air Force One, Trump boasted that America has loads of allies. Yeah, sure Don, and how many of them answered America's call after the 9/11 attacks and fought along side the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or elsewhere?
How many of these supposed allies joined America's PermaWars as the United States demonstrated, to friend and foe alike, that All the King's Horses and All the King's Men consistently failed to deliver successful military or political outcomes even when they were up against illiterate Afghan farmboys with Korean War vintage assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades?
When America's Blowhard in Chief starts heaping scorn on NATO members he needs to be reminded that, in the Alliance's history, NATO's beating heart, the Article 5 "mutual defence" provision, has been invoked just once - by America - and the NATO membership (old NATO mainly) answered the call. Yet it was Trump who undermined Article 5 by suggesting America might not come to the defence of other NATO members should they be attacked - you guessed it - by Russia.
Thanks to Trump, the Europeans have understandably come to see America as their less-than-reliable ally. Trump has also undermined the confidence of America's traditional allies in Asia Pacific.
Unfortunately Trump has a lengthy history of sketchy deal making and cheating those who trust or depend on him. That was the story of his business career and he's shown no sign that his presidency will be markedly different.
Trump is a grifter. He's always been a grifter. Now, at 72 years old, he's not capable of meaningful change. There's a reason, several of them, that explain why he gets along best with people named Erdogan, Duterte, Orban, Kim and, of course, Putin. They see enough in him that is their own.