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European Allies Seek to Trump-Proof NATO

Skepticism is growing in Europe about the Democrats winning the presidential election. And the leaders of Europe know well that Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of NATO. The organization has 32 members, but the U.S. is far and away the strongest member with the biggest military and the most weapons. If Trump stopped supplying weapons to Ukraine, Russia could probably roll over it in weeks and incorporate it entirely into Russia. Then Vladimir Putin could try to gobble up the three small Baltic countries. They are members of NATO, so that would obligate the other members to defend them. Whether they successfully defend them without the U.S. is on the mind of the defense minister of every European NATO member. And none of them wants an all-out war in Europe. With the U.S. in NATO, Vladimir Putin would think 10 times before trying to take over the Baltic countries. Without the U.S. it might take only 1 think.

With all these things in mind, the European defense ministers of NATO countries will be huddling on defense strategies that don't rely on the (potentially unreliable) U.S. at this week's NATO summit. They are worried that Trump wouldn't be fazed by a ground war all over Europe, even though historically, such wars tend to quickly become world wars. Although the U.K. is not in the E.U., it is in NATO and has nuclear weapons. So does France. Last year, Germany said it was planning to build them, but so far there is no word about that. Discussing their nuclear plans is not something countries tend to do on TV until the weapons are working. Well, unless that country is North Korea.

Many NATO leaders are scared witless about Trump and doing what they can to deal with the possibility that they may have to fight Russia on their own. They are doing things like making sure their militaries are ready to go to war if need be and they have weapons stockpiled. But that aside, some of them are also worried about Biden. They are not so sure he will make it to Jan. 20, 2029, even if he wins the election. They are also concerned he might not be all-in for a war, if it came to that, and even less sure he could be an effective leader, both on the military front and the political front. For many of them, Kamala Harris is an unknown quantity.

The NATO summit will be in D.C. starting tomorrow. Biden is planning to attend, which also has political value for him. He will be in unscripted contact with world leaders and has the opportunity to act presidential and in charge. Of course, he has to do it. Dozens of European leaders and thousands of attendees will show up in D.C. this week. Traffic in D.C. will be completely snarled all week, with several metro stations closed and buses rerouted. Some streets will be closed and commuters blocked. However, it is not like a convention, so we are not sure if the alternate prostitutes will all make it, since the real action will be in Milwaukee next week and people will start to arrive there for the pregame show late this week and over the weekend. (V)

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