Opinion: Trump’s treatment of America’s NATO allies was disgraceful

President Trump leaves after a ceremony at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on May 25.
President Trump leaves after a ceremony at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on May 25.
(Etienne Laurent / EPA)

To the editor: As noted in your editorial, the United States’ North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies had hoped that the president would reaffirm Article 5 of the 68-year-old NATO treaty during his recent visit. (“Trump didn’t win any friends in Europe,” editorial, May 26)

Article 5 was included in the treaty after World War II to deter a Soviet attack on Western Europe; however, the only time that it has been invoked was after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S. America’s NATO allies backed up their rhetorical support with tangible action.

The U.S. did not have the number of airborne warning aircraft to adequately protect American cities, and NATO sent seven planes with 830 crewmen from 13 countries to patrol American skies until May 2002. This was the first time in history that the continental United States was protected by foreign military forces.


Out of both gratitude for this commitment and in keeping with the central objective of the single most important agreement to which the U.S. is a party, President Trump should clearly and forcefully reassert the American commitment to the NATO treaty.

Dan Caldwell, Malibu

The writer is a professor of political science at Pepperdine University.


To the editor: No, dear editor, the ugly American is you.

The president returns from an enormously productive overseas trip, and yet you fail to acknowledge his many achievements and instead focus on him “brushing his way past” a fellow NATO leader.

When you must stoop that low to criticize the man, it’s clear he’s being successful.

Leonard Lamensdorf, Westlake Village


To the editor: It’s sad and embarassing that our president appears unable to think beyond the moment. He simply does not understand that “America first” necessarily includes the concept that our safety is dependent on the security of our European allies.

If Europe is threatened, so too is America.

Trump’s inability to think maturely places all of us and the values we hold at risk. Our country’s stature as a beacon of freedom and decent values has now been permanently undermined, just as the presidency has been permanently discredited. Like the students at Trump University, America was scammed; unlike the students, however, the U.S. electorate cannot sue for redress.

For the first time in my life, I must say: I’m embarrassed to be an American.

Irving Greines, Los Angeles

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