Op-ed: The US Should Be Strengthening Deterrence. The Opposite Is Happening.

Program Coordinator Abigail Stowe-Thurston and Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell wrote an op-ed for Defense One arguing that instead of debating no-first-use policies and other potential advancements, President Trump is undermining an alliance system built over decades.

Trust – real, solid trust – takes a long time to build, but it can be lost in an instant. The American public is now getting a real-time demonstration of how that concept applies to our hard won and carefully-constructed alliance system, especially as it applies to extended deterrence.
At a rally in Florida last week, President Trump told an audience, “We lose four and a half billion dollars to defend a country that’s rich as hell and probably doesn’t like us too much.” He was almost certainly alluding to the ongoing negotiations between the United States and South Korea about cost-sharing for U.S. troops in the country. These remarks were not only undiplomatic, they were completely misleading

As shocking as this type of rhetoric might once have been, it was very on-brand for Mr. Trump. Indeed, in an administration marked by inconsistency, one of the only consistent things has been the President’s steady stream of complaints about America’s closest allies. Read more