Why we must defend Montenegro
New York Post
No political leader wants to “invoke the spirit of Neville Chamberlain,” said Rich Lowry, but that’s what President Trump did when writing off America’s NATO allies last week. The president complained about the U.S.’s commitment through NATO to defend Montenegro, population 600,000. “They may get aggressive,” Trump explained, “and congratulations, you’re in World War III.” This astonishing comment inevitably conjured up the infamous “appeasement” strategy of the former British prime minister, who in 1938 agreed to Germany’s annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia while dismissing it as “a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.” Trump’s words undoubtedly pleased Vladimir Putin; in recent years, Russia’s “predatory” dictator has invaded and seized territory from Ukraine and Georgia and backed a coup attempt in Montenegro. Like Montenegro, the Baltic States on Putin’s border—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—wholly depend on NATO’s security umbrella, which enabled them to transform themselves from “captive nations” of the Soviet Union into “vibrant, multiparty democracies.” The geopolitical reality is that Putin’s Russia “must have a westernmost boundary, enforced by a defensive alliance of like-minded Western democracies.” If Trump is unwilling to defend “small allies in faraway places,” it will surely encourage Putin’s aggression.