Trump May Save Funds for Domestic Policies by Slashing US' Operations With NATO

© AFP 2022 / Petras MalukasThe US and The NATO flag flie in front of two US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircrafts at the Air Base of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Šiauliai, Lithuania, on April 27, 2016.
The US and The NATO flag flie in front of two US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircrafts at the Air Base of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Šiauliai, Lithuania, on April 27, 2016. - Sputnik International
President-elect Donald Trump might pursue a US foreign policy premised on global disengagement and burden-sharing among allies, an approach that could help him fund domestic programs aimed at boosting the country’s economy, analysts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Before his election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton this week, Trump as a candidate promised to avoid military adventurism and long troop deployments around the world to focus on challenges at home.

"Trump may demand his NATO partners take seriously their burden-sharing obligations in terms of the collective defense expenditures of the Western alliance," defense analyst and Inter-American University of Puerto Rico professor Lajos Szaszdi said.

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Reducing US military operations and withdrawing from bases in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Europe and Japan would free up money for Trump’s domestic priorities, Szaszdi maintained. Cost savings from disengagement and burden-sharing, could be used to kick-start the US economy by modernizing infrastructure.

Washington might also call on Arab states in the Persian Gulf as well as its partners in the Pacific to assume a greater share of their self-defense responsibilities, lessening dependence on US military power.

"Under Trump, if he fulfills what he promised, the United States would abandon the aggressive and interventionist policies of the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations while trying to seek peace in international relations," Szaszdi asserted.

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The incoming Trump administration may promote regional efforts involving China, Pakistan, Iran and India to bring peace to Afghanistan and help the mineral-rich country open its economy, he argued.

There is also potential for US disengagement from Syria and Iraq once the Islamic State has been defeated, Szaszdi claimed, if Washington abandons many of its current policies.

"In this sense, the US should stop aiding and sponsoring Islamist Sunni terrorist groups in Syria, stopping first and foremost its sponsored flow of weapons to the Islamic State," the scholar said.

In his view, US allies in Europe must play a major role in rebuilding Syria once its civil war ends and in resolving the refugee crisis there.

"Reconstruction of the destroyed urban infrastructure would be needed for the return of the refugees, together with a jump-start of economic activity in the parts of the country devastated by war," Szaszdi stated.

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Although Trump might disengage in certain regions to best serve US interests, he added, Washington and its allies may seek cooperation with Russia in the war against terrorism. Such engagement could lessen tensions between NATO and Moscow, he observed.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to initiate a working relationship with Russia that could include a military and intelligence partnership to defeat the Islamist State in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

The New York real estate developer might also look to cooperate with Russia on space initiatives, arms control, restoration of peace in eastern Ukraine and renegotiating the Iran nuclear treaty.

Beyond diverting taxpayer money to domestic programs, Trump should consider investing in US defenses against asymmetrical cyber threats, Szaszdi believes.

"He would need strong cyber defenses to guard [US] industrial and national security secrets, and top-notch cyber warfare technology to spy on the competitors and to respond to cyberattacks with overwhelming cyber power," he asserted.

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Bradley Moss, a lawyer who specializes in national-security cases and serves on the board of the National Military Intelligence Association, told Sputnik that Trump is likely to pursue a mix of realpolitik and neo-isolationism. But how that approach plays out among US allies, he said, remains a topic of considerable concern in national-security circles.

"President Trump will almost certainly make some type of public effort to shift onto our allies more of the financial and military burden the United States has been bearing over the years," Moss predicted.

He also said China, Russia and Iran are likely to see how far they can push into traditional US spheres of influence without provoking a strong response from the Trump White House.

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