As it seems more than likely that Donald Trump will become the republican presidential candidate, he has in effect already sounded the death knell of US participation in NATO and other US international alliances.

On Feb. 10, Trump surpassed his previous most outrageous comments, by claiming that “one of the presidents of a big country” had asked him whether the US would still defend the country if they were invaded by Russia even if they didn’t pay. Trump recalled that he told that leader: “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them [Russia] to do whatever the hell they want,” apparently encouraging Moscow to attack a US ally.

Frighteningly, most US opinion polls suggest that Trump will probably win the US presidential elections in November. That will be a catastrophe for all democracies of the world, especially for those in Europe, which directly face the Russian threat. If Trump becomes president again, no NATO security guarantee will be credible.


The accuracy of opinion polls nine months before the elections might be debatable, but the risk of a Trump victory is a clear and present danger. Europe needs to prepare itself for the possible demise of NATO and the US security umbrella, which has guaranteed peace in Europe for 75 years.

The Financial Times summarized the situation succinctly in an editorial on Feb. 10: “Europe can no longer count on America’s security umbrella Trump is undermining its safety and the continent must respond.”

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It continued: “If Trump is not colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he is undoubtedly serving his interests.” The obvious conclusion for the news site is: “Europeans have to start thinking the unthinkable: how to plan for war without America.”

A major national security threat in the US is that it harbors millions of anonymous companies, and according to a verdict by the rightwing US Supreme Court in 2010 (“Citizens United”) unlimited amounts of anonymous corporate funding are allowed in US politics. In recent elections, anonymous companies have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the funding of both parties, and nobody knows who is behind these dark funds. The money can come from Russia or the Persian Gulf or from organized criminals.


Meanwhile, sensible Eastern Europeans predict that Russia is preparing to attack the Baltics and Poland in 3-5 years’ time. This is the eventuality for which Europe needs to prepare.

Since the US is unable to defend itself against alien dark money, Europe had better prepare to defend itself. It needs to adopt a comprehensive European security strategy. This could be done by the European memberts of NATO or the European Union, but it is vital that to include the United Kingdom, which probably has the best European military force. Europeans are not used to thinking strategically or on their own, so this requires serious reimagination.

First of all, Europe needs to establish a common security strategy not completely dependent on the possibly unreliable United States. Such a strategy needs to establish the role of each European country in warfare and military supplies. The EU must step out of its old inertia and consider what arms it really needs to face the Russian threat - all options must be open.


Secondly, arms expenditures must be given top priority as during wartime, given that Europe can no longer trust the United States. In recent years, Europe as a whole has spent 1.5 percent of GDP on its military, while the United States currently spends 3.5 percent of GDP and 6 percent of GDP in the 1980s. Europe has to swiftly raise its military expenditures to 3-4 percent of GDP and arm as fast as possible, following the Polish example which has gone to 4 percent.

Third,ly the European armaments industry needs to be integrated and fully open as a Single EU Market, which must be applied also to armaments and related industrial cooperation as it is in the United States.

Ultimately, Europe needs to face up to today's reality: Either Ukraine (and implicitly the West) wins, or Russia wins the current war. The obvious conclusion is that Russia must be defeated. Ukraine's cause is ours. We have to do whatever it takes to defeat Russia. The Baltic nations and the Poles understand that we must be grateful to the Ukrainians for all they have done and continue to do to defend the West.

The obvious conclusion is that Europe must deliver all the arms and finances Ukraine needs to not only stay afloat and win but should also invite Kyiv to join NATO on the 75th anniversary of NATO and maintain this alliance regardless of what happens with the US.


The best way of financing Ukraine is to confiscate all Russian sovereign assets in the West and transfer them to Ukraine as war reparations. There is no conceivable excuse for the West not to confiscate Russian state assets in the West, given how Russia has violated all international laws.

The possible election of Trump as US president is more likely than not to be a disaster for Europe’s security, so Europe must prepare itself as fast as possible.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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