WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) — A U.S. military officer has openly criticized Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump over his foreign policy views, including the accuastions South Korea is getting a defense free-ride from the U.S. without paying anything in return.
John Ford, a captain in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, said in an article posted in the War on the Rocks blog that Trump’s foreign policy would be “so cataclysmic for the United States that it might be impossible to undo the damage done.”
“At the core of Trump’s foreign policy is his demand that U.S. allies shoulder a greater share of the burden for their defense,” Ford said, noting that Trump has called for European countries to take the lead in dealing with Russia and criticized the terms of the U.S.-Japan alliance as being too favorable to Japan.
“Trump has reserved his harshest criticisms for South Korea,” the officer said, referring to the billionaire real estate mogul’s repeated criticism of Seoul for paying “nothing” when it relies on the U.S. for national defense.
Trump made the latest of such accusations in a campaign speech in South Carolina on Wednesday.
“Trump thinks of America’s alliances with Japan and South Korea, and its membership in NATO, as acts of charity. It seems that Trump has never considered the idea that it might be in America’s interest to maintain security alliances with other countries that help the United States defend the liberal order,” Ford said.
The allies provide basing rights for U.S. forces, and many of them provide substantial military forces that work with U.S. forces in hot spots around the world, he said, adding that Trump does not consider that those countries have other options aside from an alliance with the U.S.
“South Korea’s trade with China is now double its trade with the United States and there is a risk that over time, the gravitational pull of China’s economy will draw South Korea into China’s orbit,” he said.
“A policy of making more demands of U.S. allies might push America’s allies into the arms of rival powers and it may not be possible for Trump’s successor to put these alliances back together,” he added.