Day by Day, Trump is Making America Less Secure

March 30, 2016

A candidate for Congress explains why Trump would be a disaster as president and why his opponent for office is reckless for endorsing the reality TV star to be commander-in-chief.

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Under some cynical theories, I should be happy to see the Republican Party collapsing under the leadership of Donald Trump. After all, I am a Democrat running for office in my hometown in western New York state. But I’ve spent over 22 years in the Navy serving this country and its security, and as a patriot, Trump’s candidacy has me deeply concerned. Trump is not just an embarrassment to the Republican Party. He is a danger and a disgrace to the United States of America.

Any endorsement of Trump lends legitimacy to his dangerous vision for America, further placing our military service members in danger and further weakening our national security. As of this writing only seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives have endorsed Donald Trump and his reality TV campaign: Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania; Chris Collins of New York; Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee; Renee Ellmers of North Carolina; Duncan D. Hunter of California; Tom Marino of Pennsylvania; and my opponent, Tom Reed of New York. These “leaders” either don’t recognize, or don’t care, about the danger that Trump poses to our fighting men and women. In either case, their endorsements prove that they, like Trump himself, are also unfit for office.

Here’s the blunt truth: Trump has no concept of what U.S. national security requires. Even now, in his role as a leading contender for the Republican nomination, Trump is weakening our standing internationally and is putting our military men and women at risk around the globe. He is feeding false stereotypes of the United States to the world and is a walking recruitment video for radical Islamic terrorists. He is encouraging Putin’s reckless military behavior in Europe and the Middle East. His derogatory statements about NATO play directly into Russia’s hands by eroding our allies’ confidence in a continued U.S. commitment to Europe. His assertion that the United States should scale back its presence in the Pacific no doubt has Chinese Communist Party leaders giddy. Despite his claims to have studied the Iran nuclear deal — “greater by far than anybody else” — Trump appears to have a near-zero understanding of nuclear weapons. All this and more shows that Trump has no understanding of what constitutes U.S. national security interests. And he definitely does not comprehend the costs our service members and their families bear when our military is deployed recklessly.

Worst of all, he would force our military men and women to choose between either following his unlawful orders or defending the Constitution, which means he is wholly unfit to serve as commander-in-chief. That is why the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, when asked about Trump’s proposals to both expand the use of torture and target civilians, stated that any illegal orders issued to the military would damage morale and be “inconsistent with the values of our nation.” It is why former CIA Director Michael Hayden has stated that the U.S. military would refuse to act if a President Trump issued the unlawful orders he campaigns on.  And it is why 121 Republican national security experts have signed on to an unprecedented letter rejecting Trump as a presidential candidate, stating: “His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle” and that a President Trump would “make America less safe … diminish our standing in the world … [and pose] a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States.”

There is understandable anger coursing through the country right now, especially when many hard-working Americans in rural communities like my district continue to be left behind by our politicians and our economy. Trump has successfully tapped into that frustration, and provides Republican voters with an alternative to the typical establishment candidates.  But Trump in charge of our national security would be a disaster.


John Plumb is a fourth generation Western New Yorker, Navy Reserve Commander, and Democratic candidate for Congress in NY-23 ( He has served as a submarine officer in the Navy, an official at the Pentagon, and most recently at the National Security Council. He has not previously held public office. Use of his military rank and job titles does not imply endorsement by the United States Navy or the Department of Defense.


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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5 thoughts on “Day by Day, Trump is Making America Less Secure

  1. This author of this article believes like too many others that selected Western Nations have the right to impose their political will on other nations (peoples) throughout the world. Western imperialism from the period before World War II was in Asia and elsewhere based on continuing atempts by England, France, the U.S., etc to economically gain from those ventures.

    As Marine Corps General Smedley Butler once noted the U.S, Military was simply the strong arm provided so selected members of our politically influential business class could prosper from business dealings in lands where their presence simply was not wanted. Later, in my era, as a serving Naval Officer who spent much time afloat in various commands in theSouth China Sea and elsewhere throughout Asia, we of the U.S. Armed Forces provided the same type of military force — this time to back up our government’s attempt to enforce its political and cultural will on the peoples of other nations of the world. After all, Father America knew best — so the bombs dropped and the shells flew in Vietnam (for instance) to keep a right wing capatilist (?) Dictator in power versus the evil Socialist Dictator from the North.

    Later, In the Middle East we inserted Marines to show the unruly four or five contending parties that we were the boss — and the bombs dropped, the shells flew Americans died, and again we left in defeat. In Somalia, the Warlords had to go, then the Serbs had to be bombed to convince them not to put down a rebellion in their land. In Iraq we decided to remove the government and their supposed nuclear weapons. Well, the weapons weren’t there, but we still removed the Dictator, and had him and his Cabinet Members hung, killed 10 or 15 thousand of his men defending thier land against unwelcome crusading Americans and then we allowed chaos to reign resululting in another 100,000 or so dying violently. But, no problem we were fighting the evil scourge of Al Qaeda in that land rather than at home. Apparently we believed they would sail here and invade our shores. So we announced their defeat there in Iraq, their bodies surely were among the 100,000+ dead local, well maybe, or it seems maybe not. Think of the benefit had we stayed — just as in Lebanon in 1980, the presence of our few would have kept the unruly locals and hiding Al Qaeda from morphing into. We know — history is on our side, well maybe not.

    Fifteen years ago or so the U.S. entered in Afghanistan to eliminate the Al Qaeda in that land, or was it to drive them from it; but we hung around to eliminate the evil scourge of the Taliban Clique and it followers then ruling major parts of that tribal ruled land. Fear not, as in Iraq we gave their people the right to vote and sent women to school — heroes are we. And, in the process created a pro-Western government and military. We showed the Taliban the wisdom of our ways and they are gone — well, maybe not. Well, at least they won’t win so long as American planes drop Made in the USA bombs on them. Sound familiar, if not think South Vietnam.

    Now the good Commander is concerned, because we have a distardly candidate running for President who may not believe Democratic (not Democrat) America has the presumed (or maybe God Given) right to decide which nation will rule that area of land once part of Russia called the Ukraine and to determine which Nation shall dominate in the 7,500 +/- mile distant South China Sea. How dare a local nation such as China turn the body of water to their South into their Carribean — that is only for us in the West. Next thing you know they are going to want their own equivalent of Gitmo in that area. We Americans can’t allow that level of local cntrol for an Asian Nation.

    Down with Trump as a politial candidate for President. If he is elected then the bombs may not drop on so many deserving individuals, our shells will have to remain in the ammo lockers on board ships, the infantrymen will remain on their base. So many others around the world will not enjoy having their national will dictated to them by heavily armed U.S. government representatives, and we will need to sell fewer bonds and incur less national debt

    And spare me the B.S. that I don’t have a grasp of Foreign Relations and National Security. Long before the Commander and today’s professional Think Tank collegiate crowd espousing the modern version of imperialistism which its followers claim constitutes intellectual wisdom I and many other military officers witnessed the carnage it created, heard too many Americans say their last words dying to keep some dictator in power, saw the bombs drop and witnessed the explosions and fire heaped on locals fighting for the other dictator, and finally saw those we backed losing and finding refuge in our land — carrying out the millions our taxpayers gave them. We even helped them flee, money ladden suitacases or bank books and all, but we didn’t see them visiting the graves at Arlington — where so many of us have family members burried.

    Major General Smedley Butler, USMC ret’d, was right, the Commander is wrong. On this issue, Donald Trump is far more correct and far more humane than those believing as my fellow Commander (albeit seperated by decades) does. There is no logical economic or political risk to the U.S. from having local nations decide which one rules territory in their neighborhood. It is time we recognized tha China is comming of age and ridding Asia of Western rule — whether we like it not. We of may have killed off and defeated the Asians (Native Amerricans) living and ruling in this land and replaced their rule with that from Europeans, but they are throwing us out of Asia — THEIR HOMELAND, not ours. Time to go and stay home.

    If this country is once again foolish enough to get mired in trillion plus dollar cost of the Middle Eastern (Southwest Asian) quicksand we deserve the next military disaster that will befall us. NATO is obsolete, the Europeans have created profitable societies on the American taxpayers back for too long. They have nuclear weapons, no one is going to onquer them. If they wish to contest Russia over control of the lands once part of Russia / the Soviet Union let them carry the cost or pocket the savings from non-interferene. We serve to gain nothing politically or economically based on the outcome of that struggle — should there be one. Forget you not that the Ukrainians provided many of the Concentration Camp guards and soldiers who fought for the NAZI cause in World War II. Let them worry about themselves, we owe them nothing.

    Again, time to cut the costs or our Imperialistic Style foreign policy, to save lives, to retire the American policeman of the world, and to restrict our interference only to those areas where we may still have a need for natural resources such as oil — should we be foolish enough to continue not exploiting our resources, to beprevented by government poliies from doing so on an adequate basis needed to rid us of a requirement for Middle Eastern Oil.

    Time to end most forward basing and to come home, and if a foreign nation wishes our protection — let them who will economically and plitically benefit pay for it –not the American taxpayer, with a few exeptions where we have incurred a moral debt based on our previous actions such as in the Phillipines, but not supporting their claims to the outer Islands claimed by the Chinese. Yes, I know it is a country of Islands, I spent rather some time there.

    Again, time to rid this nation of the costs of a failed foreign policy that has ill served this land and our people for so long. Time for the Think Tankers and College-government-college crowd to fconcentrate on teaching.

    In true government fashion please blame my (non-existent) editor for any typos or the like, not the deserving me.

    1. Cliff maintains that one single Republican – Major General Smedley Butler – has the one and only true opinion on terrorism and possible war strategy?
      I agree with John Plumb’s assertion that without experienced and cooler heads, the US could in fact become embroiled in more unnecessary wars. Trump is anything but temperate or knowledgeable about these issues – after all, as he said ” the first person I consult on foreign affairs is myself”

      As for Tom Reed – he even went against his own party to endorse Donald Trump, leaving one to only wonder: what’s in it for him? After all, that is the only reason Tom Reed makes a decision – political or otherwise.

  2. i think what is making your ‘military men and women’ unsafe is decades of war and aggression in the Muslim world, invading dozens of countries and murdering millions of Muslim women and children

    it has nothing to do with trumps perfectly pedestrian and common sense assertions

    1. The problem with people like Plumb is that they continue to pretend that NATO is an alliance of sovereign nations, which are free to leave it at any time. Yes, Etsablishmentarians always bring up the fact that the French government was not threatened or violently overthrown after De Gaulle pulled out of NATO in the mid-60s. What they leave out is that De Gaulle was the subject of assassination attempts, and a massive student insurrection in Paris that bears the hallmarks of ‘colored revolution’ after he defied Washington’s will.

      NATO is not and has not been a ‘defensive’ alliance since it attacked the sovereign Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, if not some of the bombing missions it undertook against the Bosnian Serbs earlier. NATO destroyed the legitimate government of Libya without leaving anything else in its place and now Al-Qaeda and ISIS are rampant in Libya. NATO as an alliance and through its spokesmen never takes responsibility for anything it has done, the closest is Director General Jens Stoltenberg’s late half-assed apology to the people of Montenegro for how many Montenegrins and Serbs were killed by NATO bombs in Bill Clinton’s illegal, unconstitutional and undeclared war in 1999, for which the 42nd POTUS should have been impeached rather than perjuring himself about sex with Monica Lewinsky.

      Finally Trump may be among the first, but he won’t be the last politician who questions the value of NATO if the Alliance can’t do a damn thing about the mass influx of young military age Muslim males into member countries, especially Greece and Germany, thanks to the Islamist, ISIS/Al-Nusra sponsoring, and increasingly authoritarian and thuggish neo-Ottoman regime that runs a NATO member state, Turkey. If NATO won’t defend Europe from being overrun by young and increasingly radicalized Muslims while defending the Baltics and Poland against the largely imaginary threat of a Russian invasion that will never happen, whose interests does it truly serve? The member states, or individuals and corporate groups who view NATO members as little more than vassals, MIC cash cows and cannon fodder?