Will UK Terror Attack Affect Trump's Comments On NATO?

Will UK Terror Attack Affect Trump's Comments On NATO?

A horrific and devastating nail bomb attack at Manchester Arena in England has brought ISIS and terrorism back to the forefront of the news cycle. With over twenty innocent civilians killed and scores seriously injured, the world awaits a response from London and its Western allies.  U.S. President Donald Trump is in the region and will be visiting NATO headquarters near Brussels, Belgium in coming days. Having just culminated his first foreign visit as head of state, to controversial anti-terror ally Saudi Arabia, Trump has an opportunity to turn around his sagging fortunes by exercising his foreign policy chops.

In recent weeks, Trump and his administration have been battered by a tide of scandal:  Michael Flynn (back again and again), the James Comey firing, and allegedly divulging state secrets to Russia during an Oval Office meeting. Although few have declared that Trump was intentionally breaking laws, many have opined that the nation’s chief executive is downright incompetent.  Indeed, Trump’s knee-jerk use of Twitter to assail critics and defend his views has only eroded his reputation as a leader.

But, with ISIS having claimed responsibility for the terror attack, can Trump re-focus the world’s attention on his campaign promise to destroy the reviled organization and win widespread support for his defense-heavy budget? Under attack for trying to slash spending on social welfare, Trump needs any opportunity to show that America needs to focus on military spending and anti-terror initiatives. 

Now Trump has evidence that his radical plans to boost defense spending are rooted in reality rather than simply a desire to play armchair general.

But showing citizens that more military strength could be needed to destroy ISIS is only part of what Trump needs to turn his woeful May around. He also needs plenty of positive press to help stem the flood of negativity that has overwhelmed his administration. By remaining defiant and combative since his January 20 inauguration, Trump has ensured that the only mainstream media outlet that does not continuously bash him is Fox News.

Fortunately for him, Trump is in a good position to seize the initiative and win accolades in a time of need. He can divert his European itinerary to rush to Britain and stand in solidarity with our steadfast allies. A decent White House speech-writer could turn a few public appearances with Theresa May and/or Queen Elizabeth into solid gold. With poise and eloquence, Trump could go from international goat to brave friend and protector.

The fact that the tragic attack occurred in England, which recently elected a Trumpish prime minister (May) and voted via referendum to leave the European Union, makes Trump’s public relations gambit easier. While France or Germany would receive Trump’s condolences and offers of assistance more coolly, a more conservative Britain will give Trump a supportive platform. Together, Trump and May can point to the dangers of open borders and lack of Western resolve to stamp out Islamic extremism.