A former U.S. ambassador to Israel warned that President Donald Trump might blow up the international order as soon as next week.
Daniel Shapiro, who served as ambassador for nearly six years under President Barack Obama, said no plans appear to be in place if Trump pulls the U.S. out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which he said appears likely.
"I don't think we are fully grappling with the possibility that we could be on the on the cusp of a completely new era, a fundamental reshaping of the international order," Shapiro tweeted. "And I don't mean over the course of the Trump Administration. I mean by next week."
1. I don't think we are fully grappling with the possibility that we could be on the on the cusp of a completely ne… https://t.co/NhulGdbVJb— Dan Shapiro (@Dan Shapiro) 1531171995.0
Shapiro admitted the possibility sounded "outlandish," but he said it would be "insane" not to plan for what would happen if Trump undermined or destroyed NATO.
"Trump clearly wants to pull the US out of NATO," he tweeted. "He doesn't believe in the alliance (or any alliances); he thinks our allies take advantage of us; he complains that NATO is worse than NAFTA(whatever that means); he seeks purely transactional relations with our closest partners."
The former ambassador agreed alliance members should meet their 2 percent of GDP spending targets, and he said the president was right to push for that, but he said Trump's attacks on NATO allies showed he wanted out -- and that he'd already weakened the organization.
"Perhaps most damaging is that his rhetoric is building up hostility to NATO among his supporters," Shapiro tweeted. "It's a huge breach in the consensus American support for the alliance that has undergirded Western security for 70 years, and it won't disappear when Trump does."
He also questioned his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, whose long-term goal is the weakening or destruction of NATO and the European Union.
"What's more, his passionate desire for friendship with Putin is emboldening Russia & risks doing further damage to European security," Shapiro tweeted. "If he recognizes Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, if he seeks to tone down sanctions on Russia over its aggression vs Ukraine, watch out."
He said the next two weeks -- which includes the NATO summit and a private meeting between Putin and Trump -- could be crucially important to world history.
"If he sabotages the NATO summit the way he did the G-7, don't be surprised if he actually makes a move toward exiting NATO," Shapiro tweeted. "Think he won't? On what basis? Because his staff restrains him? Because of his strategic understanding? Please."
After that, he said, the world order could quickly fall apart.
"If we get there, the implications are innumerable & terrifying: Russia pawing at Baltics & other (Eastern and Central) European states; breakdown of joint defense structures; withdrawal of US troops from Euro bases; less restrained German foreign policy; weaker US power projection to Eurasia," Shapiro tweeted.
"That just scratches the surface," he continued. "We honestly cannot begin to imagine living in a new era without these international organizing structures. Because for all of NATO's challenges, no sane person or American political leader has or would contemplate such a reckless move."
"But it could happen," he added. "Our President doesn't know the history or strategy, doesn't listen to experts, personalizes everything & makes it transactional, & loves the drama of the outrageous move that dominates cable TV coverage. For him, pulling out of NATO is all gain, no cost."