On Ukraine, under Trump, the U.S. has provided serious defensive military aid. If Ukraine is such a vital issue for national security, why did President Obama cave to the Russians and provide virtually no military aid at all? If anybody endangered “national security” in Ukraine, you’d have to conclude it was Obama and former vice president Joe Biden, not Trump — the trumped-up (pun intended), rumor-based, case from mid-level bureaucrats such as Taylor notwithstanding.

Which brings us to NATO. Turkey is an important member of NATO, and to be positioned to fight them (as some retired generals and admirals appear to advocate), would be terrible foreign policy. The rest of NATO also raises the issue of allies and friends. Trump’s cranky, undiplomatic performance at his first NATO meeting led quickly to Europeans significantly increasing their contributions to NATO funding. It was followed by European Union representatives coming to Washington to engage in serious trade talks for the first time in a long time.

Trump may overuse the stick and appall diplomats, but that does not mean he is ineffective in advancing American interests. Also on the friends and allies axis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy of shutting down nuclear power plants and becoming heavily dependent on Russian natural gas is a far greater threat to NATO than anything Trump has done. To the contrary, Trump’s U.S. energy policies allow the U.S. to offer Europe LNG to offset potential Russian political/energy blackmail.