Trump Suddenly Decides to Screw Yet Another Ally

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CNN’s Nicole Gaouette reports that President Trump has suddenly decided that South Korea should pay the United States a whole lot more for the troops we station there:

Trump is demanding that South Korea pay roughly 500% more in 2020 to cover the cost of keeping US troops on the peninsula, a congressional aide and an administration official confirmed to CNN.
The price hike has frustrated Pentagon officials … deeply concerned Republican and Democratic lawmakers … and unnerved Seoul.

….In the US, congressional aides and Korea experts familiar with the talks say the President’s $4.7 billion demand came out of thin air, sending State and Defense Department officials scrambling to justify the number.

I can’t say that I care a great deal about the terms of our troop presence in South Korea, but I do care about whether our allies feel like they can trust us. Trump has made it abundantly clear that they can’t. From Canada to Europe to Ukraine to the Syrian Kurds and now to South Korea, Trump has repeatedly pulled the carpet out from under alliances both new and old. This is one reason, among many, that eight years of Trump could very well be far more than twice as catastrophic as four years.

And for the record, $4.7 billion in the South Korean national budget is about the equivalent of $50 billion in the US federal budget. It’s a lot of money he’s asking for.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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