Donald Trump announced that he was pulling US troops out of Syria last week. Senator Lindsey Graham, normally a Trump cheerleader, criticized the move, noting that it “put our allies . . . at risk.”
Graham might be right, but he should know better than to use that argument on Trump. The man doesn’t understand the concept of ‘allies’. He hasn’t really had any his whole life. He’s had business associates but not allies. The closest thing Trump has to an ally in business is Jared Kushner’s company, but Kushner is both family and an employee (advisor to the president), not an ally.
Trump sees the world in hierarchical terms: what matters is who is on top of who. In his view, ‘allies’ are there only to help him get what he wants. But there is no quid pro quo. When those ‘allies’ need something back, Trump feels no obligation to help out. It is all transactional to him and the deal always has to be tilted in his favor.
So while Senator Graham still expects Trump to support allies, the rest of the world has figured out that he isn’t a reliable partner. They know that when Trump talks about allies, it is really all lies.