But Ramaswamy, who has also floated
taking the U.S. out of the United Nations, has privately held the view that it’s past time to remove the U.S. from NATO. Asked about his comments out of the spotlight, Ramaswamy’s campaign spokesperson Tricia Mclaughlin declined to comment directly on what he would do regarding NATO, but didn’t deny the candidate’s stance.
“Vivek has serious concerns that most NATO allies fail to meet their military investment commitments and will reevaluate our own support as necessary. He also believes that post Cold War NATO expansionism has unnecessarily increased the risk of major conflict with Russia,” she said.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have taken action to prevent the end of America’s prominent spot in NATO. Congress approved a bill that
stops any president from unilaterally ending America’s participation in the alliance, which considers an attack on one member as an attack on all. The only time NATO acted on that was after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, leading allies to join American forces in Afghanistan to root out al-Qaeda.
It’s unlikely Ramaswamy will have the opportunity to order the withdrawal from behind the Resolute Desk. Polls show him a distant fourth in national polls and nowhere near winning in Iowa and New Hampshire.
But Ramaswamy is not the only NATO-wary Republican candidate. As president,
Trump discussed taking the U.S. out of the alliance and may
yet to do so if he reenters the Oval Office. “We have to finish the process we began under my administration of fundamentally reevaluating NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission,”
reads his campaign website.
It’s possible Ramaswamy joins a Republican administration, especially Trump’s, as he has remained in the frontrunner’s good graces and is close with Tucker Carlson, a staunch Trump supporter. Ramaswamy has taken positions that appeal to the MAGA base, like making a deal with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine, cutting economic ties with China and ending American military adventures abroad. He has occasionally run afoul of U.S. foreign policy orthodoxy, such as when he
suggested ending aid to Israel — even after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
Ramaswamy, however, isn’t looking for a complete removal of the United States from world affairs. He has
promoted military strikes on Mexican drug cartels to curb the spread of fentanyl, and has warned other countries, namely China, that if they wade deeper into the Western Hemisphere, they will “
have hell to pay.”