- The Washington Times - Friday, May 26, 2017

Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Friday that President Trump did “exactly the right thing” in addressing terrorism during his speech in Saudi Arabia.

“It seems to me that what President Trump did in Saudi Arabia is exactly the right thing to do. He spoke to some 50 heads of state from nations in that part of the world who are influential and able to talk to people of that faith, and begin to try to engage them, and persuade them that the goal is not to train young people to go out and kill other people. It’s to live and be a part of a society,” Mr. Rumsfeld said on Fox News.

“The purpose of terrorism of course is not to kill people, really it’s to terrorize, to alter behavior,” he said.

Mr. Rumsfeld also said he agreed with Mr. Trump asking NATO member counties to invest more in their own defense programs and help shoulder the financial burden.

“I was ambassador to NATO, I don’t know, 45 years ago, and we had the same message. It’s not what they pay NATO, it’s what they invest in their own defense as part of a military alliance, and I don’t know, I think they’re maybe five or six countries that are hitting the NATO target,” he said.

“President Trump was exactly right and it’s important that those countries understand that if they’re going to be part of a military alliance they have to step up and invest in their defense,” he said.

The former defense secretary also warned that the Russians will continue to push boundaries in Eastern Europe, like putting troops in Georgia and moving into Ukraine, if there are no penalties for their behavior.

“I think that if you want more of something, you reward it, and if you want less of something, you penalize it in economics,” Mr. Rumsfeld said. “They’re in the Ukraine and to the extent that that’s comfortable for them, and there’s no penalty, they’ll continue to do that and do more of it.”

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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