Op Ed

Must U.S. Protect Trump Hotels?

His businesses abroad could be terrorist targets. Taxpayers could pay the bill.

By - Jan 15th, 2017 05:51 pm
Donald Trump. Image from campaign website.

Donald Trump. Image from campaign website.

President-elect Donald Trump has trophy properties located throughout the world. They are terrorists’ targets.

What is our government’s responsibility for protecting Trump’s private properties?

This is not theoretical. It is a real question that affects our country’s security.

What better way to attack Trump or the United States than by terrorizing one of these trophy properties? If terrorists wish to get to Trump, they know that their easiest path is an economic one.

One of the goals of terrorists is to anger their targets to the point that extraordinary means are used to react to the terrorist acts. Then the target’s reaction results in recruitment and favorable publicity.

Trump will not be divesting his properties. In fact, he appears to be completing a deal to build properties in Indonesia. But even if he did plan to sell his properties, it would be difficult to do so on short notice. Some only use his name; others are partnerships. Many are solely owned. His patchwork quilt makes exact ownership complex.

To find most of Trump’s holdings, however, you or I or the terrorists can just go to Trump’s own website. You will see hotels in Panama City, Panama; New York City, Toronto, Waikiki, Miami, Las Vegas, Ireland and Chicago.

There are 17 golf courses including those in Dubai and Scotland as well as real estate in Istanbul, Seoul, India, Uruguay, Toronto, Panama City and Vancouver, Canada. Indonesia and Istanbul have been targets of terrorism and attacks in many of these locations have occurred.

I won’t list the many other holdings held by Trump in the U.S. and abroad, but suffice it to say that many would be easy and tempting targets for extremist groups.

We have never had a president whose wealth included global holdings that could be so well identified. Even if Mitt Romney had won the last election, his investments would have paled compared Trump’s.

What groups might target Trump? Enemies of Vladimir Putin, for one, or extreme right-wing American groups who are disappointed in what Trump promised, or Isis and other Middle East groups.

Does the U.S. government have responsibility for Trump’s private properties? Should the government protect these properties?

It is a question that Trump will find difficult to answer. He currently uses private body guards and the Secret Service, so he wants it both ways.

Bob Chernow served in the U.S. Special Forces, where he graduated from the Phoenix program, was trained as a Tactical Intelligence Officer and was awarded the Bronze Star & Air Medal for Valor. He has written and given talks on how to combat terrorism.

This op ed was originally published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

8 thoughts on “Op Ed: Must U.S. Protect Trump Hotels?”

  1. Rita says:

    We should not be sending military or contractors or paying anyone to protect anyone’s business or private interests abroad.

  2. Michael Schwister says:

    The Feds have protected American business interests in every war since WW2. Why stop now!

  3. Ryan N says:

    He’s supposedly a billionaire, he can pay for it himself.

  4. CJ says:

    No we should not. Did the army protect Cheney’s Blackwater… oh nevermind.

  5. John says:

    I am certainly not a Trump supporter! There seems to be a new scandal everyday. Our society elected this guy to represent us. Unfortunately, the baggage that comes with him is protecting the image of the country and the office of the President. As much as I feel conflicted by him, his interests now coincide with our national security and our world image. We have to protect his interests, because not doing that could cause another dangerous escalation on the world stage.

  6. Milwaukee Native says:

    The risks that Trump himself poses to national security seem immense–in no small part due to his cluelessness. His contempt for intelligence professionals is staggering. How that plays out will certainly be interesting. KellyAnn Conway and Steve Bannon will not be able to solve that growing standoff.

    Because Trump has never thought beyond his own interests, and has made dirty dealing SOP (including never never fully paying his bills–“just sue me” has been his motto), he has no clue what public service or the public good entails. Security for his personal empire will just be the tip of the iceberg of problems with a Trump presidency.

  7. K. Janus says:

    You’ll have to take my word on this, I am not a conspiracy nut, not in the least. The following popped up in my mind the other day:

    There is not one instance of a Trump holding (or property w/ licensing for use of name) being attacked, vandalized, or given a second look by any radicalized Muslim group. Given the amount that Trump runs at the mouth about all things Muslim, and his bromance with Putin (Russia is 15% Muslim), I wonder…

    Does Putin exert some sort of control over ISIS? Could there be collaboration?

    Please let me be clear, I am not anti- anyone, any race, creed, religion. (however I am anti-trump’s bad and arrogant behavior!

  8. Tim says:

    Trump can and should protect his own properties. Yeah, it will be more expensive now that he’s president.

    So what, he can write it off as a business expense. He got himself this far, there’s no reason for the government to step in… in fact, I’m sure he’d agree that government shouldn’t babysit everyone’s investments.

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