NATO is based on the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in 1949 when Europe was in shambles, formed as a defense alliance against possible Russian aggression. An integrated military structure was built up under U.S. guidance. NATO has increased from 12 countries to 29. At inception, America had to provide most of the money, as it was a “wealthy” country.
Over the years, even as Europe recovered, career “diplomats” expanded the thinking that the “wealthy” U.S. “owed it” to help Europe, even though America had already saved Europe from the Nazis.
Today, the U.S. pays 70+% of NATO’s military expenses for territorial defense. This, while the U.S. has an $85B trade deficit with the EU, through May (last year it was $151B due to European tariffs on U.S. goods). In 2014, NATO members agreed to all pay 2% of GDP, yet only four of its European members are on track to meet 2%, while the U.S. is paying 3.6% ($686B) of its much larger GDP.
At the NATO summit in Brussels this week, Donald Trump lambasted delinquent members to step up and fulfill their obligations that they agreed to. He meted out some tough love, based on the reasonable expectation that true allies would pay their own way. Too many NATO countries say that Russia is a great threat, but they don’t spend money like Russia is a great threat. This makes it a good thing when Trump uses a carrot and a stick.
Why should the U.S. defend Luxembourg as much as we would defend Palm Beach County, Florida? But this is what Europeans do, because they want us to pay for their defense.
Bravo to Trump, who slapped down the deadbeats and stood up for American taxpayers. But, some of our NATO allies said they are “dismayed” over Trump’s comments. Gee, that’s too bad. Perhaps, if they paid their bills, it would cheer them up.
So, we have Trump doing what he said he would do in his campaign, and the Left has sunk into hysterics over how we are “hurting” our allies and “harming” NATO.
But, Trump wants our allies to have more skin in the game. He criticized Germany in particular for its 1.2% contribution to the NATO budget and claimed Berlin is a “captive of the Russians” because of its heavy dependence on gas and energy controlled by Moscow. This makes Germany and other European nations completely blackmail-able. The president has also criticized South Korea for not defraying more of our costs to protect them.
What we have is a serious question about the motives of other NATO members. Sure, they are more than happy to be on friendly terms with a U.S. that is paying most of the bills that other NATO nations should be paying. That’s like a tenant who wants to stay on friendly terms with his landlord who provides a shelter, if the landlord is giving the tenant a discount on the rent due.
All this is going on as Trump battles the mainstream media that is unwillingly to accurately portray his positions, plans or beliefs.
Media people, who are oh, so concerned about Trump offending allies who are derelict in their responsibility, actually add big-time to the problem. The media is so invested in its hatred of Trump that they are hoping for failure. Trump’s actions are always causing the end of the world– or the end of NATO– according to the media, but when things end up going well it’s “another apocalypse averted.”
At first, the MSM accused Trump of not being tough enough. Now, they do an about-face and say he is alienating allies. It’s all about false rhetoric and the hope that Trump will fail. No matter what Trump does, the MSM claims he’s wrong, whether it’s Korea, NATO or BREXIT.
So, you can add Trump’s scolding of NATO to the list of the Left’s manufactured grievances that they take to the streets for wild-eyed, smelly protesters to scream and curse about.
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