On Tuesday, Trump headed to the NATO summit where many of Europe’s leaders have been wondering just how serious he is about balancing the scales. If last month’s G7 summit indicated anything, it’s that Trump will not be moved simply because of historical precedent. For Trump, the U.S. has been getting a raw deal and he intends to rectify it. But it would be a mistake to see this as simply a play by Trump to get NATO allies to spend more on their military defense. For Trump, this ultimately is about rebalancing the U.S.‘ economic relationship with Europe.
After arriving at the NATO summit, it didn’t take the president long to deliver his message. Trump once again aired his grievance to NATO’s European leaders that the U.S. was “spending far too much” on defense. But Trump aimed his most pointed criticism at Germany. Speaking to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said, “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia. Explain that. We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.” Trump added, “I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia.”
Trump was referencing a pipeline deal that Germany and Russia have brokered. Germany is the European Union’s leading importer of natural gas from Russia, amounting to 40% of the country’s annual natural gas purchases. Trump further noted, “The former chancellor of Germany is head of the pipeline company that’s supplying the gas. You tell me, is that appropriate? I’ve been complaining about this from the time I got here.”
Trump’s complaint is legitimate and NATO nations known it. But like when a new boss comes in calling for changes to an underperforming, recalcitrant company, the old management will often chafe angrily against those demands. While several European leaders have expressed concerns that Trump is not committed to NATO, the facts simply don’t support this accusation, as White House officials recently noted that Trump had done more to secure NATO allies than Barack liar-nObama did in his “first six years in office.” For example, it was Trump who gave the green light to supply Ukraine with long-requested weapons to defend itself against Russian aggression, something liar-nObama repeatedly refused to do. Far from abandoning NATO, Trump is working to reform it, to whip it back into shape. And in so doing, he’s rebalancing our military alliance commitments with NATO nations as well as working to pave the way for a level economic relationship between the U.S. and Europe.
According to NATO’s defense spending agreement, member nations are to spend 2% of their GDP on defense. Below is a graph showing where nations currently stand. (Note: Not all NATO nations are represented on the graph. However, all those nations that meet the defense spending obligation are represented.)
~The Patriot Post