By Onan Coca
President Trump has taken some major heat over the way he spoke to our allies at NATO earlier this week while in Europe.
Here’s what the President had to say:
So, we’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries, and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.
So, we are supposed to protect you against Russia. You tell me if that is appropriate.
This has been going on for decades. This has been brought up by other presidents, but other presidents never did anything about it.
It’s very unfair to our country, it’s very unfair to our taxpayers, and I think that these countries have to step it up not over a 10 year period— they have to step it up immediately.
What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
However, the reality is that the President was 100% accurate in his assessment of NATO’s problems.
Just take a look at this chart:
The United States spends more on NATO’s defense than every other nation in the alliance put together. In fact, if you added all of those nations together and doubled the total… the USA would still be spending MORE! Even worse, the last time NATO’s leaders got together they agreed that each nation would raise their defense spending to 2% of their GDP and only Greece, the UK, Estonia, and Poland (almost) have gotten there. To be fair, most of NATO has been increasing defense spending, but most (Germany in particular) are still way off the mark.
In fact, Germany, as Europe’s leader has the most to be ashamed for. Which is why the President was so direct in calling them to the carpet for their hypocrisy.
David French, a conservative critic of President Trump’s manner, says the President is right about Germany’s problematic behavior:
I strongly disagree with Donald Trump’s oft-expressed view that NATO is obsolete. I strongly disagree with his trade war, and I think it’s repugnant that he often seems eager to publicly dress down friends even while he flatters foreign tyrants. It’s ridiculous how often he gets his facts wildly wrong, and it’s even worse that he seems indifferent to his own ignorance. The strength and preservation of the NATO alliance is in America’s vital national interest, and to the extent that Trump undermines that view in the GOP electorate, he’s doing the Republican Party (and, far more importantly, the nation) a great disservice.
But, with all that said, he is absolutely, positively right to be upset at the state of the German military. It’s indefensibly weak and unprepared. NATO isn’t a social club. It’s a military alliance, and even if one posits that Germany shouldn’t reach its full potential military strength (for obvious historical reasons), can’t we at least ask that it not be a pale shadow of its recent, West German past?
French goes on to explain how Germany’s military continues to crumble, even as Germany becomes more reliant upon Russia’s oil and gas. This is a dangerous combination, and one that President Trump is right to be worried about.
The media, of course, spent most of the last few days attacking President Trump’s treatment of our NATO allies. Reading the stories coming out of the NATO meetings, one would have believed that NATO was on the brink of collapse and all because Donald Trump was saying mean (but true) things.
Instead, on Thursday we learned that our NATO allies had decided to comply with President Trump’s demand that each member nation increase defense spending post haste.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 12, 2018
From the National Review:
NATO leaders made an “unwavering commitment” to shoulder a greater share of the military-preparedness burden Wednesday after President Trump lambasted alliance members generally, and Germany specifically, for failing to pull their weight.
Following a contentious meeting with Trump, NATO members signed a joint declaration voicing their commitment “to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership.”
This is good news. Now, we just need to convince Europe that buying Russian oil/gas might be easier/cheaper… but in the end it’s against their own interests. In fact, the best way to convince Germany to end their reliance on Russia for energy is to provide Europe with a cheaper alternative. As the world’s largest energy producer, we have the ability to help meet Europe’s energy needs… so let’s find a way to do it.
Republished with permission Eagle Rising
Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of The Olive Branch Report
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Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Liberty Alliance media group. He’s also the managing editor at Eaglerising.com, Constitution.com and the managing partner at iPatriot.com. You can read more of his writing at Eagle Rising.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children.