Donald Trump has only just recently become the official nominee of the Republican Party, but that does not mean he has a shortage of strong and unusual opinions; anyone who has followed the race for the white house even loosely is keenly aware of this. The trouble is that many people see those opinions as crossing lines that should not be crossed. One such example was his take on NATO member nation’s military spending. He all but suggested that maybe the United States would not support its treaty obligations when a member nation comes under attack who has not met their agreed-to military spending amounts.
What is the agreed-to military spending stipulation between member NATO nations? There has long been a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between member nations that suggested each one should spend around 2% of their GDP on defense spending. When leaders of NATO nations met in 2014, in the wake of a resurgent and aggressive Russia knocking on their doorstep, the 2% defense spending benchmark was again brought up and stressed that member nations not meeting this goal should do so within 10 years. So, although not written in blood, every NATO member is obligated to be working toward this 2% defense spending goal.
As of now, only 5 NATO member nations currently meet the 2% military spending benchmark. They are the USA, Great Britain, Greece, Estonia and Poland. While France and Turkey are not far from the mark, Germany is a whopping full percentage point away from achieving the 2% goal.
Trump Ruffles More Feathers
When Donald Trump made this statement, he caught the ear of more than one political and military leader from fellow NATO member countries. Many of these leaders felt that Trump was sending a dangerous message to both the United States’ strongest allies and a Russian Bear that would like nothing more than to see NATO fall apart. Does Trump have a point? It stands to reason that, if debt ridden Greece and Estonia can meet the 2% defense spending quota, other more affluent nations should be able to as well.
What have other presidents said on the matter of NATO spending? Not much. Although President Obama did state publicly that that he felt there were a few member nations who could pull their weight more as far as military spending was concerned, most likely this would be directed toward some of the more affluent member nations such as France and Belgium who are not meeting the 2% spending requirement. So it seems the past administration had some genuine concerns but they were by no means willing to take it as far as Mr. Trump has proposed.
So what is the answer? Many economists say that these other countries simply won’t have the money to meet the 2% defense spending benchmark anytime soon. They simply have too much money promised to such other things as health care and retirement to their quickly-aging populations. One thing is for sure, it will be interesting (and maybe scary too) what actual stance Trump takes on NATO if he indeed is elected to the Presidency of the United States.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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