Trump Questions Need For NATO
Donald Trump said the U.S. should rethink its involvement in NATO because the defense alliance costs too much money.
In remarks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Trump said the U.S. pays a disproportionate amount to NATO to ensure the security of allies.
“Frankly, they have to put up more money,” he said. “We are paying disproportionately. It’s too much, and frankly it’s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea.”
In a CNN Town Hall Trump said about NATO:
“[NATO is] costing us too much money, and frankly, have to put up more money… We’re taking care of, as an example, the Ukraine. I mean, the countries over there don’t seem to be so interested. We’re the ones taking the brunt of it. So I think we have to reconsider — keep NATO, but maybe we have to pay a lot less toward the NATO itself. “
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and Washington is not providing arms to the government as it is fighting pro-Moscow rebels, though has provided nonlethal aid and has helped support international bailouts of the Ukrainian economy. Once the third-largest nuclear power in the world, Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons in return for an assurance that the U.S. would help protect its sovereignty. Critics point out that Trump’s remarks were “really quite astonishing,” speculating that Trump is ignorant of the United States’ diplomatic relations with Ukraine.
It’s unfortunate that a day after making these remarks a terrorist attack occurred in Brussels, highlighting the importance of NATO.
It is important to point out that the United States “taking the brunt” as Mr. Trump has suggested, is a bit of loaded statement. All member countries have pledged at lest 2% of their GDP to fund NATO, and the United States has by far and away the highest GDP of all member nations, in-fact 6 times more than Germany who has the next highest GDP of the NATO members. The whole theory of NATO is to keep the United States involved in Europe long-term, to promote our goals, and to deter another world war, so of course we would be spending more. However it is fair to point out that President Obama has been critical of some of the European partners for not spending enough to fund NATO.