Is a Coming NATO Crisis Inevitable? ~ VIDEO

Opinion

USA -(Ammoland.com)- Of President Donald Trump's explosion at Angela Merkel's Germany during the NATO summit, it needs to be said: It is long past time we raised our voices.

America pays more for NATO, an alliance created 69 years ago to defend Europe, than do the Europeans. And as Europe free-rides off our defense effort, the EU runs trade surpluses at our expense that exceeds $100 billion a year.

To Trump, and not only to him, we are being used, gouged, by rich nations we defend, while they skimp on their own defense.

At Brussels, Trump had a new beef with the Germans, though similar problems date back to the Reagan era. Now we see the Germans, Trump raged, whom we are protecting from Russia, collaborating with Russia and deepening their dependence on Russian natural gas by jointly building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

When completed, this pipeline will leave Germany and Europe even more deeply reliant on Russia for their energy needs.

To Trump, this makes no sense. While we pay the lion's share of the cost of Germany's defense, Germany, he said in Brussels, is becoming “a captive of Russia.”

Impolitic? Perhaps. But is Trump wrong? While much of what he says enrages Western elites, does not much of it need saying? Germany spends 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, while the U.S. spends 3.5 percent. Why?

Why — nearly three decades after the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the crackup of the Soviet Union and the overthrow of the Communist dictatorship in Moscow — are we still defending European nations that collectively have 10 times the GDP of Vladimir Putin's Russia?

Before departing Brussels, Trump upped the ante on the allies, urging that all NATO nations raise the share of their GDPs that they devote to defense to 4 percent.

Brussels may dismiss this as typical Trumpian bluster, but my sense is that Trump is not bluffing. He is visibly losing patience.

Though American leaders since John Foster Dulles in the 1950s have called for a greater defense effort from our allies, if the Europeans do not get serious this time, it could be the beginning of the end for NATO.

And not only NATO. South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of North Korea, spends 2.6 percent of its GDP on defense, while, by one estimate, North Korea spends 22 percent, the highest share on earth.

Japan, with the world's third-largest economy, spends an even smaller share of its GDP on defense than Germany, 0.9 percent.

Thus, though Seoul and Tokyo are far more menaced by a nuclear-armed North Korea and a rising China, like the Europeans, both continue to rely upon us as they continue to run large trade surpluses with us.

We get hit both ways. We send troops and pay billions for their defense, while they restrict our access to their markets and focus on capturing U.S. markets from American producers.

We are giving the world a lesson in how great powers decline.

America's situation is unsustainable economically and politically, and it's transparently intolerable to Trump, who does not appear to be a turn-the-other-cheek sort of fellow.

A frustrated Trump has already hinted he may accept Russia's annexation of Crimea as he accepted Israel's annexation of Jerusalem.

And he appears earnest about reducing our massive trade deficits in goods that have been bleeding jobs, plants, equipment, capital and technology abroad.

The latest tariffs Trump has proposed, on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods, would raise the price of 40 percent of China's exports to the U.S. and begin to shrink the $375 billion trade surplus Beijing ran in 2017.

Trump said upon departing Brussels he had won new commitments to raise European contributions to NATO. But Emmanuel Macron of France seemed to contradict him. The commitments made before the summit, for all NATO nations to reach 2 percent of GDP for defense by 2024, said Macron, stand, and no new commitments were made.

As for Trump's call for a 4 percent defense effort by all, it was ignored. Hence the question: If Trump does not get his way and the allies hold to their previous schedule of defense commitments, what does he do?

One idea Trump floated last week was the threat of a drawdown of the 35,000 U.S. troops in Germany. But would this really rattle the Germans?

A new poll shows that a plurality of Germans favor a drawdown of U.S. troops, and only 15 percent believe that Germany should raise its defense spending to 2 percent of GDP.

While Trump's pressure on NATO to contribute more is popular here, apparently Merkel's resistance comports with German opinion.

Since exiting the Iranian nuclear deal, President Trump has demanded that our European allies join the U.S. in reimposing sanctions. Now he is demanding that the Europeans contribute more to defense.

What does he do if they defy us? More than likely, we will find out.


Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book  “Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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tomcatTerryOldmarineAnsel HazenMatt in Oklahoma Recent comment authors
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tomcat
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tomcat

Previous politicians have handed these countries all the fodder they needed to screw us every way but the right way. Now it is Trump’s job to straighten out the european kids and teach them how an amicable fair trade should be used.
E.U. our one world order who wants us to fail so they can add us to their trophy shelf. They can eat shit.

Terry
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Terry

History is famed to repeat itself. All of Europe were much to civilized edited WWII for their run of the mill citizen to own a buch of guns for defense of self.

Germany brought to
Light that they should not have been.

Again they are much to civilized to bear personal arms for the sake of self protection.

The influx of immigrants will teach them this lesson again.

They will again live and die to regret this choose

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

The moslems are going to take over Belgium, France, and Germany before the Russians ever get a chance. The Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians, Latvians, Estonians, and Lithoanians love Americans and want us in their countries. And those people will fight. Trump is the National Command Authority and could transfer troops and equipment to those countries with a telephone call. The Germans use their 2% to pay their regular army, and the Germans have no transport, so any real defense will be local only. The really can not help anyone else are are not prepared to defend themselves absent U.S. participation. Germany… Read more »

Oldmarine
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Oldmarine

Old Marine >>> Wild Bill AGREED …. I will tell why I don’t Like Muslims. I can’t believe that ANYONE would like or associate with them when according to the KORAN all Muslims have the DUTY is to kill you. How dumb can a person get to welcome someone to murder you just because of your are not a Muslim. That is not a religion, instead it an attempt to enslave you. A so called religion started by a store clerk? There are many nice people who were brainwashed into the Muslim concept of life and I feel sorry for… Read more »

Matt in Oklahoma
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Matt in Oklahoma

A shakeup is good for everyone. I was proud of him for calling the issues out publicly. I’ve worked within NATO as well as the UN, as a soldier, and they have a lot of issues. People want NATO gone but the ramifications would mean world war in the end however business as usual can not continue. Complacency has become the norm with us picking up the bill. Germany would like us to reduce our footprint which I don’t think is a terrible idea however they need to be ready to step up their game. That halfhearted Army of 2… Read more »

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@Matt, We could make the Poles, Bulgarians, Romanians, Latvians, Estonians, and Lithuanians wealthy with our presence rather than England, France, Belgium, and Germany. We would be just as close to the action. And we could have popcorn while we watch the entertaining moslem takeover of GEFaG!

Matt in Oklahoma
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Matt in Oklahoma

I’m of the opinion that we need to get as many home ASAP. Our maintenance, training and deployment stress is suffering. We are getting spread thin.
It’s high time they band themselves together and unfortunately it takes bad things or the illusion of to happen.
The GFers own them all anyway.

Ansel Hazen
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Ansel Hazen

Did I hear correcly on the radio today that out of 180 aircraft Germany could only scramble 2 at present?