Why the US bears the cost of NATO

My sixth most-viewed post is about a warning in 2011 by then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to European allies to pay their proportionate share of the cost of the NATO military alliance.

This is much the same as what President Trump is saying now.

I thought then, and I still think, that members of the European Union are strong enough and wealthy enough to protect themselves without relying on the USA.   I thought then, and I still think, that this would be a good thing.

But if the Europeans paid for their own defense, they might be less willing to follow the U.S. lead in military policy.  And, maybe more importantly, they might be less willing to buy their weapons from American manufacturers.

The advantage of paying the piper means that you get to call the tune.

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2 Responses to “Why the US bears the cost of NATO”

  1. whungerford Says:

    I am nervous about NATO becoming less of a defensive alliance and more of an anti-Russian alliance. Would we really go to war to defend Estonia? One wonders.

    Like

    • philebersole Says:

      The United States is pledged to defend Estonia if it is attacked, so the answer to your question has to be “yes”.

      I think the danger is in moving U.S. forces up to the border of Russia in a way that looks like—I hope it is only “looks like”—the U.S. may be planning an attack, along with economic war, diplomatic war and maybe covert war against Russia.

      I think the European Union countries are capable of guaranteeing the independence of Estonia, and I think an EU pledge would be more likely to be taken at face value than a US pledge.

      Liked by 2 people

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