"The US pays close to the entire cost of NATO - protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on trade (they pay only a fraction of the cost - and laugh!)," President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday. As much as I dislike Trump he does have a point. The European allies spend very little on defence and for this reason the U. military has bases across Europe. You would have thought that in this post-Cold war era, Europe would be able to take care of itself. But no. Defence spending in Europe has been dropping dramatically over the last decade with countries like Germany spending the least. Britain does spend the two per cent of GDP NATO figure but only just, and some countries in Europe do not even come close.
Trump has been moaning and groaning about defence spending by European allies for some time but to put things into perspective here are a couple of examples: the US Marine Corps has more helicopters than the combined strengths of all the European air forces; the US Navy has more warships than the combined European navy fleet. Some may say that we should be cutting back on defence even further because there is no longer a need for a big standing army, but remember we are living in dangerous times and Europe should be paying its way.
I suspect that in the end Trump will get an agreement for spending to increase amongst NATO members. He may cause an outcry sometimes but on this occasion he has a point.
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