While past Presidents just COMPLAINED about other nations not carrying their weight in NATO, Trump did something about it.
Obama complained about ‘free riders’ and didn’t think it right that America should shoulder the weight just because we’re bigger and wealthier. (If only he had applied that same thinking to his DOMESTIC policy, too.)
He complained. But nothing changed.
The 2% number we’ve seen Trump referencing wasn’t pulled out of thin air, either.
All NATO nations had ‘committed’ to that level of commitment, way back in 2002 but like so many other agreements (see Paris Accord) it was “non-binding”. Which, in practice, means only America and a handful of others were expected to actually hold themselves to it.
Trump took a lot of heat from the Media and Democrats because he talked sternly to our allies, even prompting concerns that NATO itself was in danger.
He wasn’t destroying NATO. He was strengthening it, by making sure other member states committed to funding it.
At the Thursday press conference, Trump claimed that his push for a focus on defense spending had helped make NATO a stronger alliance. “We made a tremendous amount of progress today,” he told reporters. “The additional money they will be putting up has been really amazing.” He said an extra $33 billion has been committed by NATO countries other than the U.S
It’s one thing to let a buddy ‘couch surf’ for a weekend if he’s in a pinch. But you’re not really a friend if you let him do that indefinitely.
Eventually, he’s got to get up on his feet and be a man.
A TRUE friend will have a hard conversation like that one. And the relationship will be stronger for it. But that kind of conversation takes courage. And courage is a rare commodity these days.
Especially among the political class.
Well… among MOST of the political class. Some politicians still have balls.
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