Since his days on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump has taken great issue with the United States’ European allies not paying their fair share in NATO, going as far as to describe the treaty organization as “obsolete.”
Trump, who is at the NATO Summit in Brussels this week, has recently suggested NATO boost its spending, demanding the organization should call for every country to give 4 percent of its GDP, doubling the currently recommended 2 percent.
But that is a mistake. Currently, only four countries besides the U.S. have met NATO’s 2 percent GDP spending recommendation: the United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland and Greece. The U.S. itself spends over 3.5 percent on NATO.
Instead of mandating another recommendation when the majority of countries have not met the previous requirements, the United States should leave that requirement in place.
And the U.S. should drop its own spending to the recommended 2 percent instead of keeping it at over 3.5 percent.
This would free up billions of dollars in taxpayer money and would make Trump more of a hero for finding a way to gather more money in spite of his tremendous tax cut earlier this fiscal year.
The United States currently spends billions on NATO, protecting important allies — but Allies that are in need of protection from a threat much farther away from the United States. It does not make much sense for the United States to be the primary spender for this organization. Shouldn’t the Allies who face the bigger threat have a stronger interest to pay up?
It hasn’t been the case. And it should be. Let’s hope Trump makes this case to our Allies.