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Old 12-05-2019, 12:02 PM
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Arrow Germany and France must rejoin NATO

Germany and France must rejoin NATO
By: Washington Examiner - 12-05-19

So long as a powerful actor threatens the democratic international order, NATO must continue to exist. The organization serves American interests as well as those of Canada and our European allies. So, what's the problem? Why is NATO now suffering near-unprecedented instability?

The main culprit is not President Trump.

Trump has been wrong to question the necessity of NATO, and he seems to know it, otherwise, why would he put pressure on Europe to meet its NATO commitments? That pressure, meanwhile, seems to have extracted more defense spending from them. On net, Trump has strengthened NATO.

We wish we could say the same about President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The leading powers of Europe are undermining the alliance.

First, there is Europe's increasing deference to Vladimir Putin. Second, there is Turkey's apparent determination to degrade NATO from within. Neither point is controvertible.

Take Germany. Despite boasting Europeís largest economy, it continues to avoid spending even as much as 1.4% of its gross domestic product on defense. That matters, because NATO's minimum defense spending target, reaffirmed in 2014, is 2%.

The European Union's largest economy is not only scrimping on defense, but it is also actively enabling Putin's strategy of energy extortion. Merkel continues to support Putin's Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. That will exacerbate Europe's dependence on Russia for energy, making it more susceptible to Putin's blackmail. This concern is not frivolous or theoretical. Russia has repeatedly shut off energy supplies to nations that upset the Kremlin.

For all his fine words on liberal internationalism, Macron has been short on action. Like the Germans, the French keep shirking their NATO obligations on defense spending. But even worse, Macron is now pushing for a European rapprochement with Putin. This, barely a year after Russian intelligence officers spread a highly toxic nerve agent around British towns, killing an innocent woman and putting dozens of other lives at risk. Along with Macron's submission to Beijing, this is a much greater threat to NATO than any of Trump's tough and untethered talk.

Sadly, the rest of Europe is following the poor example set by France and Germany. Spain scrimps on defense while allowing Russian warships to resupply at its ports. Italy has gone cheap on defense while actively supporting Macron's rapprochement agenda. A coalition partner of the most recent Austrian government was an open member of the Putin fan club. Belgian leaders laugh when America complains that they spend less than 1% of GDP on defense. It is shameful that these nations have blamed America for the malaise within NATO. It matters because they are betraying NATO allies on the alliance's eastern flank.

It is no coincidence that those countries in Russiaís shadow do not fail to meet the 2% spending target. Itís shameful that Merkel and Macron donít take their treaty obligations as seriously as do Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Then there's Turkey, whose increasingly unstable president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is integrating Russia's S-400 air defense system into his military portfolio. Erdogan also now accepts Putin's direction in Syria. This is a result of the Turkish president's gross arrogance and utter disregard for the alliance's purpose.

NATO forms a critical foundation of the Western democratic order. It has ensured and continues to ensure that we are free, safe, and prosperous. Trump should reaffirm this understanding in words and action. But so should Europe start acting as if it cares about NATO. Because the present evidence is clear: Turkey risks becoming a NATO adversary from within, and Europe's commitment to the alliance too often begins and ends with words.


Personal note: The US can't cover all the expenses in NATO. If France & Germany want out fine - let them walk. To be part of NATO they should all be expected to cover the 2% expense - the US can't pick up their balances nor can we support a country that isn't willing to pay its dues. Russia - China and North Korea just love the way NATO is digressing. So when push comes to shove those non-NATO contributors will suffer the most as the US can no longer foot the bill to those countries that don't contribute to.
Trump is right on this issue and I think NATO is loosing its strength to counter the world aggression of the Social systems wanting to take over those areas of weakness.

Glad I'm not in politics


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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