Donald Trump is right to say America’s NATO allies aren’t paying their fair share. As Bloomberg notes, the alliance expects its members to spend 2% of GDP on defense; but it’s no secret that most of them don’t...
Having reaffirmed his skepticism about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and his readiness to make deals with Russia, in European media interviews published last weekend, President Trump leaves European leaders wondering whether they can still rely on the American security umbrella.
“Let’s not fool ourselves,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week. “There is no infinite guarantee.”
So, in what looks like another Trump victory, Merkel’s Germany, and many other European nations, are boosting military budgets.
To be sure, even in Europe’s “new strategic reality” in which NATO guarantees are no longer unconditional, some defense budgets will likely fall short, said Jan Techau, head of the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum at the American Academy in Berlin. “The Europeans will have to do something,” he said. “But I have my doubts that we’ll get across-the-board 2 percent spending.”