“Going it alone is not an option, either for Europe or for the United States.”
That is the advice of Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
See the article written in the U.K.’s observer here.
This is most ironic as this is essentially what the United States has been doing for quite some time. There are 28 members of Nato yet but according to the Secretary General Stoltenberg, the United States contribution accounts for 70% of its budget. It’s not just total budget but also how much each state spends on their own defenses.
Here are 2014 and 2015 percentages of GDP that each NATO member spent on their defenses.
Okay, so maybe it’s not all that telling that Canada doesn’t reach the 2 percent threshold which all member states are bound to meet but why aren’t states that are most likely to be annexed by Russia (Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania) doing so? Why should the United States take their security more seriously then they do? The aim of Nato was to ensure that no hegemonic power (most likely Russia) could emerge in Europe and take control of its industrial base. What industrial base do these countries have? As a matter of strategy these countries are virtually meaningless to the United States; perhaps the morality of defending these countries from Russia is more debatable but that is for a different post.
Trump may not articulate his strategy in a polite or consistent way, but he is correct for demanding that the costs for maintaing security of Europe be shifted to those who principally benefit. Otherwise we have what Barry Posen calls “Welfare for the rich.”