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Trump to Merkel: Pull your weight in NATO

Saturday, March 18, 2017 18:09
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By Douglas V. Gibbs
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President Donald J. Trump says he is tired of nobody pulling their financial weight for security in Europe.  Leftists are always complaining about how folks should pay their fair share, yet the U.S. pays the bulk of the bill to keep NATO functioning.  Trump, after what some folks may call an uncomfortable meeting with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, blasted Germany for owing “vast sums of money” to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In a Tweet one day after his meeting with the German leader, Trump stated Berlin should cough up billions of Euros more on defense.

Only the US and four other NATO members currently reach the alliance’s benchmark of spending on defense which is 2% of GDP.

Germany, the strongest economic power in Europe, spends 1.23% of its national income on NATO.

In the past, Trump has argued that NATO is “obsolete,” and in a sense, it is.  The alliance formed to protect Europe from Soviet aggression.  So, if you want to be technical about it, the Soviet Union is gone, therefore, NATO has outlived its usefulness. Except, Putin’s Russia is acting quite a bit like the Soviet Union of old, so Europeans likely do not see NATO as being as obsolete as Trump may believe.

The fact is, the U.S. has pumped a lot of dough into the organization, while those who are receiving the protection have paid very little by comparison.  Therefore, obsolete, or not, Trump has demanded that America’s allies in the military alliance pay back “vast sums of money from past years”.

If the leftists are going to scream about people paying their fair share, why not countries, as well?

Merkel said Germany plans to get up to speed, and get their part of the bill paid up to the previously agreed level of 2% of GDP for NATO’s European members.

Trump also criticized Merkel during his campaign last year about her decision to allow close to a million Muslim refugees into Germany, calling it a “catastrophic mistake” and suggested she was “ruining Germany”.

When he met her at the White House it appeared that he refused to shake her hand.  Despite reports, and accusations that he was not very hospitable, Trump Tweeted, “Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Despite his earlier claims that NATO is obsolete, Trump now says that the alliance remains of strategic importance.  Fact is, while communism may have fallen, the statism of communism remains.  The problem is, much of that ideology has infiltrated into European politics, and America’s Democrat Party. How do you fight an enemy that has removed its uniform, and instead has injected itself into your own system?

The rise of Trump’s anti-establishment, anti-globalist, anti-socialist movement is definitely a start.

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