by RAPHAEL BENAROYA
[T]he U.S. continues to devote considerable resources to European security and has reaffirmed its commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which obligates NATO members to consider an attack against one to be an attack against all. But consider the American taxpayer’s point of view. Each NATO member is required to contribute 2% of its gross domestic product toward military security. U.S. defense spending—over $685 billion in 2017, or 3.6% of our GDP—dwarfs that of other members. Only four of our NATO allies—the United Kingdom, Poland, Greece and Estonia—have met or exceeded the 2% threshold.
What’s more, only two-thirds of the 28 European NATO members have realistic plans to meet their 2% commitment. The issue is not the U.S. commitment to NATO. Rather, the issue is the need for NATO members to step up and pay their fair share toward our collective security.
As for U.S. “disengagement” in the face of aggression by Russia and China, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
U.S. sanctions against Russia extend broadly across financial services, energy and defense, as chronicled by the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. strongly opposes Nord Stream 2, a divisive Russian pipeline project that will bypass East-Central Europe, pumping gas directly from Russia to Germany and increasing Europe’s reliance on Russian energy. In addition, the U.S. intelligence community, backed by both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Trump administration, continues to investigate and fight against Russian meddling in democratic institutions around the world.
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