Skip to main content
NATO Is Dying, but Don’t Blame Trump
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Emmanuel Macron (R) talk to each other prior to pose for a family photo on March 22, 2019 in Brussels at the end of an EU summit focused on Brexit. (LUDOVIC MARIN/Getty Images)
(GETTY IMAGES)

NATO Is Dying, but Don’t Blame Trump

Walter Russell Mead

The idea was once unthinkable, but after the German cabinet decided to keep defense spending as low as 1.25% of gross domestic product for the next five years it has become unavoidable. This decision is not driven by any fiscal urgency. Germany is projected to have a balanced budget after last year’s surplus of €11.2 billion, its fifth annual surplus in a row.

What Berlin means by this decision is clear: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the U.S. are not as important to Germany as they used to be. While irritation with and contempt for President Trump influence German foreign policy, something more profound is at work. Democrats including President Obama, as well as Republicans like John McCain, have long called on Germany to demonstrate its commitment to NATO by spending 2% of GDP on defense. By refusing even to come close to meeting NATO’s spending targets, Berlin is thumbing its nose not only at Donald Trump but at the U.S.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal here

Related Articles

Trump's Syria Withdrawal Doesn't Put America First, It Puts Our Adversaries First

Blaise Misztal

President Trump promised to mount a robust defense of vital U.S. interests while bringing to an end costly foreign interventions. ...

Continue Reading

Europe's Role Between the US and China

Bruno Maçães

For seventy years, Europeans have been trying to forge a genuine political union. But, so far, the basic element of political unity has been missing. ...

Continue Reading

Tabletop Exercise 2019: Security in Northeast Asia

Seth Cropsey & Jun Isomura

A tabletop exercise (TTX) was held at Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. from June 25–27, 2019. The TTX was modeled on the Taiwan Strait crisis, whi...

Continue Reading