Trump, in Europe, insulting allies and trying to force them to buy American weapons
It’s so simple.
At the NATO summit in Brussels, things are not going well. US president, Donald Trump, forcefully insisted, European allies spend more on defence, inserting a little lie in the process, claiming US spends 4,2% of it’s GDP. Last years spending was at 3,57%. It is true though, that European NATO members spend far less. Germany just above 1%, with 1,21% projected for 2018.
‘ You know, we’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France. We’re protecting everybody. And yet we’re paying a lot of money to protect,” Trump said.
That’s funny. NATO is just one in the system of alliances United States has created in past decades, which help them to keep their world hegemony. It was created as a Pact against Soviet aggression, and in those times US really was protecting western Europeans. Now, European NATO members spend more on defence than Russia, countries that used to be part of the Warsaw Pact have become new members, hell, even Baltic republics, parts of the Soviet Union, joined, bringing NATO on the doorsteps of Sankt Petersburg. In such circumstances it is a question, who United States is protecting. Europeans know full well, they really don’t need to spend more, to keep them safe. Something, that would change, if Russian defence spending would drastically increase. In reallity, it is staying on the same level or even decreasing.
What Donald Trump is actually doing, is trying to sell American produced weapons to Europeans. That is precisely what an increase would bring.
NATO leaders pledged once more, to boost defence spending, but after all broken promises, it remains to be seen, what will happen. 2% benchmark was agreed long ago, but is something, many members of the alliance struggle to achieve, not to talk about the 4%, Trump came up with at the meeting. Only 5 of the 29 members spend more than 2%.
His real intentions became even clearer, when he berated Germany for their supposed dependence on Russian gas. ‘ We’re supposed to protect you against Russia and yet you make this deal with Russia. Explain that. It can’t be explained,’ he said. It would be in US interest, to sell gas to Germany, allthough at a higher price, something that Germans are not that keen on. It is also unclear, why Germany would need US protection from Russia.
It’s all just business and Donald Trump keeps puting America first, be it in his relations with other NATO members, be it in trade with the same countries or China.
The real question is, do Europeans even need their alliance with United States. Is it in their real interest to send their troops to places like Afghanistan, something Angela Merkel highlited upon arriving at NATO headquarters on Wednesday. ‘Germany also does a lot for NATO. We are the second largest donor of troops, we put most of our military abilities into the service of NATO and we are strongly committed in Afghanistan, where we also defend the interests of the United States of America. Because the deployment in Afghanistan has to do with the only example of Article 5,’ she said.