That’s the title of Friday’s Wall Street Journal Letters column. One letter argues that point in particular. The letter writer is mostly wrong, but his is right on one matter.
Who does he think will fill in behind us if we retreat? It won’t be our friends; that should be clear.
On the other hand, he argued
The USSR no longer exists and China has emerged as our chief rival. The only thing that has remained constant is America’s footing the greater part of the bill for military defense, while nations we protect continue to grow rich at our expense.
The nations of the world that we are supposed to protect are going their own way, while we continue to spend and spend in the name of preserving an alliance that is no longer even necessary.
The USSR no longer exists, but Russia does, and it’s as much a threat to us and to those it’s in our national interest to support and protect as is the People’s Republic of China. Many of the nations we are protecting are going their own way, it’s true enough: too many of the western European members of NATO don’t feel the need to contribute to NATO’s costs or equipment and manpower suites for their own mutual defense. However, other members, and many eastern European nations who aren’t NATO members (but are ex-Soviet occupied nations), do feel the threat and are willing to contribute to their mutual defense.
The letter writer also is right on this: we should consider reducing our effort and spending regarding those western European nations that don’t care.
We then should redirect those resources to working with the other nations who do care. If that takes a (major) revamp of NATO or a new mutual defense arrangement that’s centered on those other nations, then so be it.