It’s an Alliance that’s Sinking Itself

The Wall Street Journal spilled a lot of pixels and ink in an opinion piece masqueraded as news that purported to answer its question of whether loose lips can sink an alliance.

[Republican Primary Presidential candidate Donald] Trump’s recent broadsides against European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for not spending sufficiently on defense raised the question of whether shaming allies strengthens or weakens the alliance.

And this, an opinion masqueraded by the article’s writer as fact—all too typical in this article:

Trump’s recent comments crossed a line, even if they were inflated with campaign-trail hyperbole.

I’ll leave aside the salutary effect Trump’s harshly blunt rhetoric has had on NATO readiness—more member nations have stepped up and begun honoring their 10-year-old(!) spending commitments as a direct result of his words and NATO commensurately more capable of supporting non-NATO member Ukraine in its fight for survival in the barbarian’s war on it. This, after 50 years of “pretty please” has merely encouraged European member nations to break their promises, shirk their duties to their fellow members, and thereby betray those fellow members.

As I’ve written just a bit ago, 13 NATO member nations continue to refuse to honor their commitments to NATO: they continue to refuse to spend even a paltry 2% of their GDP on NATO.

That’s 13 members who are shirking their duty, who are betraying their fellow members by consciously and with careful forethought rendering themselves incapable of meeting their Article V commitment to those members in any concrete way. That’s 13 members who are deliberately imposing risks on their fellow members by choosing to freeload off them, rendering themselves so plainly incapable of resisting an attack that they tacitly invite one, requiring their fellow members to spend their blood and their treasure to rescue them.

That’s 13 members who are risking destabilizing NATO, who are sinking the alliance.

Trump says he said the following to a major NATO member head of state who asked him whether, given his nation had not honored its fiscal promise vis-à-vis NATO, we would protect him.

“You didn’t pay, you’re delinquent?” No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.

Indeed, neither should any other NATO member move to protect this nation that had shirked its own duty, broken its own promise, so cravenly betrayed the rest of its fellow member nations.

Trump’s was not an empty threat, nor an unjustified one. Why, indeed, should we, or any NATO member, gush out blood, throw away hard-won treasure on nations that are so willing—and so active at—betraying their fellows in the alliance?

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