Trump Wasn’t the First

Since NATO’s creation, the European nations have, in the main, been shirking their obligations to the alliance and with that betraying their fellow alliance members. Then-President Jack Kennedy (D) was among the first American government officials to grow tired of that shirking and to object to it out loud.

John F Kennedy in 1963 told his National Security Council that “we cannot continue to pay for the military protection of Europe while the NATO states are not paying their fair share.”

Then it was then-Deputy Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci in 1981 in front of the Munich Security Conference:

[T]he United States cannot be expected to improve and strengthen US forces in Europe, unless other allies increase their own contribution to the combined defense effort.

With the end of the Cold War almost 35 years ago,

NATO asserts that almost half its members won’t spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defense this year, a decade after the alliance affirmed that baseline expectation.

But those were just a bunch of polite noises.

Nor is Trump the only one objecting to European NATO members’ sloth and perfidy today, although today’s Progressive-Democratic Party politicians are standing silently on the sidelines in a reversal (repudiation?) of their Democrat predecessors.

[I]ncreasingly prominent voices in the US think “the time has come for Europe to stand on its own feet,” as Senator JD Vance (R, OH) put it recently.

Trump still is right, and it’s been his sharp rhetoric as opposed to those 50 years of “pretty please” that has gotten more NATO members—but not all of them, shamefully—to start honoring their fiscal and equipment commitments to NATO.

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