A Time for Choosing

Europe’s nations—particularly those not directly bordering on Russia—are finally figuring out that Russia is as much a threat to them as it is to Ukraine.

…the cost of building robust defenses able to withstand a potential US pullback is so great that it threatens Europe’s post-Cold War social model.


Achieving the military spending that some politicians and experts say is needed would force European members of NATO to start reversing big post-Cold War increases in social spending.
“You have to rearrange the social contract,” said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who has warned that Russia will eventually attack NATO countries if it isn’t defeated in Ukraine.

Any US pullback from NATO or from Europe at large is, or should be, less a factor in their choice between social welfare and their self- and mutual defense than the continuing refusal of fully 40% of those NATO members to honor their financial and equipment commitments vis-à-vis NATO.

That refusal is those nations’ own betrayal of their fellow members since their refusal severely weakens the collective alliance.

Separately, but closely related, chatter about a US pullback from NATO or from Europe at large sounds like a Leftist conspiracy theory to me. After all, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s out loud questioning of America’s future in NATO has in fact been the motive force behind getting many more of Europe’s NATO members even to begin to honor their financial and equipment commitments to NATO, after 50 years of “pretty please” had achieved nothing but too many member nations’ overt decisions simply to freeload off American treasure and blood.

European nations’ need is to understand very clearly and forcefully that those nations that choose social spending over national defense will, in the end, have their social contract dictated to them by their conquerors. That immutable principle applies equally forcefully to our nation.

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