.. he also suggested that this spending should eventually reach 4% of GDP. The latter proposal is a non-starter, not only because of the budgetary sacrifices it would entail, but also because it would create significant military imbalances on the continent. At 4% of GDP, Germany’s military budget would be around €40 billion ($46 billion) more than that of France.
Trump’s 2% demand is neither unfounded nor unprecedented: previous US presidents have also called on European countries to increase their defense spending. In 2014, NATO member states that were not spending 2% of their GDP on defense committed to do so by 2024.
.. it is in Europe’s interest to take responsibility for our own security. Both external and internal threats are spreading, and they are becoming more and more interconnected.
A paradigmatic example is the war in Syria: the horrible humanitarian tragedy that has afflicted the country’s population for more than seven years fueled a refugee crisis that shook the foundations of the European Union.
.. Increasing military spending will be largely unproductive unless we do it “Europeanly.” The EU’s total military budget is already second only to that of the US, and almost four times larger than Russia’s.
.. the US must not forget that other NATO member states have upheld their commitment to mutual defense and have internalized US priorities.
.. the only time that Article 5 has ever been invoked was after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US. And soon thereafter, NATO led the United Nations-mandated International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan – the longest mission in the Alliance’s history.
.. Paradoxically, while his administration demands that we Europeans take charge of our security, it consistently strives to undermine every joint defense project that we pursue.
.. Trump also objects to measures to boost the European defense industry, because they will make Europe less reliant on US exports. But, again, it makes no sense to insist that Europe become more self-sufficient while at the same time pushing it to become more dependent on American-made arms, equipment, and technology.
.. Rather than persist in his undiplomatic and unilateral crusades, Trump would be wise to treat the EU as the friend it has always been to his country