World News Tomorrow – Western news.
NATO is the North Atlantic treaty Organization, a military alliance consisting of 28 members. The United States, being the most powerful member, is showing an uncertain path concerning its willingness to come to Europe’s rescue. If called upon.
During the run for presidency, Donald Trump has regularly expressed his discontent over NATO for which the US is paying 70% of the costs and according to the financial books some countries hardly fulfill their financial obligations.
An article from CNN-Money clarifies which partners are actually paying their share. From the 28 member only 5 are on target of which the US is the biggest financer and contributor.
Donald Trump’s statements addressing this matter has not gone unnoticed and in an article published on the 12th of November 2016 from Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary General, a warning goes out for the US not to abandon Europe.
With Iceland (having no military defense) spending 0.1% of its GDP on defense and the Netherlands spending no more than 1.4% of their GDP, it is clear some countries need to step up.
The saddest part is that during military exercises in the past years, Dutch soldiers, much to their discontent, had to shout “ pinda pinda” which later changed in “pang pang”, as there were no bullets due to lack of funding. Similar situations were reported during Belgium military exercises . These problems have now partly been taken care of but it shows how a lack of focus and willingness to invest in a country’s own security, can lead for a stronger partner in perhaps wanting to leave.
According to Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, NATO is concerned that the Netherlands’ weak defense sending will lead to “other allies providing a disproportionate share of the necessary capacity”. The same concern could rise from other countries.
Countries like Canada, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg are all spending less than 1% of their GDP to defense. The question is whether or not NATO can bring these countries to understand the need to invest up to the agreed 2% and keep the members to stay together?
Another question here is what the influence will be from member states leaving Europe? The financial crisis has almost leaded for Greece to leave the EU and some other member states are still struggling. The United Kingdom that will leave the EU is currently a strong partner. But what will remain after the Brexit?
According to Jens Stoltenberg, we are now facing “the greatest challenges to our security in a generation” and this is not the time for the US to leave. But how will NATO cope with members that are not spending the money and rise to the agreed financial level of investment to make NATO work?
Europe needs a strong NATO and we can only wish for the leaders of member states to find the wisdom to step up and continue protecting the west.
by Editor in Chief