Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton came out in agreement with Donald Trump last week on our role in NATO. They disagree on a solution but it’s a great idea and about time they bring this to the forefront.
SENATOR TOM COTTON ON AMERICA’S ROLE IN NATO:
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton on Friday discussed his participation in a meeting with Donald Trump earlier this week, remarking that he and the Republican presidential frontrunner have similar concerns when it comes to the United States’ role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
“You know, he had spoken earlier that day to The Washington Post editorial board and raised some serious questions about NATO. I share some of those questions,” Cotton said in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We used to split our costs 50/50 between the U.S. and Europe. Today, it’s 70-30 between the U.S. and Europe.” Read more: Politico
In an interview with The Washington Post editorial board, Donald Trump made an accurate statement about the U.S. subsidization of fellow NATO members:
TRUMP: Look, I see NATO as a good thing to have — I look at the Ukraine situation and I say, so Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we are doing all of the lifting, they’re not doing anything. And I say, why is it that Germany is not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of the Ukraine not dealing with — why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war, okay, with Russia? Why are we always the ones that are doing it? And I think the concept of NATO is good, but I do think the United States has to have some help. We are not helped. I’ll give you a better example than that. I mean, we pay billions — hundreds of billions of dollars to supporting other countries that are in theory wealthier than we are.
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DIEHL: Hundreds of billions?
Trump’s GOP opponents jumped on his comments and accused him of suggesting that the U.S. should leave NATO, or at least cut back its support of the alliance.
In fact, Trump was correct that the U.S. is paying “hundreds of billions of dollars to supporting other countries” via NATO each year, never mind additional military subsidies to non-NATO allies.
In 2014, the collective GDP of all NATO members was US$37.5 trillion. During the same year, the alliance spent a total of US$924 billion on military expenditures, of which the U.S. spent the majority ($610 billion), according to the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database.
Consequently, the alliance collectively spent 2.47% of GDP on defense. The U.S. was the only member above this value, coming in at 3.5% of GDP. In other words, the U.S. subsidizes each and every other member of NATO.
This leads us to the following chart, showing the individual defense spending deficits toward the common defense in 2014 for each NATO member – note that the U.S. has a “surplus” of US$180 billion that equals the sum of all other member deficits.
Unsurprisingly, Germany (US$47 billion per year) and Canada (US$26 billion per year) are the biggest NATO laggards, followed closely by Spain and Italy at $US21 billion per year each. These four countries constitute almost two thirds of the total NATO deficit that has to be covered by the United States.
Trump had good instincts on this.
Read more: American Thinker