Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 1st of April 2019 to The Sounding Line.
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NATO is a mutual defense treaty whereby each member pledges to come to the military aid of any other member in the event of an external attack. In 2014, all members re-affirmed and formally committed to spend at least 2% of GDP on their militaries. Despite that, the US still represents roughly 70% of NATO’s military spending and is one of only seven countries that meet or exceed the 2% obligation as of 2018. Those countries are: the US, the UK, Poland, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Several NATO countries, including Germany, have no stated intention of meeting their funding requirements and do not have militaries capable of meaningfully contributing to other member states’ defense. Without the Soviet Union as a unifying enemy, the utility of NATO to countries like Germany is obviously lower. Their desire to cut military spending is understandable. All of which raises the question of what anyone thinks they are getting out of NATO, whether that be the countries in Eastern Europe that still value it, the countries in Western Europe that don’t, or the US that pays for it.
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