The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has long been a symbol of the free world, enforcing humanitarian agendas and committing itself to universal rights for all. Such a noble force has the support of currently 28 of the most powerful countries in the world including the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K., and one would assume that out of all these members, it would be logical and fair that each country contribute the same percentage. After all, not just the U.S. is committed in making the world a better place.
The U.S. government currently contributes almost a quarter of NATO’s operating budget, which is weird considering that NATO has 28 member states. One could argue that not all countries can afford such a huge financial burden, but per capita, many richer European countries – such as Luxembourg, which has an annual GDP per capita of $110,697.03, twice the amount of America’s – do not put forth the required amount to NATO.
Regulations dictate that all NATO members must spend at least 2 percent of their yearly GDP on defense and so far, a measly five of them have met the bare minimum.
Not only does direct contribution to NATO by the states overshadow any other country, indirect spending eclipses even that. It is estimated that nearly 73 percent of all NATO spending comes from the U.S.
American presidents have long held resentments for being forced to be the main economic pillar supporting NATO. There is widespread bipartisan resentment for this issue, which draws the support of Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, George Bush and most recently, President Donald Trump.
While many liberals contest any word that comes out of Trump’s mouth, pulling the U.S. out of an obsolete Cold War relic is a cause that everyone should get behind. Having the U.S. spend so much to act as “world police” is unnecessary and a remnant of the past.
The money that the U.S. would save, by reinvesting its NATO expenditures back into its economy, would bolster the economy and create more jobs. Direct spending overseas in America’s own military is already more than enough, and we don’t need to give even more money to other countries who do the same thing as us.
If other countries don’t even care enough about world security to provide for NATO, then the U.S. shouldn’t have to pick up the burden. The U.S. should be content in its current overseas involvement, and by staying out of conflicts it doesn’t relate to, the nation could save money and lives.
If other countries don’t care for the brutalities that occur and aren’t investing enough to stop it, the U.S. no longer needs to be the paradigm of freedom in the world. Secretary of Defense General Mattis has said that unless other countries can contribute the same as the U.S., then we would be forced to “moderate [our] commitment” to NATO.
The need for all countries to be free should not rest merely on America’s shoulders. Freedom and liberty for all should be pursued by all countries. If continued U.S. investment is wanted in NATO, then other members must step up their commitments to world peace.
Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins