In 2018 we wrote the following piece on NATO funding after Trump called out those nations who weren’t keeping up with their own self-imposed military spending commitments of 2% of GDP made back in 2006. At the time, only 5 of the 28 member countries outside of the US had met the 2% commitment. Fast forward to today and only 6 countries (ex-US) have achieved it.
Yet the Left is howling that Trump is a hypocrite for looking to move an F-16 squadron, amongst other instalments from sub-2% Germany to Italy – a nation with an even lower commitment – because he thinks that the Teutons are derelict with respect to their NATO promises. How ironic that German politicians are begging the US to reconsider the move, knowing the boost to the local economy those facilities bring.
What the Trump-hating world doesn’t see with the relocation of forces is that such decisions aren’t solely based on monetary commitments but the strategic implications of new bases, not to mention the approval of the new country to accept US forces on its sovereign territory.
Others are saying this is further evidence of Trump placating Putin. Were that the case, Trump would encourage an extension of the timeline for nations to meet their NATO commitments and recommend the redeployment of those forces to the western-most part of Northern Ireland so as to be the least effective deterrent to Russia.
Given the long-standing arrangement Putin has with Assad, the Russian navy has access to the Meditteranean port of Tartus in Syria. Relocating fighter jets in Italy makes more sense than having them in Germany were a skirmish ever to ensue.
Never mind. Orange man bad.