By John Dale Grover
At a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, President Donald Trump once again brought up European defense spending. He said, “The Prime Minister and I agree that our NATO Allies must increase their defense spending. We’ve both been working very hard toward that end. … We expect a growing number of nations to meet the minimum 2 percent of GDP requirement.”
Handwringing by officials in Washington has been a long-standing part of America’s relationship with its NATO-Europe military allies — and rightly so. An alliance is only as good as its members, and America’s wealthy European allies have a dismal record of military spending and readiness.
Washington should continue to encourage Europe to meet its defense spending obligations under NATO, but America should also not stand in the way of a unified European military. The United States should welcome European allies that are reasonably strong, autonomous, and capable of both defending themselves and assisting America abroad. Currently, most European powers’ militaries are little more than glorified peacekeeping forces used on occasion for distributing international aid. This is unacceptable and a liability.
This piece was originally published by The Hill on June 10, 2019. Read more HERE.