European allies need to pay up

After years of our European allies exploiting America’s generosity, it’s time to make NATO great again.

And one way to do that is to have a bold leader like President Trump tell alliance members there’s no more free lunch on the backs of American taxpayers.

That’s what Trump conveyed to NATO members yesterday at a high-profile summit in Brussels, when he said, “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations.” For far too many years, 23 of the 28 NATO members have failed to meet their fiscal obligations — to spend 2 percent of their GDP on their own military preparedness. Result? You the American taxpayer not only have to pay boatloads for our own U.S. defense, but also underwrite the defense for dozens of foreign nations. Many economically viable nations have been sticking their hands in your wallet for too long.

Thankfully there’s a new sheriff in town, and Donald Trump is looking out for us.

What a contrast from liberals who never met a tax or globalist program they didn’t like. To the contrary, Trump let NATO leaders know the free ride is over.

With all the costly military conflicts America is entangled in around the globe, including the ongoing war with the Islamic State in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict regions, we simply cannot continue to be the world’s policeman or financier. In 2015 alone the U.S. spent $650 billion funding NATO, 72 percent of the organization’s $900 billion budget according to reports.

That’s highway robbery.

The United States, Estonia, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom fund the lion’s share of NATO total defense spending, with America making the largest contribution. Clearly there needs to be more equitable cost-sharing amongst NATO’s 28 members.

With respect to mutual defense, the treaty’s Article 5 states that an attack on one member state is an attack on all, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence recently assured NATO members the United States would honor the spirit of that article. Although Trump failed to make these outright verbal assurances yesterday, some officials say there’s no question America will support our allies in a time of war, so it was unnecessary for the president to reiterate the obvious. But some say Trump intentionally didn’t utter Article 5 assurances as a clever negotiating tactic to encourage NATO nations to pay their fair share.

Being opaque about mutual defense may well be another sign of smart negotiating tactics Trump is leveraging to protect the American taxpayer.

Either way, after 8 years of runaway spending under the globalist former President Barack Obama, it’s quite refreshing to have a president who’s putting our own best interests first — demonstrating once again Trump is keeping his promises to the American people.

Adriana Cohen

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist and tv commenator. Adriana’s weekly column appears in newspapers and media outlets nationwide including Fox News, the New York Post, and many others via the Creators Syndicate. To learn more, visit the About page.