"In any event, good luck to President Trump in dealing with this group. Will he come away from this meeting with a better deal on dues? Knowing how the President operates. my guess would be - yes."
More and more, folks are starting to wonder why in the world, in this year of 2018, do we still have an organization called NATO. Talk about a relic from the past! From post World War II, and the Cold War. In fact it was formed in 1949 to (publicly) offset the emerging Soviet threat. In reality, some historians believe it was also there to give hope to Europe, that a rogue thug could no longer plunder other countries unchecked. Most took great comfort and solace in the infamous Article 5 of the NATO treaty - "An armed attack against one, is an armed attack against all."
But that was then and this is now. Does NATO still have a viable purpose? Is it worth all this squabbling about dues? Speaking of which, did you know that of the 29 members of NATO, only 4 pay the required 2% of their GDP towards the defense of NATO? Those nations would be (of course) the United States, the UK, Estonia and Greece. Greece? I thought they were teetering in the edge? Interesting. Greece is paying 2% and Germany who is doing much better economically, is not.
But who cares, right? Well, President Trump cares. Luxembourg, Belgium and Spain all pay less than 1% if their GDP. All are expected to reach the 2% goal by 2024. Germany has already informed the others, they will not be ready by 2024. They will make 1.5%, but that is all they are committing to.
Why is this so important to the President? For the same reason the trade deficits are. We are getting hosed. Looked upon (as the President says) as the world's piggy bank. Do we carry our load in NATO? Oh yes - that and more so. We kick in about 70% of NATO's current budget.
It is expected that this NATO meeting is going to be a bit testy. President Trump is looked upon by some of the Euro Zone globalists as a "bully" for pushing this dues issue. So, here is an idea. If most of the countries cannot or will not make the 2% goal, maybe the goal should then be reduced to 1%. Just asking. Would it make a difference in how NATO is run? To its charter? Or maybe a new clause in the charter which states in time of peace (like now) dues are 1%, but in times of conflict, dues automatically raises to 2%.
My belief however, is we have bigger fish to fry with NATO than just the dues issue. Turkey. In particular, Turkey under Erdogan. Erdogan is a Muslim who is tilting his country away from a democracy to almost a dictatorship. With some of Erdogan extremist views, I could almost see the day where Turkey and Israel get involved in some kind of dust up. Then what? If Israel is forced to launch a limited air attack on Turkey, what about "an attack on one, is an attack on all"? That would put the United States in a very tough position indeed.
In any event, good luck to President Trump in dealing with this group. Will he come away from this meeting with a better deal on dues? Knowing how the President operates, my guess would be - yes. After the meeting is over, NATO will continue to limp along, a group of nations, looking for a new mission.