The United States have taken up the slack for long enough

The MSM have attacked President?Trump for refusing to continue to uphold a seriously bad bargain. They expect US soldiers to risk their lives defending the citizens of deadbeat European Countries as part of the NATO agreement despite those countries failing to uphold their end of the agreement. The US is expected to bankroll other countries defences and sacrifice the lives of Americans in the defence of countries who have not paid their fair share for many years. I agree with Trump that the days of the US acting as the world’s police force should be at an end. The US get blamed for everything bad that happens ( like terrorism) but when the shit hits the fan they are expected to come running in defence of others.

The NATO agreement can be saved but only if the European countries step up and fulfil their financial obligations. If Merkel’s response is anything to go by it seems clear that they will not be stepping up.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a crowd today in southern Germany that Europe can no longer rely on foreign partners.

Merkel declared a new chapter in US-European relations after contentious meetings with President Donald Trump last week, saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands”.

…This is an enormous change in political rhetoric. While the public is more familiar with the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States, the German-US relationship has arguably been more important.
One of the key purposes of Nato was to embed Germany in an international framework that would prevent it from becoming a threat to European peace as it had been in World War I and World War II. In the words of Nato’s first secretary general, Nato was supposed “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”.

Now, Merkel is suggesting that the Americans aren’t really in, and, by extension, Germany and Europe are likely to take on a much more substantial and independent role than they have in the past 70 years.

…Her belief that the United States is no longer a reliable partner is a direct result of Trump’s words and actions.

The keystone of Nato is Article 5, which has typically been read as a commitment that in the event that one member of the alliance is attacked, all other members will come to its aid.

When Trump visited Nato, he dedicated a plaque to the one time that Article 5 has been invoked – when all members of Nato promised to come to the United States’ support after the attack on September 11, 2001. However, Trump did not express his commitment to Article 5 in his speech to Nato, instead lambasting other Nato members for not spending enough money on their militaries.

When Trump went on to the Group of Seven meeting in Italy, he declined to recommit to the Paris agreement on climate change, leaving the other six nations to issue a separate statement.

This cements the impression of the United States as an unreliable partner.

How reliable are the other member countries who have not paid their way?

Trump has ostentatiously refused to express his commitment to an agreement that has been the bulwark of Europe-US security relations over the past three generations. He also has declined to say that the US will work within the previously agreed framework on global warming.

…However, Merkel will face her own challenges in building a stronger Europe. Europe faces several internal disagreements. States such as Poland and Hungary agree more with Trump than with Germany on many issues. Southern European countries still resent Germany’s support of painful and (for them) damaging austerity policies.

…Finally, the criticisms offered by Trump (and many US leaders before him) are not entirely wrong – European states spend much less on their militaries than the United States does on its military and have effectively outsourced much of their defence to US armed forces.

…If the current US administration has decided that it no longer needs to rely on allies as much as in the past, those allies are deciding that they cannot rely on the US anymore and are starting to forge their own arrangements, which will diminish the US ability to influence their actions and decisions.

– Washington Post

The United States will always have influence because of its military might and its wealth. Merkel is attempting to build a stronger Europe not because she wants to but because she now has no other choice. The days of expecting America to gallop to the rescue are over and I think that is a good thing. The US has acted as a parent figure to Europe for too long. It is time Europe’s leaders took responsibility for their own actions. Merkel caused this awful mess now she has to try to fix it.