US owes NATO more than it is giving

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The United States contributes only a small portion of its budget to NATO, making the alliance a worthwhile investment. Photo by Anthony Garnier.

Honor. Honor and Loyalty. A continent locked in constant war bound together in peace by oaths taken on a cold April morning in 1949. NATO, a military alliance of 28 nations based around one simple idea: An attack on one is an attack on all. If Russians take one inch of Baltic soil it is as if they are marching through D.C. or paratrooping men into London.

A provincial aspect of NATO is that all nations must dedicate 2 percent of their gross domestic product toward military research or development. As of now five nations — the U.S., Britain, Estonia, Poland and Greece — meet this financial goal. This has caused some issues.

Actually, let me rephrase that: It hasn’t caused much of an issue, but anti-globalists have used this as an excuse to throw a temper tantrum — citing financial reasons — but these excuses are about as hollow and stupid as the people who fling them. Right off the top of my head, the United States contributes 22 percent of NATO’s common funding which equals about $460 million dollars or a whopping .023 percent of the United States’ discretionary budget.

There are people out there — we all know who I’m talking about — who think America should run our foreign affairs like a business. Well, for those bragging about their business acumen, they seem to display a chilling lack of basic business concepts.

Here’s a fact for everyone. Want to know how much World War II cost? The whole kit and caboodle? $288 billion, which amounts to $4 trillion in today’s money. That’s $300 billion more than the entire U.S.’s budget.

Do you know what would have stopped WWII and saved us all that money? If there were, say, a military alliance between European nations that stated: “If Hitler marches into Czechoslovakia, we all go to war with him.” Look at that, we spent a drop in the bucket, saved trillions, and stopped the deaths of millions of people. If only something like that existed today.

The text of Article five reads:

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”

It has only been activated once in history: Sept. 11, 2001. While America was reeling from a brutal terrorist attack and our military was scattered across the world, where were our allies? Canadian jets roared to life to protect American skies, Norwegian submarines patrolled the Mediterranean to intercept terrorist arms, and soldiers from all over Europe rushed to reinforce American bases and protect U.S. embassies. A month later, every member of NATO was supplying men or logistics to help us with Operation Enduring Freedom.

So where is our loyalty? Where is our credibility? The nations of NATO, no matter how small, rose up to protect us in our hour of need. Is this how we repay them: by threatening abandonment over drops in the bucket? Are we to treat our allies like vassals instead of the bastions of Western democracy?

To even speak of betraying our military allies is a disgusting disgrace to America’s credibility, our honor and our history.

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