Speaking of owing money...how much does it cost the US government to follow T-Rump around Mar-a-Lago every weekend?
Ultimately, members’ contributions are based on each nation’s capability. Therefore, Nato member nations do not “owe” or have to compensate any other country.
Trump’s tweets on Saturday suggested a misunderstanding of the way Nato is funded. According to Nato’s official guidelines, member nations are expected to spend at least 2% of their country’s gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. However, only a handful of the 28 members actually meet that target.
At a 2014 summit in Wales, members pledged to increase their military spending to 2% of GDP by 2024, a goal some have said is unachievable and unrealistic for several member states.
On Saturday Ivo Daalder, who was permanent representative to Nato from 2009 to 2013, respond to Trump in a series of tweets.
“Sorry, Mr President, that’s not how Nato works,” he wrote. “The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending Nato. This is not a financial transaction, where Nato countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.
“All Nato countries, including Germany, have committed to spend 2% of GDP on defense by 2024. So far five of 28 Nato countries do. Those who currently don’t spend 2% of their GDP on defense are now increasing their defense budgets."
Daalder added that the “large military commitment” of the US to Nato was “not a favor to Europe” but was “vital for our own security”.
“We fought two world wars in Europe, and one cold war,” he wrote. “Keeping Europe whole, free, and at peace, is vital US interest.”
In [a Feb. 17] interview with the New York Times editorial board, Trump implied that US defense of a Nato ally would depend on whether the country was contributing proportionally to the alliance’s defense spending.
Asked whether the US would provide military defense to Baltic countries if Russia were to attack, Trump said: “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”