Liberals should be hating NATO

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Liberals should be hating NATO

Sec­re­tary of State Tiller­son con­tin­ues to beat up NATO nations for not pay­ing their fair share. Nor­mally we hear these com­plaints by peo­ple leav­ing, so it’s refresh­ing to hear them early, which means we might actu­ally get some reform.

Lib­er­als seem loathe to sup­port Trump on this point, and I’m not sure why. NATO’s own data shows the gap is real.

But this is per­cent­ages, which mean noth­ing. With Microsoft Excel as my friend, I cal­cu­lated what this actu­ally means in terms of bil­lions of dol­lars, using the data from NATO’s website.

That’s 121 bil­lion dol­lars, with a ‘B.’ But still again, this is just a num­ber, imper­sonal and mean­ing­less. It means more when you dig into bud­gets and find out what nations are spend­ing the money on instead:

Sec­re­tary Mat­tis was right to tell NATO nations to pay more. NATO nations are tak­ing care of their own while allow­ing Amer­ica to bear the cost of fight­ing ter­ror­ism and keep­ing the world safe for trade. The 121 bil­lion would make a dent in stu­dent debt, to the tune of giv­ing every stu­dent almost 6,000 dol­lars. It could pay for bet­ter health care cov­er­age or help us improve our own infra­struc­ture. In short, you’ve been pay­ing for child care and a host of other ser­vices for non-​Americans.

But wait, there’s more. Not only do these nations pay less, but when we go into com­bat, they do less. In Afghanistan, lot’s of peo­ple “con­tributed,” but placed restric­tions on their troops. Ger­man sol­diers couldn’t oper­ate at night (no night light per­haps?), wouldn’t trans­port Afghans, and only oper­ated in the qui­etest regions of the coun­try. Out of 26 nations, 20 placed restric­tions on troop usage. A com­mon say­ing was that NATO would fight for Afghanistan until the last dead American.

I still believe in NATO (I used to work with them). I still think NATO has a place in this world. I don’t think free­dom is going to defend itself, and NATO pro­vides a good way to keep demo­c­ra­tic gov­ern­ments free. But Den­mark shouldn’t pay for it’s health care on the backs of Amer­i­can Sailors, and Canada shouldn’t pro­vide child care while Amer­i­can Sol­diers strug­gle to keep their own child care open. NATO pay­ing their fair share is some­thing all peo­ple, lib­eral and con­ser­v­a­tive, can get behind.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other fed­eral agency. Then again, Sec­re­tary Mat­tis did tell NATO to pay up, so maybe my views reflect some of his own.

Check out my blog, and hit up Da Tip Jar when you can!

Secretary of State Tillerson continues to beat up NATO nations for not paying their fair share.  Normally we hear these complaints by people leaving, so it’s refreshing to hear them early, which means we might actually get some reform.

Liberals seem loathe to support Trump on this point, and I’m not sure why.  NATO’s own data shows the gap is real.

But this is percentages, which mean nothing.  With Microsoft Excel as my friend, I calculated what this actually means in terms of billions of dollars, using the data from NATO’s website.

That’s 121 billion dollars, with a ‘B.’  But still again, this is just a number, impersonal and meaningless.  It means more when you dig into budgets and find out what nations are spending the money on instead:

Secretary Mattis was right to tell NATO nations to pay more.  NATO nations are taking care of their own while allowing America to bear the cost of fighting terrorism and keeping the world safe for trade.  The 121 billion would make a dent in student debt, to the tune of giving every student almost 6,000 dollars.  It could pay for better health care coverage or help us improve our own infrastructure.  In short, you’ve been paying for child care and a host of other services for non-Americans.

But wait, there’s more.  Not only do these nations pay less, but when we go into combat, they do less.  In Afghanistan, lot’s of people “contributed,” but placed restrictions on their troops.  German soldiers couldn’t operate at night (no night light perhaps?), wouldn’t transport Afghans, and only operated in the quietest regions of the country.  Out of 26 nations, 20 placed restrictions on troop usage.  A common saying was that NATO would fight for Afghanistan until the last dead American.

I still believe in NATO (I used to work with them).  I still think NATO has a place in this world.  I don’t think freedom is going to defend itself, and NATO provides a good way to keep democratic governments free.  But Denmark shouldn’t pay for it’s health care on the backs of American Sailors, and Canada shouldn’t provide child care while American Soldiers struggle to keep their own child care open.  NATO paying their fair share is something all people, liberal and conservative, can get behind.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.  Then again, Secretary Mattis did tell NATO to pay up, so maybe my views reflect some of his own.

Check out my blog, and hit up Da Tip Jar when you can!