Germany Doesn’t Owe Us Money

This is not breaking news, but our president is a moron who will never stop humiliating and endangering our country and our people for as long as he is allowed to continue to serve in office.

His meeting with Angela Merkel could hardly have gone worse, and there are many things to choose from to demonstrate this. But his fundamental lack of understanding of the NATO alliance is probably the most important thing to focus on:

Despite his endorsement of NATO, Trump reiterated his campaign-trail criticism that member nations are not paying their “fair share” to support the security alliance.

Trump said some countries owe “vast sums” in dues, which is “very unfair to the United States” — an allegation that appeared to be based on an incomplete understanding of how the alliance is funded.

Trump stated that each nation agreed to contribute 2 percent of its gross domestic product to NATO. In fact, the alliance had long ago set a goal that each member would devote at least 2 percent of GDP to defense in their own budgets.

The members contribute their capabilities to NATO, not monetary assessments. Those who haven’t reached 2 percent, which is the majority of nations, don’t “owe” or have to make up shortfalls of the past.

“These nations must pay what they owe,” Trump said.

He followed this up with two tweets this morning that reiterated that he just doesn’t know what our European allies have agreed to do or what they have failed to do.

Germany doesn’t owe money to NATO. What they’re supposed to do is spend more money on their own armed forces. Theoretically, this would allow us to spend less money on our armed forces, but Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in our military spending and has requested $30 million in supplemental defense spending from what was appropriated under his predecessor Barack Obama. If he’s concerned that we’re paying too much on defense, he could start by asking for less than $84 billion extra in his budget requests.

Because Trump doesn’t understand the basics here, he insults Germany and most of the rest of NATO by insisting that they “owe” us money and must pay it back. Certainly, Germany owes us something for all we’ve done for them since the second world war. But they don’t owe us any cash.

Finally, since Trump wouldn’t shake Merkel’s hand, I’ll leave you with this:

Any questions?

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