August 22, 2020

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: A Sort-of Goodbye to Germany?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be furious. She claims the redeployments will “weaken the (NATO) alliance.” German commercial interests chimed in that the troop withdrawals will hurt their decades-old businesses serving U.S. bases.

Perhaps, but Merkel surely cannot be surprised. Six years ago, all NATO members pledged to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Yet only eight of 29 so far have kept their word.

Germany spends only about 1.4 percent of its GDP on defense. As NATO’s largest, wealthiest, and most powerful European member, it sets the example for the rest of the alliance.

Merkel’s reneging on her 2014 pledge helps explain why less wealthy and influential NATO members also see no reason to meet their obligations.

Germany surely knows that 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the 29th year since the fall of the Berlin Wall — the symbolic end of the Cold War.

Will there be any point in the future when Europe is confident enough to be a full defense partner with the U.S. rather than an eight-decade client?

No. Next question? It’s VDH, so read the whole thing.

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