European Security: Who Wants It?July 9, 2018
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a source of strength for the United States and the nations of Europe, but Europe is endangering NATO’s continued existence through its own actions. If NATO is to remain an effective mutual-assistance defense force, then all the member states must step up and demonstrate their willingness and ability to bear their portion of the burden of alliance membership.
Make no mistake, it is Europe’s unwillingness to do so thus far, and not the election of President Donald Trump, that has created the vacuum that invited the present reevaluation of NATO’s future. When it comes to mutual security in Europe, the question that currently haunts the continent is “How much does Europe want it?”
It is true, however, that the United States has some responsibility for the present situation. It helped to found NATO and voluntarily bore a disproportionate economic and military burden within the alliance for much of its history. This was done for a purpose.