This morning Donald Trump once again took to Twitter to show his utter ignorance and misunderstanding of how the world operates. On the heels of his widely mocked, embarrassing, petulant, child-like behavior with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he simply couldn’t help himself this morning:
Needless to say, people who know better immediately began correcting the President of the United States about how NATO is funded. The most notable of Twitter teachers who gave Trump a lesson in how NATO works was Ivo Daalder, the former United States Ambassador to NATO:
1/ Sorry, Mr. President, that’s not how NATO works. The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending NATO.
2/ This is not a financial transaction, where NATO countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.
3/ All NATO countries, including Germany, have committed to spend 2% of GDP on defense by 2024. So far 5 of 28 NATO countries do.
4/ Those who currently don’t spend 2% of their GDP on defense are now increasing their defense budgets. That’s a good thing.
5/ But no funds will be paid to the US. They are meant to increase NATO’s overall defense capabilities, given the growing Russian threat.
6/ Europe must spend more on defense, but not as favor (or payment) to the US. But because their security requires it.
7/ US does provide large military commitment to NATO. But this is not a favor to Europe. It is vital for our own security.
8/ We fought two world wars in Europe, and one cold war. Keeping Europe whole, free, and at peace, is vital US interest.
9/ A strong, united NATO, in which all contribute their fair share to defense, will secure that peace for all Alliance members.