During the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, President Trump lashed out at member countries to increase their defense spending for NATO. “So, we’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries,” Trump continued. “And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. So, we are supposed to protect you against Russia.”
This claim is true.
In 2017, the United States was paying over $655B for NATO defense spending, the most out of any country. Coming in second is the United Kingdom at just over $55B, France at $45.9B, and Germany at $44.2B. (MORE: Defense Expenditures of NATO Countries)
In a tweet before the summit, President Trump singled out Germany, saying that its budget contribution comes to 1 percent while the U.S. is at 4 percent. The German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, promised to increase military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025. Although this would be a sharp rise compared to current spending, it would still fall short of the 2 percent threshold Germany pledged to do so.
Only five countries have met that goal: Estonia, Greece, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
As Eric Trump said, “Why is it that we have to be the piggy bank for the world?” While a GDP percentage spent on defense measures is a generally easy metric to find, it shouldn’t equal out to the United States increasing their ever lasting deficit and debt.
Of the 13 NATO countries added after the Cold War, 10 of those countries have had a significant decrease in democratic scores. This means that, in a hypothetical situation, if a war between major countries were to happen, certain countries would immediately pick sides in order to achieve their political agenda.
Jorge Velasco is the Founder and CEO of theDailyLead.