Thursday, July 12, 2018

NATO costs—for decades Presidents have chided them

I've been browsing what past leaders and presidents have said about NATO costs, and there's virtually no difference from Trump--or rather, the difference is he means it. I'd forgotten that President Clinton was behind the expansion of NATO in the mid 90s and had virtually no plan to pay for it (except we'd continue the lion's share). It's no wonder it's like trying to get a house back from your sister after you've provided it rent free for 50 years. The tenant is insulted and hurt--why now you big meanie? You're picking on me.

Here's Bernie Sanders during the 2016 campaign. "Sanders said, "We spend about 75 percent of the entire cost of the military aspect of NATO. Given the fact that France has a very good health care system and free public education, college education for their people, the U.K. has a good National Health Service and they also provide fairly reasonable higher education, you know what, yeah, I do believe that the countries of Europe should pick up more of the burden for their defense." (Politifact, April 19, 2016)

Politifact is liberal so of course it quibbled. It refigured the math and said it was ONLY 72%. Bernie did say "about," but never mind. The choice was to criticize the Obama administration, or to support the socialist.

So maybe President Obama sounded like Mr. Rogers when he said it, but essentially on April 25, 2016, he said what Trump said sounding like a President of the U.S., and the media did not have a melt down.

“We need to stay nimble, and make sure our forces are interoperable, and invest in new capabilities like cyber defense and missile defense. And that’s why every NATO member should be contributing its full share — 2 percent of GDP — toward our common security, something that doesn’t always happen. And I’ll be honest, sometimes Europe has been complacent about its own defense.” . . . Oh yes, and Obama said he wanted a good relationship with Russia in that same speech.
In fact, the Washington Post claimed candidate Trump was essentially saying what Obama said about NATO. But that was then. . . 2016.

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