Earlier this year, at the South Carolina Republican debate, Sen. Marco Rubio rattled off a list of the three top threats he’d want to address as president.
First: North Korea. Second: ISIS. “And the third is rebuilding and reinvigorating NATO in the European theater,” he said, “particularly in Central Europe and in Eastern Europe” as a counterbalance to Russian power.
The moderator didn’t allow any of Rubio’s competitors to respond to this trio, but had he been permitted to speak, Donald Trump may well have raised an objection to that third point. “Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually,”he recently said. “The cost of stationing NATO troops in Europe is enormous. And these are clearly funds that can be put to better use.”
Trump is hardly a foreign policy maven—ricocheting as he does between calls for restraint and open planning of war crimes—but on this point he gets it right: What Rubio is advocating is not so much defense as it is expanded subsidy of the European welfare state.
Indeed, writes American Security Initiative Foundation Fellow Bonnie Kristian, NATO’s European wing is notorious for its freeloading on American military might, a longstanding habit of bilking U.S. taxpayers for defense while throwing good money after bad on expansive social engineering projects.
from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1PIdmqT