Leading transatlantic thinktank calls for 2% defence budget commitment to safeguard European-US relationship
Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, and EU leaders need to adjust to this reality. In particular they must ensure that America remains bound into the institutions which protect Western security.
For the United States to withdraw from NATO security guarantees would be a catastrophe, yet this is precisely what Trump suggested on the campaign trail, unless European countries contribute more to their own defence. A target to spend 2% of GDP on defence was agreed in 2006, but most NATO members are falling short.
The easiest resolution to this problem is simply to guarantee that the target will henceforth be met. This afternoon EU foreign ministers meet with defence ministers. A commitment to meet the target must be agreed upon. If the targets are not met by European countries American voters are likely to become increasingly supportive of withdrawal. This must be averted.
Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, said;
“EU Foreign Ministers meeting today need to understand that the world has changed and that this is not time for a pity party.
“President-Elect Trump needs to be bound into the existing European and NATO defence architecture, and flights of fantasy about a European Army that none of the creators will have the courage to use is a waste of resources.
“The most meaningful message Europe can send Trump is a simple one: a guarantee to increase defence spending to the 2% level required by NATO.”