NATO is Not ‘Obsolete’
WARWICK, R.I. – Former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Judge Robert Flanders, issued the following statement regarding the results of the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit:
“I disagree with President Trump’s characterization of NATO as ‘obsolete,’ a word the president has carelessly used this week to refer to the NATO Alliance.
On tariffs and NATO alike, I disagree with the president’s roughshod approach to our allies. NATO is not a real estate deal. I would rather such treatment be reserved for antagonists such as Russia or countries such as China that steal government secrets and the intellectual property of U.S. private enterprise.
The NATO Alliance remains a critical force for greater global security and has served as a historic guarantor of peace. It would be nice to see the president communicate the importance of NATO to the American public with half of the enthusiasm with which he flatters Vladimir Putin.
President Trump is now calling for NATO members to spend four percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense. But of the 27 NATO members, only five countries now meet the agreed upon requirement to spend two percent of their GDP on defense, based on 2016 figures provided by NATO: the United States (3.56%), Greece (2.41%), the United Kingdom (2.15%), Estonia (2.13%), and Poland (2.00%). Twenty-one NATO members spend below 1.5 percent of their GDP on defense.
I would like to see NATO members, such as Romania (1.41%), Germany (1.20%), and Hungary (1.02%) to take a more active role in reaffirming their commitment to sharing the military burden of the NATO Alliance.
In this post-cold war, multipolar world, there is more uncertainty than ever today with a weakened Russia, a rising China, and rogue nations such as Iran attempting to expand their spheres of influence. Thus, it is more important than ever to reaffirm our commitment to Article Five of NATO and to our historic European alliance.”