April 17, 2017

NATO Funding Frustration Could Cause Friction in Europe

By Edoardo Saravalle

A former candidate for UK Prime Minister suggests that the United Kingdom could use its military to counteract Spanish attempts to influence the status of a British outpost. A major British newspaper adds fuel to that fire by arguing that the Royal British Navy could defeat the Spanish Navy should it come to war. When did this happen? 1805? Perhaps the 1760s?

No, this actually took place in 2017, over accusations that the Spanish were attempting to influence Gibraltar’s status post-Brexit. This spat serves as a grim reminder for the United States—it encourages European nations to spend more on defense at its own peril. The history of European military might is not a happy one, and the recent U.S. demand that European nations spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense to meet the NATO target could, in fact, harm U.S. interests.

In short, when faced with the choice of guns or butter, the United States should allow European leaders to choose butter. The United States can bring the guns.

Read the full article at The National Interest.