My personal take on NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is that it is a convenient cover for projecting United States power, plain and simple.
It gave us an excuse to install our own military bases in places such as Germany, Spain, and Italy after World War II, allowing us to have forward staging areas in our face-off with our ally (from World War II) turned enemy, the old Soviet Union.
A side benefit was that the Western European democracies got an almost free ride being relieved of the cost of maintaining strong national defenses of their own. In turn they were able to rebuild from the rubble of WWII, with the added help of our monetary assistance through the Marshall Plan.
So why were we willing all this time to let them slide? And yes, the European nations did (do) supply their own troops and equipment and some monetary contribution, but way below that of what the U.S. did. The answer is obvious. Since we paid the biggest bill, we held the most power.
Having those European bases came in handy when we needed to respond to crises in the Middle East, as an example.
But now President Trump has chastised member nations for not paying enough dues and although finally indicating continued U.S. membership in NATO, has previously questioned its relevance in the post Soviet world (of course Russia is still expansionist, particularly in bordering East Europe).
All I am saying is that I always figured NATO was just a convenient method for the U.S. to project or maintain its power.
Even though I am not big on interventionism, I continue to believe it is in the best interests of the United States to maintain its power.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has warned her European neighbors that they can no longer depend upon the United States alone.
Right now the economic power house in Europe is Germany. Germany is no longer militaristic (over time that could change), but is does take part with us in our Middle Eastern conflicts.
President Trump has criticized Merkel and Germany.
I personally think we ought to stay on Germany’s good side.
And there is an argument for dropping out of NATO, but we ought to consider what we will lose in the form of the strategic staging of our military forces.
As far as pressing other members of NATO to pay their fair share, well that is fine, but it could be done more quietly.
And why are we complaining about being king of the hill?
Sadly, under Trump, the U.S. is losing its status all over the world at this time.
The emperor has no clothes and there is no real method to his madness.