NATO Needs New Thinking, Not New Money

Donald Trump’s rough-and-tumble diplomacy in Europe overshadowed more pressing concerns for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Trump harangued allies to spend more on defense even though NATO members had already agreed in 2014 to strive for spending 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024. “NATO’s European members already spend more than enough money given the relatively limited objectives they set themselves – deterring a weak and declining Russia; countering terrorist groups; engaging in limited crisis management missions mainly in Africa; and cyber defense,” explains Jolyon Howorth, visiting professor with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Nations confront a range of security threats and Russia has devised new attacks against the Western alliance, including election meddling with the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election. Howorth urges reform: “NATO needs to be radically re-thought because it fails to reflect the necessary reconfiguration of European and American forces in a world of rapid power transition.” Excessive military spending without adequate thought could cripple economies. – YaleGlobal