THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Without wholehearted commitment by all of its members,
the alliance would be weakened severely, possibly fatally. It is
optimistic, to say the least, to believe that belligerence in the
Kremlin will be replaced by benevolence. History tells us that
those who enjoy spheres of influence are rarely satisfied by
what they control. Characteristically, they look to expand.
Diminishing the American commitment to Europe can only
further encourage Putin. It is said that a deal can be struck with
him, and that better relations can be achieved. This is both prag-
matic and laudable. But what would such a deal involve? Do not
such dealings involve concessions on both sides? What would
Putin be prepared to offer in such a bargain, and what could he
be offered in return?
Buoyed by his diplomatic and military success in the Middle
East, why would he be in any mood to make concessions? Who’s
to say he would not simply bank any concession made to him
without reciprocating? And even if such a deal were achieved,
the continued maintenance of the deterrence which NATO pro-
vides would be a necessary safeguard.
Protecting U.S. National Interests
It is easy to see that Europe has a real stake in preserving
the trans-Atlantic relationship. But what of the United States?
A stable and secure Europe making a proper contribution
to its own defense is the best means of protecting American
Pres. Trump has a point
when he says that the
European members of
NATO have not contributed
sufficiently to the cost of
their own defense.