Abandoning an international treaty: The reasons the United States must escape NATO’s grasp
Since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) inception in 1949, the United States has been a key advocate of it’s interests. The organization was formed as a defensive pact against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. NATO was once a useful organization that provided strategic benefit to the United States, but it has become clear in the past decade that it is time for the U.S. to leave this alliance.
When NATO was originally formed, it was expected that each member country would contribute at least 2% of its GDP in defense expenditures. While most countries originally met this expectation, it didn’t take long for the United States to start footing the bill for almost everyone else. According to the latest NATO figures, the United States pays 3.49% of its GDP toward NATO defense. That’s almost 0.40% higher than the next country, and the only nation that spends more is Poland at 3.90%.
Of the 30 member nations, only 11 spend the expected 2% or more toward defense, leaving the other 19 under the mark, with Luxembourg spending the least amount at 0.72% of their GDP. According to the same report, the United States spent a total of $743 billion dollars on defense expenditures directed toward NATO. The other 29 countries spent $356 billion combined.
The United States is not only footing the bill for most of Europe, but is also being dragged toward a potential third world war by being a part of the organization. The war in Ukraine has stoked tensions in Europe higher than they have been since the Second World War. NATO expansion was a driving factor in prompting Russia to invade. Despite this, many, including U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, are calling for Ukraine to be admitted into the alliance even while they are in the middle of a war.
Admitting Ukraine into NATO right now would be a disaster. Article 5 of the NATO treaty stipulates that if one member nation is attacked, all member nations are required to come to that country’s defense. If Ukraine were admitted to NATO right now, the United States would be thrown into a massive conflict with Russia and its allies, something the U.S. must avoid.
The United States spent 50 years avoiding war with Russia in the latter half of the 20th century. It should continue to try and avoid war now, especially with the internal issues the country already faces. According to Pew Research, only 33% of Americans approve of Joe Biden’s job as president. Only 16% of Americans trust the government. About one-third of Americans say they aren’t proud to be an American and 72% of Americans say they are not willing to fight or die for this country.
These are not promising numbers for a nation that could potentially be on the brink of war. It is clear that our allies across the Atlantic want us to pull their weight, pay for their defense and fight their wars on their behalf. The U.S. simply cannot afford to do that any longer.
NATO once served a purpose, but that purpose died with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. The organization has now become a shell of its former self, shifting away from a collective defense pact into just another liability for the United States. So as long as this country remains in this organization, it will continue to take billions of dollars away from its own people towards a people who want to spill the blood of American men instead of the blood of their own. It is long past time the U.S. leaves this rotting organization and prioritizes the interests of the American people.
Hughes is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X