NATO members must commit fair share to defense

No doubt President Donald Trump, visiting four countries in Europe this week, expected a frosty reception from some leaders. Those whose nations are members of NATO are upset with Trump for demanding they pay a fairer share of the alliance’s defense costs.

Some already do bear reasonable burdens. The United Kingdom, for example, spends slightly more than 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. The U.S. total is 3.5 percent.

But for years, many NATO nations have leaned heavily on our country to fund the alliance. Germany spends just 1.24 percent of its GDP on defense. France is only a bit better, at 1.81 percent.

Trump has demanded that all NATO members spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense. That may anger those nations’ leaders — but it is an entirely reasonable position.

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