Mirror, Mirror…

Rather than list the litany of woes we are experiencing, we might be better served by looking at some underlying causes.

It’s strange Russia is threatening Ukraine in the face of NATO opposition. After all, just the Western European NATO allies have vastly greater resources than Russia. Germany alone has a GDP of 2 1/2 times Russia’s. Theoretically, Russia would stand little chance waging an offensive war against those with much more means. All it would take is resolve by our European allies.

Therein lies the rub. Donald Trump recognized something was wrong. Western Europe is comfortable letting the U.S. defend them instead of taking their proper place in protecting shared principles of free societies. We spend 3.7% of our GDP on defense. Germany provides all of 1.4%. Trump demanded all the NATO allies meet the 2% they agreed on.

In light of this dereliction, it’s fair to ask what Germany is up to. Is that nation committed to free countries or just feathering its own nest? To date, Germany hasn’t come close to the 2%. Under former Chancellor Andrea Merkel, not only didn’t it keep its defense obligations, but it joined Russia in building the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. Merkel was seen as putting German¬†trade¬†above all else. By pumping natural gas under the Baltic directly from Russia to Germany, it undermines the energy security of Eastern Europe.

President Trump, exasperated with Merkel, blocked completion of the pipeline. Unfathomably, upon taking office, Biden reversed the Trump stand, allowing completion. We have every right to know the stance on the issue of the new German Chancellor.

Olaf Scholz must be put on the spot and explain precisely where Germany stands. Given its central geographic and dominant economic position, it’s necessary to deliver unwavering support for NATO and our shared ideals. Otherwise, our 320,000 military personnel in Europe are at risk of a stab in the back.

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