As NATO dramatically increases its presence in Eastern Europe, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter are pushing alliance members to provide more money to the cause, repeatedly citing consistently-debunked claims of “Russian aggression.”
"There has never been such an amassing of hostile military force on Russia’s Western frontiers since June 1941, when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, and that’s the way the Russians see it," Professor Stephen F. Cohen said in a recent interview with The John Batchelor Show.
This massive buildup requires money, and officials are worried that some aren’t paying enough to sustain NATO’s increasingly aggressive appetite.
"For the first time in many years, in 2015 we registered a small increase in defense spending amongst European allies and Canada," Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday.
"And our estimates for 2016 indicate a further increase of 1.5% in real terms this year. This is progress. But I will call on allies to keep up the momentum, and to do more."
Stoltenberg has been working with Carter to rebalance the alliance’s budget. The US currently provides 75% of the NATO budget, a dramatic increase from 50% in 2001. To convince the other 27 alliance members to increase their own contributions, the US and NATO have routinely trotted out the red herring of a Russian threat.
The alliance has also pushed to add new members. Sweden has considered membership and Finland may purchase its own fleet of F-35s, Lockheed Martin’s beleaguered next-generation fighter jet.
But NATO’s current members do not seem entirely convinced by the argument.
Credit to Sputnik