Media ignore another Trump diplomatic triumph yesterday
President Trump is delivering on his promise to end the role of America as "Uncle Sugar" for its allies, bearing the major burden of collective defense. American taxpayers and American military personnel have ponied up money and lives for more than 70 years, while allies have devoted their resources elsewhere, freed up by the generosity of the superpower created by victory in World War 2.
Yesterday, an extraordinary thing happened: the president of Romania, the former Soviet-era puppet enslaved by Stalin's troops, came to the White House and stood up during Rose Garden press conference with President Trump and stated that his country will start paying up its share of the burden for NATO – because of President Trump.
CNS News reports:
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said Friday that his country is increasing its contribution to NATO after hearing President Donald Trump's speech last month at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
During a joint press conference at the White House, Trump praised Iohannis for committing to increase Romania's defense spending to NATO from 1.4 percent to two percent, as Trump called for during his speech in Brussels on May 25. Trump said other nations are also starting to "realize that it's time to pay up."
"I was in Brussels, and I met President Trump. I listened to his speech, and I liked it, because you see NATO is based on values, but it is ultimately military alliance," the Romanian president said. A reporter asked whether Iohannis thought it was fair that Trump encouraged NATO members to pay but also countries, including Romania, who had not paid two percent in the past to make up for that difference.
"And you know, military spendings are complicated, and you need a lot of money, because NATO is the strongest alliance the earth ever saw, and we want to keep it that way, so we have to spend money for defense purposes," Iohannis said. "And spending money means if you're in alliance, everybody has to spend money. This is called burden-sharing, and I fully agree, Mr. President, to that.
Most Americans resent being played for patsies by their allies. Their diplomats had been content to remain in the role of generous guarantors because that enhanced their own power and status in the ongoing postwar framework. Their diplomatic counterparts in NATO were happy to let that arrangement continue.
It takes genuine leadership to change a status quo that has been in place so many decades. Those who despise Trump will never admit the effectiveness of leadership, even when a foreign head of state acts on it.