In a panel discussion on Israel’s i24NEWS, Breitbart Jerusalem chief Aaron Klein said that President Donald Trump was raising a “very fair question” by criticizing fellow NATO members over their disproportionate contributions to defense spending while the U.S. allocates a much larger percentage of its economic output to its defense budget.
Klein also raised questions about the usefulness of NATO in the post-Cold War era.
Watch the segment below:
Let’s really talk this. What is the point of NATO? I mean, it used to be to fight the Soviet Union. It did an excellent job at helping to end the Cold War. What are they doing now? I mean, what have they given to us? The last thing that they did was this internationalist Responsibility to Protect nightmare that turned into what you have seen now in Libya. A failed state. Al-Qaida took over. MANPADS all over the Middle East. And you know, lastly, why should the United States pay a disproportionate amount of NATO? This is a very fair question. And it is something that Donald Trump is right in bringing up.
Klein was speaking on the news network’s The Spin Room show hosted by Avi Kaufman.
Klein was asked to address Trump’s first public comments in Brussels before NATO’s annual summit in which he accused member states of being “delinquent” in their defense funding, while urging them to increase their share “immediately.”
Trump suggested that NATO members double their current goal and increase their defense spending to 4 percent of each country’s economic output.
Trump singled out Germany, accusing the European country of being held “captive” by “Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” focusing specifically on the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline.
“Everybody’s talking about it all over the world, they’re saying we’re paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia,” added Trump.
Germany, which boasts the biggest economy in Europe, spends only 1.24 percent on its defense budget while the U.S. spends 3.5 percent.
Klein told the i24NEWS panel that Trump seems to be utilizing his “Art of the Deal” philosophy: “Donald Trump specializes in the art of the deal. So, of course, he is going to go in like a bulldozer. Just as he did with Iran. Just as he did with North Korea or is doing with North Korea.”