Germany is NATO’s biggest freeloader

26th Apr 2019

BERLIN — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded, according to its first secretary general, Lord Hastings Ismay, “to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Seventy years ago this Thursday, as the Soviet Union was violently propping up puppet governments across Eastern Europe, Western leaders signed a mutual defense pact establishing NATO as a bulwark against communism.

Well, the Russians are rattling sabers again — and the United States is still needed both to contain an expansionist Moscow and dampen strategic competition among NATO’s European member states. But what about that third member of Ismay’s equation? Germany today is a sterling exemplar of liberal democracy — and a shaky alliance partner.

Finish reading this column in the Washington Post.

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