My NATO prediction.

I will go out on a limb and predict that the NATO leaders having agreed to ramp up their military spending to 2%, 4% whatever, will simply ignore their agreement, while the orange menace will come back, crow about how he was able to bend the European leaders to his wishes will get the high he needs and also forget about the whole thing. Just like Kim has ignored whatever he is said to have promised. And he got something concrete out of it, namely the cancellation of joint military exercises with South Korea.

I am quite certain that Trudeau has no intention of increasing military spending. When I moved to Canada a colleague told that the Canadian military was a joke; there was only one country they feared and there was nothing they could do about it.

They all agreed to the standard once and ignored it; many even made cuts. Then after Russia moved into Crimea they made the “this time we really mean it agreement.” The NATO Council operates by unanimous decision so they agreed to the standard under both Bush and Obama.

While some of the bigger economies still haven’t done much under the new agreement there’s been some real movement on spending. That movement started even before Trump took office. The biggest moves, unsurprisingly, have been among the newer/eastern members that used to be in the Warsaw Pact. Some others have seemed to make smaller moves.

I predict the trend continues. Countries at the most risk continue to take the threat to their security seriously and increase spending. The others are a mixed bag with some increases but generally not on a path to 2% by the end date. Predicting a changing trend away from higher spending seems odd.

Why should any other NATO members do anything to help Trump? He’s certainly not doing anything for them. They have no reason to encourage his high-handed antics. And they would all take a hit to their domestic support by doing what Trump wants. Plus, they’ve all had to spend time in the same room as Donald Trump and that has to have been unpleasant for them.

It’s not like Trump was wrong in his assertion that NATO wasn’t doing enough, it was known back during the Obama days that Germany had spent so little on previously agreed-upon military spending that the military had actually been slowly losing operational readiness year-by-year despite their claims to Obama that they were doing all they could to increase it.