Japan has increased defense spending eight years in a row and is investing $8.7 billion to underwrite basing U.S. troops on Japanese territory. Tokyo is constructing military-grade runways on Mageshima Island, with plans for U.S. and Japanese warplanes to operate from the island base.
South Korea shouldered 90 percent of the costs for a massive new U.S. base, with plans to increase defense spending by an average of 7.1 percent annually between 2020 and 2024. Australia is increasing defense, spending 81 percent between 2016 and 2025.
Japan, Australia, Britain and France have joined the U.S. in promoting freedom of navigation in and above the South China Sea. Britain, Australia, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE have joined the U.S. in protecting the Persian Gulf against Iranian piracy.
All of these allied contributions are helping secure, defend and promote American interests. Our alliances cause headaches from time to time. But what Churchill said in 1945 remains true today: “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.”
This article first appeared at Real Clear Defense.