Much more is going to be necessary to keep the alliance viable. Half-way measures, such as halting NATO expansion, enforcing accountability, improving relations with Russia, and reducing Washington’s contribution would be better than nothing, but still inadequate palliatives.
Instead, the U.S. should gradually shed its responsibility for the continent’s defense, turning responsibility for Europe’s defense over to the Europeans. America and Europe should remain friends and even allies, though through a looser arrangement focused on issues of mutual concern. But the Pentagon should concentrate on its duty to protect Americans, rather than provide welfare to Europeans.
Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.