Farage: Most NATO Members “Freeloading Off American Taxpayers”

EU directing defense spending towards European army

Image Credits: Euractiv / Flickr.

Brexit architect Nigel Farage chided nations who do not meet their financial obligations to be apart of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization while reaping the full benefits.

Ahead of a two-day NATO summit in Brussels, Farage offered his support of President Donald Trump, who has put the coalition on notice as only a handful out of 29 members are currently meeting their commitment to invest at least 2% of GDP in military defense.

“The President is merely quoting the rules of the club – to be part of NATO, you have got to spend 2% of your GDP on defense,” Farage said. “The argument is, why should America protect all these countries if they’re not prepared to make a fair contribution?”

“I think it’s a wholly reasonable argument, but it’s set against a background of the European Union wanting to build its own army, it’s own European army, and Mr. Juncker, who heads the European Commission, is saying, ‘You only have to pay one percent.’”

Farage warned observers to prepare for a slew of propaganda from European leaders designed to suggest President Trump and the US are “threatening the security of people in Europe.”

According to 2017 NATO figures, only four nations comfortably break the 2% spending threshold – United States, United Kingdom, Greece, Estonia, while Poland, Romania, and France hover at or just below the mark. The remaining 22 members fall well short – including economic powerhouse, Germany.

“It’s not just the small European countries that are cheating,” Farage explained. “Germany – 80 million people, the biggest country in Europe – and Germany is only paying 1.2 percent, and I think President Trump and Angela Merkel need to have a frank discussion about that, otherwise, as I say, European countries are freeloading off American taxpayers.”

In a series of Tweets on Tuesday, President Trump made clear that the status quo is untenable and will likely be addressed in Brussels this week.

“Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made. Will they reimburse the U.S.?” Trump wrote.

“The European Union makes it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe (U.S. has a $151 Billion trade deficit), and then they want us to happily defend them through NATO, and nicely pay for it. Just doesn’t work!”

Dan Lyman: