Russia has been increasingly aggressive, with Putin making moves to put Russia back on the world stage (see Donbass, Crimea, Chechnya). As Vox explains, NATO works by guaranteeing a massive and crushing military response against any belligerent if a NATO member is attacked. Without that guarantee, NATO does not work, and war is more likely to occur.
Experts are arguing that Trump’s statements are incredibly dangerous and can upset the fragile balance of power that’s keeping the peace. They say that viewing these alliances through an economic lens is wrongheaded and dangerous.
But Trump and his supporters are arguing that it’s a matter of priority. Everyday Americans are not seeing benefits from NAFTA, NATO, and all those other acronyms that mean nothing to their lives. If America is to put their money and lives on the line for these countries, America better see a benefit.
Trump and his supporters also point to the fact that NATO is not keeping up their end of the bill. They’re freeloading off of America, and think they can get away with it. America can’t afford to foot the bill anymore, and if they’re not willing to invest the money for their own defense, then why should we defend them?
I suspect he's playing hardball to make NATO members pay their bills. Seems fair enough to me. https://t.co/fV6xs3CXhS